A kitchen renovation is complex with many different specialists and products coming together to achieve your dream space. From our experience, we recommend bringing a kitchen specialist on board as early as possible as they can help you to navigate the different stages and decisions involved and make the process exciting and enjoyable.
For those that haven’t carried out a kitchen project before, the process can feel overwhelming and it can be hard to know how long you should plan for your new kitchen to take. Timelines for a kitchen renovation vary depending on the type of project that you are undertaking, the kitchen company you appoint and the products that you choose. However, there are several key stages that all kitchen renovations have in common.
Read on to learn the key stages and timings of a kitchen renovation, along with advice from our experts to help you to keep your schedule on track.
The key stages of a kitchen renovation
The following three stages apply for any kitchen project.
It can be helpful to identify a date that you would like to have your new kitchen completed by. Consider whether there are any key events such as birthdays or holidays that you’d like to have your new kitchen ready for. Once you have a date, share this when you speak with your kitchen specialist and trades to agree on a date that is achievable. You can also ask your designer and trades to inform you of the key deadlines that would need to be met in order for this date to be achievable.
How long should you allow to finalise your kitchen design?
The design phase is the most exciting and the most important stage of your project as it’s when you will need to be most involved and make important decisions about your kitchen layout, appliances and finishes. A kitchen is an investment and a quality kitchen will last for decades so it’s worth spending the time to ensure that your kitchen design is one that you will love to live in for many years to come. Most new kitchens will require new flooring and for the room to be decorated, so you will need also need to decide on the finishes for all of these elements to ensure that they work in harmony with your kitchen finishes. This process can sometimes feel daunting and this is where your kitchen designer is a valuable support, guiding you through the process and providing their professional recommendations to assist your decision making. An experienced kitchen designer can take away the stressful side of the process, allowing you to enjoy the excitement of your new space coming to life.
The design stage will usually involve 3-4 meetings with your designer:
- Initial consultation
- Presentation of your design
- Presentation of your second design
- Final sign-off for order
The time required to finalise your kitchen design is greatly influenced by the availability of you and your designer for each of these meetings and how quickly decisions are made. On average, the design stage takes between 6 and 8 weeks.
It’s also never too early to begin your own research. Begin by buying specialist home and kitchen magazines to find inspiration and learn about the latest trends. Create a Pinterest board or Houzz Ideabook and begin by pinning any images that you are drawn to. Don't limit yourself to pinning just kitchens; take inspiration from any design features that appeal to you. This will start to show patterns and help you to identify what you like and don’t like. Magazine cuttings, Pinterest boards and Houzz Ideabooks are also a great reference to share with your kitchen designer and can help to speed up the process as they help the designer to quickly understand your aspirations for your design.
When should you appoint your kitchen designer?
It's never too early to speak with a kitchen designer. Start by contacting local kitchen specialists or those recommended by friends, visit their showrooms to be inspired by their kitchen displays and arrange a consultation with a designer.
If you don’t require planning permission, following your initial consultation your designer can begin planning your kitchen right away. They will visit your home to take measurements and understand your space. Fully taking into consideration your design brief, you will then be presented with your design. In this case, your new kitchen could be ready to order in two months.
If you are carrying out an extension that requires planning approval, we still recommend that you contact your kitchen designer early. However, design work will begin once planning is approved as this is when you will have finalised your floorplan and dimensions. For this type of renovation, you will also need to appoint an architect. As part of the design for your new extension, your architect will suggest a proposed kitchen layout and provide you with an indication of budget for construction. Try to find an architect with experience carrying out projects similar to yours. A knowledgeable architect within your local area will have an understanding of what will pass planning with the local council which can help to avoid any unnecessary delays.
While you are awaiting planning approval, this is a perfect time to book an initial consultation with a kitchen designer. During your consultation, your designer can advise on the best positioning for your kitchen and help you to understand how to make the best use of space and light. To find out how to get the most from your design consultation, read our guide. Although awaiting planning approval can take time, use this to find the kitchen designer that you have the best rapport with so that you can jump straight into the design as soon as your planning is approved.
What are the lead times from ordering a kitchen to completion?
Before your kitchen is ordered, your designer will carry out a sign off meeting with you. This is when all of your decisions are finalised and your kitchen design is prepared for ordering. The timescale from order to completion is approximately three months, so it’s important to book your sign off with your designer at the appropriate time to avoid any delays.
Once your design is signed off and sent for order, there will be a window of approximately 8-10 weeks when your furniture is being crafted. This is often a busy time on-site as your existing kitchen will be removed and the room will be prepared by your trades including electrics, plastering, laying flooring and decorating.
How long does a kitchen installation take?
The timescales for a kitchen installation vary depending on the type of furniture, materials and finishes.
As you approach your installation start date your designer or project manager will contact you to arrange a pre-delivery visit. This is when the final dimensions of your space are checked against the plans to ensure that everything is as it should be.
Once your installation begins, it will usually involve a first stage during which the cabinets are fitted into position. The stone and glass specialists will then visit to template for your worktop and glass to ensure that these will fit perfectly into position. While your worktops and glass are being fabricated there will be a temporarily quiet period before they return to install them into position. Once these are in place, your installer will return to carry out the final connections of hobs and sinks and do all final checks before handing over your new kitchen to you. The whole installation process lasts approximately 4-6 weeks. The journey does not end here. Your designer will then keep in touch with you to ensure your installation exceeds your expectations and assist with any aftercare requirements.
Kitchen Renovation Timeline
Design: 6-8 weeks
Order to Installation: 8-10 weeks
Installation: 4-6 weeks
Overall Timeline: 4-6 months
So there we have it, a guide to the key stages of a kitchen renovation and how much time you should allocate for each. Overall, we recommend allowing 4-6 months for a kitchen renovation from your initial consultation completion. Although the process can seem daunting, your kitchen designers and trades will support and guide you through the process. Bring your kitchen designer on board early and lean on them to take the stress away so you can enjoy all of the exciting parts of the journey knowing that your project is in safe hands.
At KCA, we've been designing and installing kitchens since 1993. We have helped hundreds of families and industry professionals to realise their kitchen design ambitions on projects including kitchen renovations, extensions and new builds. Our specialist kitchen designers can help you to achieve your dream kitchen and guide you through the process to make it an exciting and enjoyable experience that results in a space that exceeds your expectations.
If you’d like to find out more information or discuss your project with a talented KCA designer simply contact our showroom or enquire online.