Apr. 18 2024

How long will my kitchen remodel take? Estimate an accurate timeline

by Haley Carroll

Estimating the length of time a kitchen remodel will take is a common challenge for homeowners. Kitchen renovations require many steps that must be completed in a particular order, with various delays that can crop up at seemingly every turn.

A popular perception is that your remodel will take 30% longer than you think, and you can’t trust the estimates that industry professionals will give you.

At IHR, we don’t accept this status quo; we’ve developed a dependable, repeatable set of processes that allow us to stick to a single timeline.

We’re here to break down each phase and type of kitchen remodel, so you can have a clear idea of how long it will take you to achieve the kitchen of your dreams.

A note before we begin: These estimates are based off a remodel with a design-build firm’s timeline. If you choose another remodeling method, such as hiring a designer and general contractor or a DIY remodel, your timeline will likely look much different (and probably much longer).

See also: Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Different Remodeling Approaches and Choosing Which One Works Best for You!

What are the phases of a kitchen remodel?

phases of a kitchen remodel, design plan and build

A kitchen remodel can be divided into three stages: Design, Planning, and Build.

Design and Planning Stages: ~ 2-3 months

The Design and Planning stages are critical to setting the rest of the project up for success and ensuring your remodel won’t run into costly surprises or schedule delays.

Here’s what you can expect during these stages. Remember, all the preparation up front will save you time when your kitchen is torn apart.

Floor Plan: ~ 3 weeks

First, you’ll need to finalize your new floor plan (if it will be changing from its current layout).

To do this, your team will likely conduct an on-site discovery meeting to fully understand the structure of your current kitchen.

Then, iterations of the kitchen floor plan will be designed and rendered until a version is achieved that meets all your project goals.

Design and Selections: ~ 4 weeks

Once the layout is in place, you’ll be able to add all the flair and flourishes of your unique design style to your kitchen plans.

If you’re not sure what look you’re going for, you’ll be able to view inspiration and complete assessments that will guide you down the right design path for you.

Pro Tip

Want to figure out your design style, but not sure where to start? Let us help you! Take our 5-minute design style quiz - a series of questions will help you identify your unique preferences.


During this period, you’ll make all the selections for your kitchen. This includes all the specific materials and items that will make up your future kitchen: the countertop, flooring, backsplash, appliances, fixtures, and everything else you’ll be adding to the space.

See also: 20 Things No New Kitchen Should Be Without

Project Scope and Build Preparation: ~ 5 weeks

When your designs are ready to go, there are still a few crucial steps before the Build stage can begin.

Permits need to be obtained to ensure there won’t be any fees or issues when it’s eventually time to sell the home.

Subcontractors should be walked through the site, so they can accurately gauge and prepare for the work they need to do. Once all professionals sign off, the project scope of the remodel can be locked in, and a final cost analysis can be completed.

Build Stage: Length varies based on project type

Surface-level remodeling projects will have much shorter build stages than renovations that are completely gutting the space.

Depending on the degree of your remodel, your project may consist of these activities:


This phase includes any demo that needs to happen in the space, and then the skeletons of the finished walls are constructed.


During rough-in, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and insulation will be installed. The framing and insulation will be inspected to make sure it has been done correctly.


This is when the room will really start to take shape: Dry wall, tile, and flooring will be installed. All the cabinetry and millwork are completed in this step as well. Interior paint is applied.


Pipe fitting, the installation of light fixtures and switches, and the final steps in the HVAC modifications are completed during this time.

Project completion

At this point, final inspections and cleanings take place. You, the client, will have a substantial completion walk through, and any remaining closing tasks will be completed from there.

See also: What's The Best Time of Year to Remodel Your Kitchen?

What type of kitchen remodel do I need?

Transitional kitchen with white cabinets in Maple Leaf, Seattle

The level of difference between your current kitchen and its ideal state will determine which kitchen remodel suits you. Each level of remodel comes with its own projected build period.

Updated look: ~ 10-12 weeks build time

If you have a smaller kitchen with a layout that works well enough, but it needs aesthetic improvements, you’ll most likely need an Updated Look remodel.

You’ll save time because the framing and electrical work completed during the project will be less intensive, and you likely won’t need any major changes to the plumbing of the room since the appliances and sink will remain in their current location. However, your kitchen will still be transformed with a new countertop, flooring, cabinets, sink, faucets, etc.

Fresh Start: ~ 12-14 weeks build time

For kitchens in older homes with a layout and look that could use a lot of help, they’ll benefit most from a Fresh Start. This remodel will be a complete gut and could entail opening up walls (without fully removing them), adding windows, relocating appliances, and the sink, and building an island or peninsula.

Dream transformation: ~ 15-17 weeks build time

Kitchens undergoing the most dramatic changes fall into the Dream Transformation category. This happens when a kitchen is relocated to another area of the house or the room’s footprint is expanded, taking on more square footage through a bump-out or shifting the size of other rooms.

If you’re looking for everything in your kitchen to be cohesive and intentional (think: integrated lighting and custom cabinetry) and want to add rare design selections or other high-end fixtures and finishes, you’ll likely need a Dream Transformation.

How to estimate an accurate timeline for your kitchen remodel

Modern kitchen with white backsplash and maple cabinets in Seattle

To predict how long your kitchen remodel will take, from first design concept to final walk-through, start with 2-3 months for the proper design and planning time and add on the build period associated with the type of remodel you need.

Work with a design-build firm to keep your timeline condensed & consistent

From determining your remodeling priorities to choosing the final decorative accents to your space, a design-build firm’s purpose is to bring you through the remodeling process seamlessly to superior results. Innovative Home Renovations will turn your Seattle house into a home you’ll be happy in for years to come; contact us to begin your journey.

Kitchen Design Style Quiz CTA


Recent Articles

Exterior Door Options: Take Advantage of Your Outdoor Living Area

Exterior Door Options: Take Advantage of Your Outdoor Living Area

The best part of calling Seattle home is by far the summer months – August, especially. If you want...

The Best Places to Buy Furniture in Seattle

The Best Places to Buy Furniture in Seattle

Furniture affects everything about a room: how it looks, what feelings it inspires, and how people...

The Best Places to Buy Home Decor in Seattle

The Best Places to Buy Home Decor in Seattle

Finishing touches are what give a home its character and reveal the unique personalities of the...