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Kitchen Project Order - What Happens When?

Whether you plan to do the remodeling of a kitchen yourself, hire some help or let professionals handle the entire project, it is important to understand the order in which the project will proceed. Knowing the order will help you to be well organized and to choose and order the products and materials for your kitchen in sufficient time.

It is not uncommon for a homeowner to hear from their contractor that this or that product decision is needed within twenty-four hours. A lot of stress comes from having to make fast decisions that you were not prepared for. By knowing what to expect and when, you can have the products ordered in sufficient time and be prepared for the decisions that must be made. All of this preparation leads to lower stress levels, helps keep the project on schedule and keep costs on budget.

Some product orders should be made well in advance of the time there are needed because production and delivery times can vary widely and unpredictably. If a product is not delivered by the time it is needed, a project will often come to a complete standstill. When your project goes off schedule, the contractors you had lined up for subsequent stages often can't just show up a day or two later than planned, they may have other projects and you may have to wait to get back onto their calendar. A cabinet delivered a day later than needed can knock a project off schedule by a week or two or more in some situations.

The following timeline is for a typical project, but it can vary by builder and community practices. It should be used as a general overview. It assumes a kitchen plan has already been drawn up and a contractor has been selected.

  • Long lead time products should be chosen and possibly ordered. Products include cabinets, appliances, imported stone and tile, custom made products and granite or marble slabs. If possible, side aside storage space for items to be delivered and held until needed, ideally indoors in a temperature controlled space.

  • Permits obtained

  • Demolition work, including removal of doorways and walls

  • Construction of any new walls or doorways.

  • Window replacement (can be done after electrical if not being moved)

  • Vent ducting for range hood

  • Rough plumbing work, including gas lines

  • Rough electrical work -wiring, boxes, in-ceiling fixtures

  • Internet, cable, intercom & telephone wiring (aka data & communications)

  • HVAC vent placement, a vent under the toe kick in front of the sink is often a good location. A kitchen may have more than one vent.

  • Inspector sign off on rough work typically required at this point.

  • Insulation installed, if needed

  • Drywall & texture - texturing can be done just before painting, but is typically faster and easier if done now when kitchen is empty.

  • Underfloor heating installed.

  • Flooring - once new flooring is installed, protective safeguards are needed to avoid damage from construction.

  • Need range hood dimensions and installation specifications by cabinet installation time.

  • Install upper cabinets

  • Install lower cabinets

  • Install appliances

  • Need faucet and sink specifications for countertop fabricators to create properly sized cut-outs.

  • Measure for countertops - no cabinet movement or changes after measuring.

  • Finish electrical & lighting - switches, light fixtures.

  • Install countertops (sink may go in first depending upon style).

  • Install sink, faucet and finish plumbing work.

  • Install backsplash

  • Install cabinet hardware.

  • Final inspection sign off typically required at this point.

  • Paint

Kitchen complete and ready for use. Don't forget to file for any product rebates or energy savings rebates. Insulation and low-e windows along with other products may qualify for income tax deductions.

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