A kitchen remodel can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint and new floors, or a complete transformation with new appliances, cabinets and more. No matter the route you choose, planning helps you avoid costly, or surprising setbacks and keeps the project on time and on budget.

While you’re planning your kitchen remodel, decide what bothers you about your current kitchen and how your new space will correct these flaws. Maybe you need more storage near the oven, or you’re tired of hearing the kids slamming the cabinets shut. (Look at soft-close hinges!)

Set a list of priorities and expectations.

What’s your big-picture goal: More space? Better design? Just new appliances?

When do you want the project to be finished?

Set a budget.

How much do you want to do: new appliances and more square footage, or just painted cabinets and a new fridge? Make the decision now before you start remodeling. Don’t forget budgeting for the little details, like the knobs on the new kitchen cabinets and dividers for new drawers.

Choose a color palette or design style.

Choose colors and materials that are cohesive with the design of the rest of the house.

Source your materials, appliances and permits.

Look into alternative, eco-friendly building materials and energy-efficient appliances.

Try and purchase as much as possible or at least know the specifics (like dimensions) of any appliance you’re installing.

Plan logistics.

Check shipping periods to make sure you can get all the materials in time.

Line up a contractor or, if you’re doing the work yourself, clear your schedule.

Will the remodel require enough tear-out that you’ll need to seal off other rooms from dust or noise?

Where will you cook your meals and eat during the remodel?

Educate yourself on the building codes.

Anticipate obstacles.

Can you reuse the old hood vent pipe?

Does the new oven use the same energy source?

Will you need to reroute gas lines?

Can the existing wiring be used?

Will the new oven or fridge fit through the doorways?

Do you have space in the garage or home to store materials and appliances until they’re installed?

Create a timeline.

Make a list that follows a logical timeline: Don’t order or replace cabinets until you know the dimensions of new appliances.

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