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The Planning Process

What To Expect When Expecting A Kitchen

As kitchen designers and project managers, we have over 30 steps to take before your kitchen is complete. But don’t fret, most of these things are done behind the scenes. By now you may have looked at cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring, backsplash tiles, paint colour, window coverings, magazine clippings, hardware, floor plans, elevations, and are so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start and what to expect. We have put together a checklist to give you an idea of how your kitchen renovation will take place from start to finish.

Click here for a PDF version of this Checklist.


  • Meet with designer, discuss possible layout, door style, colour, & appliances
  • See the proposed floor plan and elevations, request changes
  • Take floor plan to appliance store, select appliances, confirm they will fit into layout
  • Meet with designer and contractor, bring appliance specs, review appliance requirements, changes to flooring, lighting, windows, bulkhead removal, wall removal, etc
  • Discuss tear out date, usually at least 4 weeks from cabinet order
  • Approve final floor plan, door style, colour, interior hardware, handles & order cabinets
  • Meet with designer to go out and select countertop and tile, 3 hours
  • Bring door colour, countertop, and tile samples to paint store, select paint colour
  • Talk to contractor about selections on lighting, windows, hardwood floors, etc

One Week Before

  • One week before tear out date, begin to organize a mock kitchen with access to existing fridge, stove, microwave, coffee pot, kettle, toaster, preferably near a sink, fill propane bottles for BBQ, shop for easy foods to make, paper plates and cups, plastic cutlery.
  • Unload your kitchen, separate the items you wish to keep and the ones that have to go.
  • Prepare for approx 6 weeks without a completed kitchen.
  • In some cases, if you have an extensive renovation, you can ask the contractor to keep the kitchen sink and faucet hooked up or ask him to keep it installed into that piece of countertop so he can re-install it onto the new sink base while we wait for the new countertop. Also-the fridge and range are often kept in the kitchen until the cabinets arrive. It depends on the space available and the flooring.
  • Discuss with contractor when the new appliances should arrive, make arrangements

The Project Begins

  • Tear out begins: removal of old cabinets, countertops, appliances, backsplash tile, electrical, lighting, plumbing, drywalling, mudding, sanding, painting, and flooring depending on the plan to put it in before or after cabinets. To properly prepare the kitchen for cabinets this usually takes 1-2 weeks.
  • Cabinets are delivered and installed. For the first time you start to see the new kitchen taking form. A walk through takes place for any deficiencies or missing material.
  • Countertops are templated. Generally granite and quartz installation is 3 weeks from this point. Laminate is only 1 week. Some yards have a quicker turn around, it depends on how busy the industry is at that time.
  • While waiting for granite, the flooring can be done if it hasn’t been. Lighting can be completed. Some appliances can be installed such as fridge, wall oven, microwave, hood fan. But you won’t get your cooktop, sink, faucet, dishwasher, or slide in range for all of these appliances require countertop. At this point we could ask to have the old sink, faucet, and countertop placed upon the new sink base and hooked up temporarily.
  • Countertop is installed
  • Sink, faucet, and the rest of the appliances are installed
  • Backsplash tiles are set
  • Cabinet installer returns to finish off trims, valance for puck lights, door and drawer adjustments, and final touch ups


Final Completion

  • Kitchen designers bring gifts and wine, take “after” photographs and proudly look at another job well done!