a couple sits on their couch looking at kitchen remodeling ideas on their tablet

A kitchen remodel can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your home—and in today's hot real estate market, having a modern, clean kitchen may help spark a bidding war.

But having your kitchen out of commission for weeks at a time can be a major inconvenience. How long will your kitchen remodel take, and what can you do to accomplish your remodel as quickly as possible?

Below, we'll discuss the typical length of a kitchen remodel, some factors to consider, and how the timeline can differ when you're DIY-ing versus paying a contractor.

How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?

Although many variables play into a kitchen remodel, most experts estimate that an average kitchen renovation can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. Major renovations that change the footprint of the kitchen or require electrical or plumbing work can take even longer, at an average of 3 to 5 months.

This estimate doesn't include the planning phase, which may take longer. But fortunately, the planning phase doesn't need to add to the time your kitchen is unavailable for use; and the more detailed and methodical your planning is, the more you can streamline the actual demo and renovation processes.

Factors that Play Into Kitchen Remodel Timelines

The biggest factor contributing to your kitchen remodel length will usually be the scope of the project.

If you just want to paint your cabinets, update a few appliances, and add a backsplash, you might be able to accomplish this over a long weekend. But anything extensive—new cabinets, countertops, adding or removing an island, or tearing down a non-load-bearing wall—can take longer.

Other factors include:

  • The price and availability of the materials you select (including appliances)
  • The time needed to repair any complications or issues discovered mid-renovation (like a problem with the plumbing, foundation, or flooring supports)
  • The ability to perform multiple parts of the project at once (for example, having one contractor reface your cabinets while another installs a new countertop)

Another thing that makes kitchen remodels different from other home improvement projects is the sheer number of moving parts.

Unless you have a general contractor, you may need to coordinate several subcontractors (like electricians, plumbers, and appliance installers) yourself. Coordinating these subcontractors based on what work is ready to be completed and what supplies are available can be a challenge, especially if this is your first remodel.

With the COVID pandemic disrupting supply chains and, in some cases, increasing the cost of materials, you may find yourself with unexpected downtime while waiting for supplies to be delivered.

DIY or Use a Contractor?

Another factor that can impact the timeline of your kitchen remodel is whether you perform the remodel yourself, do some parts yourself and hire a subcontractor for others, or hire out the entire project.

Some advantages of DIYing include:

  • Control over the speed and scope of the project
  • Low to no labor costs
  • Flexibility to plan different parts of the project around family events or other obligations

However, unless you're able to devote full days to this project until you're finished, having to schedule a kitchen renovation around a full-time work schedule can be challenging.

Some advantages of using a general contractor or subcontractors for your kitchen renovation include:

  • Minimal time commitment on your part
  • Assurance that the work will be performed well
  • Reduced risk of injuries (particularly if you're dealing with wall demolition or electrical work)

Ultimately, DIYing your project may not save too much time when compared to hiring out your kitchen remodel. The decision whether to DIY may turn on other considerations, like cost, your own remodeling skills, and contractor availability.

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Remodel Timeline?

Regardless of whether you or someone else is performing your kitchen renovation, there are a few steps you can take that should help make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Create your budget

There are few things that can stretch out a renovation longer than running low on funds mid-project, while your kitchen is incomplete. If you run too far over budget, you could wind up taking shortcuts toward the end of the project, and these shortcuts could compromise the overall quality of your new kitchen. It's a good idea to build in a little wiggle room in your budget, as it's generally more common for renovations to go over budget than stay under budget.

2. Start shopping for appliances

You'll also want to begin shopping for appliances as early as you can. Not only are supply chain issues leading to delivery delays in many areas, but the dimensions of your appliances will dictate your kitchen layout and the size of your cabinets. Choosing new appliances mid-project could cause delays or require your plans to be redrawn.

3. Get the project on paper

Produce drawings and 3D renderings of your remodeling plans so that any changes can be made before demolition starts. If you have a clear picture in mind of what the final product will look like, you'll be able to see whether these changes meet your needs and iron out any problems on the front end.

4. Set up a temporary kitchen space

Consider setting up a temporary kitchen to minimize disruption while the renovation occurs.

If you have another area in your home where you can set up a utility sink, mini-fridge, and microwave, not having a functional kitchen for a few weeks (or months) will seem like far less of an issue. For those who don't want to rely on takeout during the entire project, doing a bit of research into oven- or stove-free meals can allow you to enjoy a sense of normalcy throughout your renovation project.

Starting Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

If you're ready to get started on your kitchen remodel, Chartway Federal Credit Union can help.

From lines of credit or home equity loans that can provide you with some budget wiggle room to low-interest credit cards, our team can work with you to find financial products that meet your needs. Reach out to us to learn more about financing options to make your kitchen remodeling project a reality.

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Kitchen Remodel Tips