Kitchen Renovation: The Definitive Guide (2020)

On average, homeowners see an 80 percent return on investment from kitchen renovation projects. This makes kitchen renovation one of the highest-impact and highest-return investments you can make in your home.

If you’ve been putting off upgrading your kitchen because the idea of figuring out what you need and want seems overwhelming, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to get started designing and implementing your ultimate dream kitchen today.

What Are the Benefits of Kitchen Renovation?

We tend to think of kitchen renovation as a luxury. While redesign can definitely make the time you spend in your kitchen more enjoyable, that is only one of the many benefits a kitchen renovation provides.

kitchen renovation benefits home value

Home Value

More than three-quarters of homebuyers rank kitchens as the most important space in a prospective home. More than two-thirds of buyers are actively willing to pay more for homes with kitchens that boast upgraded fixtures and finishes.

kitchen renovation benefits functionality


Of all the rooms in our homes, kitchens age the least gracefully. In part, this is because how we use our kitchens has changed radically over the last hundred years. Even relatively newer kitchens can be completely out-of-sync with the rest of your home and lifestyle.

Updating your home’s kitchen design can give you the functionality you need, whether that’s increased storage, a better workflow, or family-friendly gathering spaces.

kitchen renovation benefits Energy Efficiency and Sustainability 

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability 

Did you know that your appliances eat up as much as two-thirds of the total energy your home consumes? Replacing power-guzzling kitchen appliances with newer Energy-Star models can save you a bundle on your monthly utility bills.

It can also bring your kitchen up to the same level of eco-conscious sustainability that you’re working toward in the rest of your home.

kitchen renovation benefits confort and pleasure

Comfort and Pleasure

The kitchen is the heart of the modern home. Dealing with a kitchen that doesn’t serve you or that perpetually leaves you frustrated is stressful and counterproductive.

Turning your kitchen renovation ideas into a reality can make every day run more smoothly. It can transform frustration to joy and help you lead a life that you love.

kitchen renovation trends

Kitchen Renovation Trends

With so many kitchen remodel ideas floating around the internet, splashed across home decor magazines, and popping up in casual conversation, it can be hard to get a handle on what’s trending. Here are the top trends for 2020 that are expected to have the most impact and staying power.

Smart Kitchens

Smart appliances are cropping up everywhere and the kitchen is no exception. While refrigerators and ovens tend to garner the most attention, you can find smart options for everything from coffee makers to kitchen scales.

Many smart appliances are programmable or can be accessed remotely. This can take kitchen convenience to a whole new level. Smart appliances can also make your kitchen safer and more accessible for everyone.

Sustainable Materials

Kitchens provide unique opportunities to make our homes eco-friendly without sacrificing style. Bamboo, cork, and reclaimed wood are all cost-effective and gorgeous kitchen finish options that are trending right now.

Vintage, repurposed, and recycled items are hot, as well. Leading designers are thinking outside the box, for example using bedroom dressers as bar stands and turning gorgeous glass pieces into one-of-a-kind light fixtures. Whether you prefer a traditional look or a sleek modern vibe for your new kitchen, sustainable materials will fit right in.

Savvy Storage Options

Adequate storage is key to a great kitchen and current trends reflect that. New kitchens are incorporating a range of personalized, highly-functional storage designs including:

  • Glass-front cabinets
  • Cabinet and open shelving combos
  • Walk-in pantries
  • Larders
  • Custom storage solutions

Bold Pops of Color and Statement Pieces

Boring all-white kitchens are rapidly falling out of favor. They’re being replaced by solid neutrals paired with bold pops of color and statement light fixtures or furniture pieces. The possibilities are as endless as they are exciting.

The Kitchen Renovation Process

What happens when you’re ready to act on your kitchen renovation ideas? Most of the kitchen renovation contractors follow these 5 steps.

kitchen renovation process get started

1. Get Started

The first step is to get in touch with your local kitchen renovation store, most of the are offering free consultation. They’ll listen to your ideas and ask questions that help you get to the heart of your dreams for your new space. Their experts will seek to understand your current space, what you love about it, and what you’d like to change.

Next, some questions will be raised to understand your budget. They’ll help you determine how much you can and want to invest in your renovation project so that their ideas and suggestions can be tailored to your budget.

Then they’ll help you take key measurements of your existing kitchen and the rooms or spaces around it. Specifically, the following components in your kitchen are placed:

  • Water, gas, and electrical hookups
  • Windows and doors
  • Heating vents or ducts
  • Plumbing fixtures, drains, and pipes
  • Major appliances
  • Electrical outlets

If you’re interested in expanding the footprint of your kitchen, similar measurements will be taken for the rooms or spaces you’re considering taking space from. This information is crucial to later steps in the process!

kitchen renovation process explore

2. Explore

Once you’ve shared your ideas with your local contractor, they’ll introduce you to the myriad of options for your new kitchen.

They’ll look at which of the classic kitchen designs your current space uses and show you how to make it work better or how you could swap it out for a different design you like better. Sometimes even entirely customized layouts might be considered.

Then you will see many options to compare and contrast flooring materials, countertops, wall finishes, fixtures, and finishing touches.

When it comes to colors and color combinations, how to incorporate texture, and about how to choose the best available materials within your budget, you should be asking questions to understand your options and the differences between them and so you choose the best ones for your personal needs, tastes, and budget.

kitchen renovation process design

3. Design

In the design stage of your kitchen renovation, you’ll be able to use the information provided during the exploratory phase to pick your ideal:

With your kitchen design ideas and material choices in hand, the design team will create the perfect plan for your remodel.

