island kitchen

How Long Does It Take to Renovate a Kitchen?

Planning a kitchen renovation is an exciting time in a homeowner’s life, but many people don’t understand just how much of a time investment it truly is! When planning your kitchen renovation, you might be wondering just how long it will take until the project is complete.  Here in The Bay Area, kitchen renovations are hot and it can be difficult to find an experienced contractor for the project as well as the exact materials you want for your kitchen, so it’s good to start planning your kitchen remodeling project well in advance.

In general, it is wise to plan for your kitchen renovation to take somewhere between 3-4 months before it is done completely. This, of course, depends on the scope of your project. If you’re only opting for a few cosmetic upgrades, the time it will take will be significantly shorter.

Keep reading to learn more about how long you can expect your kitchen renovation to take.


How Long Will My Kitchen Renovation Take?

Kitchen remodels are one of the most in-depth renovations you can do in your home. It requires a lot of coordination with electricians, plumbers, and subcontractors, and you have to make sure certain things are taken care of before other work can begin.

Because of this, the length of time your kitchen renovation will take can vary significantly based on the project’s scope. If you’re doing a full renovation, including new plumbing and electrical work, appliances, and finishes, it can take anywhere from 3-6 months on average. However, if you’re just making a few cosmetic upgrades, the project may take just a few weeks.

When doing a kitchen renovation, you’ll need to be prepared to be without a kitchen for at least six weeks. While your kitchen may still be functional before the project is done completely, you won’t be able to spend as much time in there as you typically would.

A kitchen remodel is a considerable time investment, and one that cannot be rushed if you want everything to look and function perfectly by the time all is said and done.

l-shaped kitchen

What Are the Steps Involved in a Kitchen Renovation?

The first step is the planning phase, followed by the design phase, pre-construction phase, and finally, the construction phase. It’s essential to follow all the steps of a kitchen renovation to ensure everything goes smoothly and the work is done as soon as possible.

Each step will involve working with different people, and you’ll need to follow everything to a T in order for your renovation to go as it should.


The Design Phase

Every successful renovation begins with a well-thought-out design. How long the design phase will take depends on the client and the project’s scope.

First, you’ll have to find a contractor and designer to work with. To find the best person for the job, you’ll need to get referrals, set up meetings, get estimates, and ensure their schedule will work within your desired timeframe. Then you’ll work with a designer or your contractor and help them understand your wants, needs, likes and dislikes, and any ideas you have. The designer will suggest revisions, and eventually, you’ll have your final design ready.

This is also the time when you’ll decide on your project’s budget. Your designer or contractor will give you a cost breakdown, and you’ll find the products and materials you want to order. This whole process will take between 2-6 weeks, depending on how quickly you’re able to come up with a final design.


The Pre-Construction Phase

The pre-construction phase is often the most fun for the homeowner. You will do a lot of paperwork, such as creating plans, applying for building permits if necessary, and finalizing your budget, but you’ll also get to start shopping for your materials!

You’ll want to start ordering your appliances and materials as soon as possible because you want to allow for enough time for returns or exchanges if they become necessary. You should plan for all of your materials to take anywhere from 1-2 months to arrive, and any custom-made materials will take a bit longer.

The time it takes your products to arrive aside, the pre-construction phase will take approximately 4 weeks to finalize everything.

House rehab projects kitchen

The Construction Phase

The construction phase will be the longest part of your kitchen renovation. It could take anywhere from 1-3 months, depending on the scope and complexity of your project.


Structural Changes and Demolition

The first step in the construction phase is demolition and structural changes. If you need any walls, doorways, or windows moved or removed, this is the time when it will be done.


Utility Work

After demolition is completed, plumbers, electricians, and other subcontractors will be brought in to do any necessary electrical, plumbing, or gas work. Depending on the availability of these subcontractors, this next step could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.



The next step is painting. Your general contractor may do this themselves, or they may bring in painters to do the work. In addition to the walls, your ceiling or trim may need to be painted as well. Depending on the area that needs to be painted, as well as the availability of the painters, this could take a couple of days to a week until it’s completed.


Flooring Installation

The next couple of days will be spent installing your new floors. Some types of floors will take longer to install than others, and your contractor will be able to give you an estimate as to how long it will be before the floor you’ve chosen is ready.


