Classic white kitchen remodel with black countertops in Westchester County, New York

Understanding Kitchen Renovation Timelines and Phases

If you're starting to explore a kitchen renovation, you might be wondering, "How long is this going to take?" We're here to help you get a clear grasp on the process and timeline to ensure your kitchen project runs smoothly and successfully. With this guide, you'll gain the insights you need to navigate your kitchen renovation with confidence and ease.



Duration: 1+ weeks

The planning phase is the foundation of your kitchen renovation. During this stage, you'll establish your goals, set a budget, and begin to host contractor site visits. It's important to spend time planning to avoid any issues down the line. The time spent in this phase can vary depending on the complexity of the project and how quickly you make decisions, but expect to spend at least 1 week on planning.



Duration: 2-6 weeks

During the design phase, it's crucial to determine where to invest for quality and where to economize. Working with a professional designer can help you to make the right decisions and achieve your vision. Key activities in this phase include:

  • Initial Consultation: Meet with designers to discuss your vision, needs, and budget.
  • Design Development: Create design plans, including layout, materials, finishes, and appliances.
  • Finalizing Plans: Review and approve the final design, ensuring it aligns with your goals and budget.

King - Final Kitchen (1)


Duration: 5-12 weeks

Once the design is finalized, the pre-construction phase prepares your home for the renovation work. This includes:

  • Ordering Materials: Purchase cabinets, countertops, appliances, fixtures, and other materials. Material lead times can significantly impact the timeline of your project. To avoid delays, consider choosing materials with quick lead times or readily available alternatives that can still meet your design and quality standards.
  • Permits and Approvals: Obtain necessary permits from local authorities, which can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on your location. In cities like New York, permits and condo/co-op board approvals are the #1 driver of break ground dates.
  • Scheduling: Set a timeline with your contractor, outlining the start and end dates of each phase.
  • Site Preparation: Clear out the kitchen, remove old appliances and fixtures, and set up a temporary kitchen if needed, or make plans to temporarily relocate during your project.


The construction stage is where your plans are put into action. This phase involves the physical execution of the project and coordination with a general contractor. We're going to break down the stages below, but please note that timelines can vary significantly between projects. You can spend weeks to months in the construction stage, depending on the project.


Duration: 1-5 days

The demolition phase involves tearing out the old kitchen to make way for the new. This process can be noisy and messy but is relatively quick:

  • Removing Cabinets and Countertops: Take out old cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes.
  • Flooring and Wall Removal: Remove old flooring and, if necessary, sections of walls or ceilings.
  • Disposal: Properly dispose of all debris and old materials.


Rough-In Work

Duration: 1-3 weeks

This phase includes any structural changes and the rough-in work for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Key activities are:

  • Framing: Make any structural changes, such as removing or adding walls.
  • Plumbing and Electrical: Install new plumbing and electrical systems, ensuring they meet building codes.
  • HVAC: Install or update HVAC systems if necessary.


Furnishing, Fixtures, and Finishes

Duration: 2-4 weeks

This phase brings your new kitchen to life. This includes installing cabinets, countertops, and flooring, in addition to adding all the final details to ensure your kitchen is fully functional and beautiful:

  • Cabinet Installation: Install new cabinets and ensure they are level and secure.
  • Countertops: Measure and install countertops, a process that might take a few days for custom pieces.
  • Flooring: Lay new flooring, whether it's tile, hardwood, or another material.
  • Backsplash: Install the backsplash, adding a decorative and protective element.
  • Lighting: Install new lighting fixtures and ensure proper illumination.
  • Painting: Paint walls, trim, and other surfaces.
  • Hardware: Add hardware to cabinets and drawers.
  • Appliances: Once all the furnishing, fixtures, and finishes are in, install new appliances and connect them to the appropriate utilities.


Final Touches and Punch List

Duration: 1 week

Before you can enjoy your new kitchen, a final look through is necessary:

  • Walkthrough: Conduct a final walkthrough with your contractor to ensure everything is completed to your satisfaction.
  • Punch List: Address any minor issues or touch-ups that need attention.


Completion and Post-Renovation Care

Once you complete your kitchen renovation, start by thoroughly cleaning the area to remove any construction dust or debris, ensuring all surfaces, appliances, and cabinets are spotless. Pay special attention to every nook and cranny, including inside drawers and cabinets, to make sure no residual dust remains. After cleaning, focus on organizing your kitchen essentials. Optimize your storage solutions by categorizing items and placing them in easily accessible locations. Arrange your pantry, drawers, and cabinets thoughtfully to maximize space and functionality, ensuring everything has its place. This attention to detail will help you maintain a tidy and efficient kitchen, allowing you to fully enjoy your newly renovated space.