If you’ve ever thought about remodeling your kitchen, you probably know what a big project it can be. It can also be an expensive one. When you get estimates for a kitchen remodel, there can be some shellshock for many people.

You can save thousands of dollars or sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars if you do the remodel yourself, and the following are things to know if that’s what you’re thinking about doing.

Know Your Limits

While the idea of saving money on a kitchen remodel is one that’s likely going to make you feel pretty excited, it’s important that you know your limits on the work you can do versus the work you can’t do.

A good example of this is electrical work. Doing electrical work in and of itself can be a fire hazard. Also, one small mistake in how you do electrical work can ultimately create fire risks as well.

Electrical work is something that should be left to the professionals unless you’re truly experienced.

Something else that you might not do yourself is plumbing because not doing it right can mean flooding in your home.

The best thing to do is create somewhat of a checklist of the work that needs to be done, and then be honest with yourself over what you can do and what you should hire out to someone else.

You’re still going to save a lot of money if you just hire subcontractors to tackle the more complex tasks, and you’ll have some peace of mind as well.

Have a Design Plan

A design plan is your starting point, and it gives you a foundation to work from when you’re remodeling your kitchen.

With this in mind, you can have a professional create a plan for you or do it online.

Either way, give yourself time here to get it right.

Having a visual representation of what your kitchen is going to look like is important because it will help you with sizing as you’re ordering different things, and you’ll also be able to make sure that what you have in your mind is going to be functional.

For example, if you’re going to add an island, will you have enough space to walk around it?

Does your layout of appliances make logical sense?

How will the lighting be during the day and at night?

When you’re making a plan, you really want to think about how you’re going to use the space. This is personal to you.

Order Your Appliances and Sink Early On

When you’re doing your kitchen remodel, there are going to be a lot of things you have to order.

The two you should order first if you’re getting new ones are your appliances and your sink.

This is important because the sink will need to be there before a template can be created for your countertops.

With appliances, they’re often on backorder and take a long time to come in, plus you want to make sure you’re going to have enough clearance for appliance doors.

You may find, once you start ordering appliances, that your original kitchen plan no longer works. You can end up building the kitchen around the appliances instead.

When you’re ordering things, create a spreadsheet of what you’ve placed orders for and when it’s expected to come. This will help you pace yourself properly and avoid getting stuck without something you really need.

Plan for the Inconvenience

When you’re remodeling a kitchen, and especially if you’re doing it on your own, you’re going to face quite a bit of inconvenience unless you’re moving out during that time.

You can try to plan your remodel in a way that will at least allow you to have some kitchen functionality throughout.

You can set up a small kitchen elsewhere, for example. Have bottles of water, a microwave, and some disposable dishware and silverware.

The less time your sink is out of commission and your water in general, the easier things are going to be.

You can do without some things, like your stove, for a period of time, but not having water in your kitchen is tough.

Create a Step-by-Step Work Plan

The more organized you are and strategic in your planning, the better your remodel is likely to go.

Some of the things to keep in mind with your work plan include:

  • First, you’ll clear out the space. You may need help to get your upper cabinets out. You’ll remove your trim, and do so carefully if you’re going to reuse them. When you remove your current light fixtures, cover any exposed wire with wire nuts.
  • If you’re going to hire people to do any of the work, start early on because it may take you time to find qualified professionals. Make sure they’re licensed and bonded.
  • Figure out if you need any permits or if your subcontractors will.
  • Once your walls are open, it’s a good time to replace old plumbing. You may need to replace shutoff valves, and you should always have a bucket nearby in case anything leaks or breaks.
  • If you’re going to add new lighting, including pendants or recessed ceiling lights, have a plan for your electrician if you’re hiring someone. You might need to replace all of your existing wiring, and all of your appliances need a dedicated circuit.
  • Once the electrical and plumbing are done, you can start drywall.
  • With flooring, you can do it before or after your cabinets.
  • You can hang your cabinets, and if you’re doing this yourself, you need to make sure they’re plumb and level. Your electrical work and plumbing should be finished before you put your cabinets in.
  • Your countertop is inevitably going to present a delay in your project. It can’t be measured for until your cabinets are in correctly, and then the installers come out and measure the template with your cabinets installed. It can take a few weeks to even get them to come out and measure, and then several weeks for your cabinets to be installed.

The last few steps of your project will be installing your backsplash, cabinet hardware, and appliances.