For smaller projects, this may entail keeping the main layout intact and customizing storage, appliances, and other options to upgrade your kitchen’s appearance and functionality. In larger projects, this might include taking out walls, building out your space, or other big changes.

In every case, the plan will reflect your choices and priorities. It will also include all the little details that was taken care of on your behalf. Your local kitchen renovation partner will make sure pesky things like state and local codes have been accounted for, and that things like counters and electrical sockets are at the right heights.

The plan will give you a chance to see how everything comes together. You’ll be able to visualize your new dream kitchen in perfect detail. If you see something you don’t love, make sure you communicate directly with your contractor right away.

Walking through the plan together will allow you and the design team to pinpoint any hidden challenges or missing pieces. Catching and addressing these things at this stage ensures you’ll have a timely, on-budget, and stress-free build.

When the plan is perfectly dialed in, you’ll be able to get a finalized price quote for your project. Make sure, there are no hidden costs in our quotes. You need to understand exactly what you’re paying and where your money is going.

kitchen renovation process install

4. Purchase and Install

Once all the decisions are finalized and you are comfortable with the quote, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. They’ll provide you with a contract that spells out all the costs and details.

It will also spell out the timeline, particularly where lead times are involved. Cabinets, for example, can take varying amounts of time to get into stock depending on what you choose:

The average lead time for stock cabinets is one to three business days. Semi-custom orders can take up to three weeks, and custom cabinet orders typically have lead times of between four and eight weeks.

Once you’ve signed, your contractor will move forward with tearing out your old kitchen and building the space you want.

Most of the local kitchen renovation stores offer comprehensive installation services. So you never have to worry about finding, interviewing, hiring, or managing contractors. You don’t have to worry about permits or do any of the work yourself.

If your local store doesn’t offer installation services, ask some contractors they work with and do your research before moving forward.

Kitchenless Life

It is likely that for at least some of the time that your kitchen is being renovated, you will need to manage meals without it. Often, appliances such as coffee makers, microwaves, and refrigerators can be temporarily relocated to other rooms of your house. This can mitigate the burden of being without your kitchen.

Eating out or relying on prepared meals can help, too. In all cases, planning ahead can make this brief inconvenience as painless as possible.

kitchen renovation process enjoy and love

5. Live in and Love Your New Kitchen

When the build is done, after completing finishing touches on your new kitchen and you’ll be all set! You can live in, love, and benefit from your new space for as long as you own your home. When you’re ready to sell, your investment will keep reaping benefits in the form of higher sale prices and betting selling propositions.

kitchen renovation cost

How Much Should Kitchen Renovation Cost?

Since kitchen renovation adds so much value to your home, experts recommend spending between 5 and 15 percent of your home’s total current value on upgrades.

So, for example, if your home costs $300,000, you should expect to spend around $45,000 on your remodel.

Where does that money go? On average, it breaks down like this:

  • Design costs 4%
  • Installation 17%
  • HVAC and appliances 14%
  • Cabinets 29%
  • Floors, counters, and lighting 22%
  • Windows and doors 4%
  • Ceilings and walls 5%
  • Plumbing and plumbing fixtures 4%
  • Other expenses 1%

Custom kitchen design can easily run up to 10 percent of your total cost. The investment is well worthwhile, however.

Advanced design services increase the likelihood of achieving your dream kitchen. They also save you time and money by reducing the number of last-minute changes and expenses. Good design makes it easy to make smart, satisfying choices the first time through and gives you the peace of mind and confidence you deserve.

Renovating Your Kitchen Cost-Effectively

Kitchen renovations can get expensive, but they don’t have to be. Knowing a few key tips and tricks can help you get a kitchen you’ll love without breaking the bank.

Keep Your Layout and Footprint

Moving or substantially altering your home’s plumbing, gas lines, or electrical wiring is guaranteed to make your project take longer and cost more. Knocking out walls or building an addition is always costly, as well.

Sometimes these changes are unavoidable, but often you can completely redo your kitchen without adding square footage or tampering with the basic layout. If you’re on a budget, ask your designers about ways to renovate your space within its current layout and footprint.

Opt for Upgrades That Don’t Require Permits

Permitting can be a necessary part of the home renovation process. Unfortunately, it has a tendency to slow the process down and increase your costs.

The line between which upgrades require permits and inspections and which do not can be surprisingly thin. You may find that you can happily swap one for the other, saving yourself time and money with no less satisfaction in the end result. Our designers can help you identify these choices and make the right ones.

Use Standard Options Where You Can

Specialty finishes and custom storage can be worth their weight in gold. But for some things, off-the-shelf options may meet your needs just fine, and choosing them will save you a bundle. Cabinets and countertops are great examples.

When renovating on a budget, save the big investments for the things that matter. Take advantage of the lower costs of stock cabinetry or an attractive but wallet-friendly laminate countertop to free up funds for the things that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.


Table of Contents

Kitchen Remodeling

From new cabinets to center islands and family seating, nothing is off limits for your new kitchen remodel.

Bathroom Remodeling

Transform your bathroom from a place that you just shower and get ready to a peaceful, spa-like atmosphere that you won’t want to leave.

Tile & Flooring

Whether you are looking for bright and bold or simple and subtle, we offer a variety of options that will complement your home.


With so many material options available, we will find the right countertop to fit your home.

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