How to Plan a DIY Kitchen Remodel

Pro tips for handling a kitchen renovation on your own

By Jan Soults Walker

Deciding to do at least some of your kitchen renovation yourself can help you stretch your renovation budget, allowing you to fit in more amenities and material upgrades than you thought possible. Begin by scoping out the possibilities and gleaning good advice so you can cook up a kitchen plan and carry out the remodeling tasks like a pro.

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Homey Traditional Kitchen
Rose Marie Carr

Envision the possibilities. You're in the best possible place to begin dreaming about your do-it-yourself kitchen renovation. Use as a valuable resource for finding and saving your favorite kitchen ideas and products so you can easily refer to them as you shape the unique look and function of your remodeled space. "As you search for ideas and make plans, think about how you use your kitchen," advises Jaclyn Pardini, a spokesperson for Lowe's home improvement stores. "Consider all the factors—layout, surfaces, appliances—that impact how you live, cook, and entertain family and friends so you can create a kitchen that truly works for you."

Supplement your quest for creativity by paging through magazines and books, touring designer showhouses, and visiting plumbing and kitchen showrooms as well as home improvement stores. Don't hesitate to chat with the associates on staff because they can be gold mines of information about new kitchen products and trends.
Light Transitional Kitchen
Emily Mackie

Establish spending limits. Determine your budget and plan accordingly so you stay on track. When you do the work yourself and focus on small changes, you can refresh your kitchen without spending a lot of money. Changing cabinet hardware, installing new flooring, painting surfaces, and upgrading light fixtures as well as the sink and faucet can make a dramatic impact for little time and investment. 

Consider these kitchen upgrade ideas:

Know your skills. Some kitchen renovation tasks don't require a lot of experience to accomplish. All the tasks mentioned above are novice-friendly, plus you can do demolition and install new appliances.

With some guidance and the right tools, you can also install tile and a variety of flooring materials. To learn these skills, review online tutorials, study DIY books, and take a few free classes offered by home improvement stores. You can also consult these same sources to learn how to install cabinetry and prefab countertop materials.

Skills such as installing drywall, plumbing, and wiring are often best left to the professionals. 

Homey Country/Rustic Kitchen
Carter Kay

Stock your toolbox. Learn what tools you'll need to do each project professionally, such a reciprocating saw for demolition work, good brushes and rollers for painting, and power tools for flooring installations. Keep in mind you can often rent tools that you only plan to use once or twice.

Measure and order carefully. 
It bears repeating: When you precisely measure your kitchen's dimensions, you are more likely to correctly order cabinets and appliances and you won't run out of flooring or wall covering materials.

Watch for bargains. You'll save money on your kitchen remodeling if you take time to shop for the best deals. Ask retailers for bulk discounts, shop online, and be willing to purchase slightly damaged or discontinued products. Buying floor models or last year's models can also help you stretch the budget.

Get inspired by these kitchen photos and additional kitchen renovation advice.

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