All I want for Christmas Santa: Kitchen Renovation Timeline

All I want for Christmas Santa: Kitchen Renovation Timeline

On October 17, 2106, I met my client to discuss a potential kitchen renovation.  One of the questions she asked me is, “Can I have a new kitchen before Christmas?”   As I’m a backwards planner I took a look at my calendar and quickly worked through a kitchen renovation timeline and thought:  It’s totally do-able, but we have to get making decisions quickly.  3 months, 3 days later, my client received her Christmas wish!

The Process

While the timeline for the actual construction phase was only 4.5 weeks long, I wanted to give you the real kitchen renovation timeline of this entire project.


Here are two photos of the kitchen that was going to be transformed.

Conceptual Designs

I always like to give my clients at least two options (if I can).  This allows for my clients to see the pros and cons of each and make an informed decision.

Through this phase with my client we discussed moving a wall to make room for an island however after our conversations together, my client really liked her kitchen in the back of her home and the privacy the current wall gave her.  So – the wall stayed.

Due to no walls moving, I was still able to come up with two options.  Although the layout really wasn’t going to change, there were some key wishes that I heard my client express.

Conceptual Design Option 1

Below is the first option.  There are items in this option that checked some of  the wish list items:

  • More counter space by the stove area.
  • More useable storage for all uppers and lowers.
  • A place for the microwave.

While there are some people who really dislike an OTR (over the range) microwave, when space is limited, it really is a great option to place a microwave.  On this plan the following were created:

  • I moved the refrigerator over to allow for more counter space by the stove.
  • The trash compactor was removed and each corner base cabinet was configured to have a wonderful pull out to maximize the corners and storage.
  • A larger tall pantry was installed.
  • All upper cabinets were made to go as high as they could (36” in height).
  • Pull out drawers were installed to add maximum use in the base cabinets based on my clinets needs.

Here is a conceptual rendering.

kitchen renovation timeline

Conceptual Design Option 2

This option also checked off items on the wish list:

  • More counter space by the stove.
  • A nice hood fan
  • Built in microwave
  • More counter space by the stove area.
  • More useable storage.

Here is the conceptual rendering of Option 2.

kitchen renovation timeline


Decision Time

When we went over the two plans the one thing I pointed out with Option 2 was the following:

  • Although a really nice hood fan would be installed, no one was really going to see it other than my client.  It really wasn’t going to be a ‘feature’.
  • By placing the microwave in the tall cabinet (as placing it in one of the lower cabinets was not an option), it was going to take away significant space in that tall cabinet.

In the end, Option 1 is what we went for.

Kitchen Renovation Timeline

Once the decision to go with Option 1 was made, a construction timeline was created based on when the cabinets would be delivered.  I worked backwards from that date to schedule in the crew to get the things done that needed to be done prior to cabinet install. Here is a snapshot of the construction calendar.  You may see 2 days with nothing happening.  This calendar was the updated version as the crew was 2 days ahead of schedule (how nice!)

I had the cleaning crew come in on the weekend due to their schedule (as I love my cleaners and had to work around their pre-Christmas schedule).

The real timeline

While I would love to brag that this project took only 4.5 weeks, it really was 3 months and 3 days from the start to the end.  What I want to stress, and the whole point of this blog, is to realize that it takes time to plan a kitchen renovation.  Here is the breakdown of this project:

Design of space (working on function): 23 days

  • Although this timeline was quite short, what you need to know that it can vary as it really does depend on the scope of the project and the size of the space. Remember, this project wasn’t having any walls moved and most everything was staying in its place.  What I would like to stress in this phase is to take your time.  Many questions should be asked and answered when deigning a new kitchen for clients.  If you’re not sure what questions should be asked, here is a good list of questions that can be found here.
  • For this project, we started on October 17 and I signed off on the cabinetry on Nov. 8th.
  • Note: it is at this phase where all appliances needed to be solidified and purchased. My kitchen cabinet team will not finalize plans until this is confirmed.
  • At the same time, product (sink, faucet, etc.) and selections (counters, backsplash tile, etc.) were being discussed to come up with a budget.

Please note: if you are moving walls or changing the template, this time would increase.

Specifying Product: 14 days

  • Once the design of the kitchen was solidified, all the ‘pretty’ was solidified. As I mentioned above, this was discussed during the design phase.  Many conversations were had around what my client’s hopes and dreams were, and selections were being made (on paper).  It is at this stage where everything had to be picked out and ordered well in advance.  For this project, the following were purchased:
    • Flooring
    • Counters
    • Backsplash tile
    • Kitchen table
    • Kitchen chairs
    • Kitchen sink
    • Kitchen faucet
    • New track lighting
    • Window coverings
    • New wall clock

While I put 14 days up above, it was 14 days to solidify everything, make purchases, and ensure the product would be onsite the day demolition started.

Construction: 31 days

Once we had the date of cabinet delivery, a construction calendar was created to ensure we were utilizing our time to the fullest.  While this particular project ended up having 2 days of ‘down time’ (due to the crew being ahead of schedule), the entire project was on time as planned.  I was very fortunate that there were no curveballs thrown our way and that our client was presented a new kitchen right before Christmas.

Kitchen Renovation Timeline

Do all kitchen renovation projects take 3 months and 3 days to complete?  No – don’t be silly.  We totally had a renovation angel on our side.  There were no construction curveballs thrown our way (which is not always common) and the project went off without a hitch.  In the end, my client was granted her wish:  she received a new kitchen for Christmas.  I’m so happy to present to you:  All I Want for Christmas Santa Is a New Kitchen.  Enjoy!

Click here for the portfolio.

Sheri Bruneau Get It Together

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