DIY Kitchen Renovation – Dos and Donts

Are you taking on a kitchen remodel on your own? There’s a lot of work to do, from deciding on the design, going over kitchen cabinet plans, and installing everything yourself.

A DIY kitchen renovation can be stressful, but there are many benefits if you do it right. You can create more space to cook and entertain and raise the value of your home.

How can you be sure you’re creating the kitchen you’ve always wanted?

Read on for the rundown of dos and don’ts when it comes to a DIY kitchen renovation.

Decide on the Design

Before you take a sledgehammer to any existing cabinets, you need to have a plan. Think about your kitchen now.

What do you love about it? What do you want to improve? What kind of workflow do you want to have in the kitchen?

If you need to keep your budget low, it makes the most sense to keep the structure as is. An open concept kitchen will most likely require a wall tear down, which would require additional electrical and plumbing work.

Otherwise, you can create plenty of kitchen space using a U-Shaped or Galley kitchen design.

To plan out your kitchen, you can use software to design it, hire a kitchen designer, or an architect to make sure your concept will work.

When you decide on the design and you’re ready to get to work, it helps to go into the project with an open mind and understanding that sometimes, things can go wrong.

Kitchen Cabinet Plans

On a DIY project, your kitchen cabinet plans must be spot on. Even a fraction of an inch could destroy your project.

Will you be building the cabinets yourself or will you be ordering them?

If you are crafty enough to build them yourself, you need to make sure that you have access to cabinet making tools, such as a clamp and a magnetic drawer mounting tool.

If you’re going to order them, you need to take your plans to a cabinet supplier. You need to be sure that your measurements are accurate.

There are industry standards when it comes to the size of the cabinet. These sizes are for items that are typically in stock.

Depending on what cabinets you choose, the manufacturer may have them in stock. If not, you need to order them.

It’s important to finalize your kitchen cabinet plans early on in the process because orders can take up to several months before they’re delivered.

When going over your kitchen cabinet plans, you also want to consider how much storage space you’ll have and how much storage you need. You also get to choose the color, hardware, doors, and configurations.

Kitchen Flooring

Did you decide to replace the flooring in your kitchen as well?

Great, now you have to decide what you’re going to replace it with. Depending on the design of the kitchen, you may have to match the flooring in other areas of the home.

If you have a closed-concept kitchen, the kitchen floor doesn’t have to be an exact match, but there has to be a flow from room to room.

Your kitchen flooring should be stylish and be able to withstand a lot of traffic, drops, and spills.

Kitchen flooring has evolved from tile and linoleum. Surfaces such as bamboo, wood, brick, rubber, and cork are options.

Rubber has been used in professional kitchens for years, and it’s making its way into homes, especially as more homes are installing professional-level appliances. This type of flooring will be able to withstand just about anything.

Cork has a soft feel and it can absorb the shock if a dish falls, so it doesn’t break. That’s a great option if you have kids who tend to drop glasses and dishes.

Picking the Right Appliances

Similar to kitchen cabinet plans, the measurements of the appliances and space available matter. After all, you don’t want to have a refrigerator delivered only to find that it’s a half inch too tall.

You want to pick appliances that suit your style and tastes, such as elegant European kitchen appliances.

Are you going for stainless steel, an all-white kitchen, or something completely different? Both stainless steel and all-white looks offer class and style that won’t look dated in five years. They will stand the test of time.

When choosing your refrigerator, think about how you want it to open, how much space you need, and other features. Would you like to have a water and ice dispenser? How about a vegetable crisper?

Finally, think about where you want the freezer. Do you want it on the bottom, top, or to the side?

Choosing a stove might be a little more involved. You have to decide if you prefer a wall oven or if you want a standard oven and stove top with a ventilation hood.

Keep in mind that wall ovens will be more expensive to purchase and install.

No matter what you choose, you’re going to have to consider where the over is relative to other appliances.

If your plans are to have the oven next to the refrigerator, don’t do it. The heat of the oven will raise the temperature of the refrigerator, wasting energy.

Finishing Touches for Your Remodel

Now that you have your measurements and core design, it’s time for the finishing touches to make it perfect.

First the countertop. For a DIY project, you can opt to install an lower-priced countertop plywood and then upgrade to a granite or marble countertop when you’re ready.

What kind of light fixtures do you want in your kitchen? How about a backsplash?

If you’re doing the lighting design, too. Make sure that you’re not relying on one light fixture to light up the entire kitchen. What you might end up doing is creating shadows in areas where you do most of your cooking work.

Your backsplash can be stone, tile, glass or wallpaper. Your options for color and design are limitless. The keys to designing a backsplash are to make sure it matches the rest of the kitchen and it’s easy to clean up.

DIY Doesn’t Mean Alone

Taking on a DIY kitchen renovation can be a huge investment of time and energy. It can also be stressful if you haven’t done it before.

The good news is that you’re not alone in your renovation. You have all the resources you need right here to make sure your kitchen renovation goes smoothly.

Check out our blog for more DIY projects.

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