Planning a kitchen renovation on your own: where to start and how to save money

Kitchen remodeling went wrong

A final check of plans and specifications before starting a repair is essential and will help you avoid wasting time and money. Kitchen renovations, as many homeowners may be aware, can really surprise you with unexpected changes in plans and delays. You should not be afraid of these problems, because many professional builders and repairmen face them daily, despite their vast experience. But you can insure yourself against such risks. To do this, there are many ways in which you can underpin and strengthen your plans.

First of all, consider the situation in which you will use contractors to carry out repairs. Different specialists have a habit of interfering with their other colleagues when doing work. Electricians can obstruct other professionals when installing wiring. Heating and plumbing specialists will interfere with each other, and a drywall installer and a painter can argue among themselves for a long time – who is to blame for the fact that the walls look poor and crooked. Therefore, you will need to hold a personal meeting with each contractor and clarify the details of their work, as well as coordinate them with other contractors.

credit for picture

Of course, if you are a jack of all trades and can do all the work yourself, then you should just follow the plan. But most homeowners do not have such impressive skills and experience. However, almost every homeowner can act as a general contractor. As a general contractor, it will be your responsibility to supervise the execution of work and establish communication between workers in order to avoid problems and conflicts. By acting as a general contractor, you will not only be able to monitor the progress of your kitchen renovation, but you will also be able to save on the savings that you put aside for repairs. According to preliminary estimates, the involvement of an external general contractor increases the kitchen renovation budget by 15-30%. you can easily calculate how much money you can save if, for example, your total kitchen renovation budget is $15,000.

The stages of the overhaul of the kitchen as an example

I suggest you try on the hat of a general contractor right now and simulate the renovation of the kitchen in your imagination. The kitchen renovation is a very large project. Let’s try to hypothetically imagine what types of work you have to deal with:

  • Dismantling;
  • Basic engineering work – heating, electrical, plumbing;
  • Works related to walls – installation of drywall and painting works;
  • Floor covering installation;
  • Insulation;
  • Installation of kitchen furniture and appliances;
Kitchen demolition, credit for picture

So the list is pretty impressive. And if you can do all this work alone, then it’s time for you to open your own company and make money on repairs. But I am sure that most homeowners do not have such skills. However, even without being a jack-of-all-trades and acting as a general contractor, you may well complete one of the items yourself. You guessed it right – this is dismantling.

In order to clean the kitchen of old furniture and other equipment, you do not need to have any special skills. Of course, you need to be careful not to destroy engineering systems, but armed with simple tools, you can easily remove old cabinets, lighting fixtures, and even flooring. Be sure to turn off the water before removing the sink. But in general, that’s all. You’ve cleared the kitchen and got it ready for other jobs to begin. However, there is a small point to which you need to pay attention. Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish. Where do you put all that old furniture, sink, light fixtures and leftover flooring? Yes, all these things need to be put somewhere, and then taken out of your site. You should think about this even before the dismantling work begins. Can you take out the garbage yourself or do you need help? Do you have enough space in your garage, or do you need to allocate another space before the garbage is removed from your site? These are very good and important questions before starting dismantling.

The engineering work

So, our hypothetical cleaning is completed, the kitchen is clean and ready for further work. It’s time for the hardest part – the engineering work. Plumbers, heating specialists and electricians enter the battlefield of kitchen renovation. What can you do as a general contractor at this stage? That’s right, organize the time of these works in such a way that specialists from different areas do not interfere with each other. You should hold a meeting with these contractors and determine a clear order of work and interactions so that there are no misunderstandings and problems. An important nuance, after the completion of the engineering work, you should probably invite an officer from the local regulatory authority to inspect and approve all the work done. If you do not do this and move on to the next stage of work, which will hide the engineering networks from the eyes of the inspector, then you have every chance of facing really big problems.

Moving water lines. Credit to

Well, the excellent plumbers and electricians have completed their work and you can move on to the next step. Wall decoration involves the work of two specialists, namely a painter and a drywall specialist. These two great professionals have a knack for blaming each other if your walls don’t end up looking good. Therefore, you should require a drywall specialist to prime the walls after installing the drywall boards. And after that, the painter should start working. This way you will know exactly who to blame and demand to redo the work if your walls suddenly turn out to be defective. It’s worth noting that working with drywall is a lot of dust, so it’s worth preparing ahead of time to protect the rest of your home from dirt.

Upon completion of the painting work, the stage for the flooring begins. Once the flooring is complete, you can move on to installing furniture, sinks, fixtures and other finishes, as well as insulating and adjusting the heating system. Keep in mind that all this work will most likely result in damage to the paint on the walls, so you will need to call the painter again to fix the defects. Actually, that’s all, all the work is done and you are ready to enjoy the work done and use your new beautiful kitchen. On paper and in the imagination, everything sounds easy enough. Everything can be just as easy and simple in reality if you, as a general contractor, can control and coordinate the actions of all contractors and follow the plans.

Estimating the cost of a kitchen renovation

Properly estimating the cost of a kitchen renovation is extremely important. Thanks to this assessment, you will be able to make a good budget and not have illusions about the cost of renovation. Estimating costs is not easy. There are professionally trained specialists who carry out cost calculations on construction sites and receive substantial fees for this. There is also special software that will help you easily and simply calculate and estimate costs.

But if you are a simple homeowner, you are unlikely to have the appropriate skills or access to such programs. But let’s be realistic, you are thinking of renovating a kitchen, not building a skyscraper, so it’s clearly not worth dramatizing. Armed with a notebook, a phone and a search engine on the Internet, in a couple of days you will be able to find out all the information you need regarding the cost of materials and services that you need to renovate your kitchen. Of course, do not forget about the help in estimating the costs that contractors can offer you. But it is also important to conduct your own investigation in order not to become a victim of unreasonably high prices for services and materials from unscrupulous contractors and suppliers.

Estimating costs


So, I hope that we managed to convince you that you can take the kitchen renovation into your own hands, even if you do not know how to perform any of the types of work necessary for the repair. Patience, thoroughness, openness to new information and constant monitoring of the performers will make you the best general contractor for your kitchen renovation.

By the way, you can learn how to avoid simple mistakes when planning a kitchen renovation from our article – How to start a kitchen renovation?

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