Cabinet Installation

Next, your contractor will begin installing your new cabinets. This typically only takes a few days. The more cabinets you need to install, the longer the process will take.


Countertop Measurement

To make sure your countertops arrive in the right size, the vendor you purchase them from will need to come to your home and measure the space. You or the contractor will schedule the appointment at a time that works well with the rest of the renovation, and it will only take a couple of hours.


First Appliance Installation

Before the countertops are installed, any appliances that won’t be affected by the countertop, such as the oven and refrigerator, will be installed next. This is why the utilities are handled so early on in the process, so the contractors and subcontractors are not scrambling around the day of. This ensures the installation of these appliances goes as quickly as possible, usually only taking 1-2 days.


Lighting Installation

The next step is lighting installation. This includes any overhead lighting you want in your kitchen, as well as specialty lighting like undercabinet lights and workspace lights. This also only takes a couple of days, and either an electrician or your general contractor will handle it.



Waiting for your countertops to be made and delivered by the vendor will be one of the longest steps in the construction phase. Depending on the material they’re made of, it could take anywhere from one to four weeks before they are finished and delivered.

Once they’ve been delivered, your countertops should only take a couple of days to be installed. Then, you can continue on to the next step.


Second Appliance Installation

After installing your countertops, your contractor will begin installing any appliances that couldn’t be installed before, such as your sink or microwave. This is another quick step and will only take a couple of days at most. The final utility adjustments will be made, and then the finishing touches can begin.


Finishing Touches

Before the project is officially finished, your contractor will put the final touches on your renovation. These may include things like hardware, molding, and trims. It’ll take them a few days to complete these, and then your renovation is done!

How-do-you remodel-a-small-kitchen-to make-it-look-bigger


Avoiding Delays with Your Kitchen Renovation

As with any home improvement project, there may be delays in your kitchen renovation. Some of these reasons include product backorders, decreased subcontractor availability, and making changes to your design after the project has already begun.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to avoid these delays and make your kitchen renovation go as quickly as possible while still ensuring it’s done right.


Establish and Stick to a Clear Budget

Deciding on a clear, realistic budget, influenced by recommendations and cost estimates from your contractor or designer, is one of the first things you should do. You don’t want any delays due to too low of a budget, so knowing what you’ll have to spend from the get-go is crucial.


Avoiding Changes Once Construction Has Begun

Making changes once your project is underway is one of the best ways to make your renovation go slower. Make decisions in your initial design plan, and stick to them. Anything you change halfway through could take days, weeks, even months longer than you originally planned for, so it’s essential to make any changes you need to before the actual construction and ordering takes place.


Place Your Orders as Soon as Possible

Placing orders for appliances and materials as soon as you’ve decided what you want will make your remodel go quicker. Certain items, especially if they’re custom made, can take weeks or months to arrive. By purchasing them as soon as possible, you minimize the time spent waiting for things to show up.


Build In Time for Contractors to Work

You don’t want your contractors to have to wait to complete their work, so avoid scheduling anything that they would have to work around during the renovation period. You should expect disruptions to your daily life, so make sure to plan anything like social gatherings, vacations, or family time around the contractor’s schedule, not vice versa.


Keep an Open Line of Communication

Having an open line of communication with anyone working on your kitchen remodel is essential. Check in with them regularly to ensure they’re not running into any problems with your project, and always ensure they have all the information they need to stay on track.


Have a Makeshift Kitchen

While this won’t make your renovation go any faster, it can make it easier for your family during the renovation. You may not be able to use your kitchen for a few weeks during certain parts of the renovation, so having a makeshift kitchen (i.e., a microwave and mini-fridge somewhere else in the house) can make the process less restrictive. If you have a laundry sink or a bathroom sink big enough to wash dishes in, doing so can help you save some money on paper plates and takeout!


Final Thoughts

Depending on the scope of your project, a kitchen renovation may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Make sure to follow all of the steps listed above in order to ensure everything goes smoothly, and take steps to help the project go quicker. No project goes absolutely perfect every single time, but doing your part to ease the process will make it go as quickly as possible.

If you are in The Bay Area and looking to renovate your kitchen, contact Element Home Remodeling today.  We are a Mountain View based kitchen renovation contractor specializing in bright, open and modern kitchen designs. Contact us today to schedule a free consult.

Element Home Remodeling
Call Now ButtonClick To Call