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Basic Steps to Kitchen Remodeling

It is easy enough to say that kitchen remodeling is the best way to get the kitchen of your dreams. However, this is not an easy undertaking, and productive of quite a bit of stress. If you plan do any major work in your kitchen, you should know the basic steps to kitchen remodeling. This will help you prepare for what you are about to face, and take the necessary steps to make it go as smoothly as possible.

Kitchen design

The first thing you have to tackle for a major kitchen remodel is the design. You need to decide on what it will look like, how it will work, and where everything will go. Back in the day, you would need the services of an interior designer, which meant an extra expense. Today, you can choose remodeler such as Fairfax Kitchen and Bath that will offer you this service free of charge. This will make it easy for you to decide on the best design for your lifestyle. In most cases, the remodeler will present you with a 3D design following tried and tested kitchen layouts that follow the kitchen work triangle. These include the one-wall, galley, L, double L, and U layouts. All you usually have to do is tweak the design to fit your preferences.

Building permits

Many homeowners are not aware that they will probably need to get building and other types of permits whenever they undertake any major changes in their homes. This means applying for permission from several agencies, from local building agencies to utility companies. You can get around this inconvenience by employing a licensed and bonded remodeling company in your area. They will take care of all the required paperwork, and all you have to do is to pay for any fees.

Ad hoc kitchen

One of the most stressful steps in kitchen remodeling is living without your kitchen for the duration of the build. This can take a few days to a few months, depending on the extent of the remodel. Your contractor or remodeling company will advise you the need for preparing an area to serve as a temporary kitchen in another room, such as the dining. If you’re lucky and have an outdoor kitchen, then you will not have too much of a problem. Otherwise, resign yourself to a lot of takeout, cooking on a portable stove, and disposables. You can save a bunch of money by cooking up a lot of food and freezing it to be reheated later, and angling for dinner invitations with friends and family.


When work begins on your remodel, expect a whole lot of dust and noise from the demolition. This is usually the first stage of the remodel after the workers relocate all your appliances to a safe place. You also have to do some prep work by clearing out and storing all your kitchen stuff. Depending on your renovation plans, demolition might involve removing cabinets, breaking down countertops, and removing tiles, walls, and floors. It is dirty and noisy work, and might even be dangerous if you live in an older home, as the wall insulation might have used asbestos. In most cases, your remodeling company will handle everything, including carting off and disposing of all the debris in a legal manner. Your part is to stay out of the way, so you might want to designate a safe zone for everybody and stock up on earplugs. Alternatively, you might want to arrange to be away from home during demolition.

Building out

After demolition, the next step is the structural build out, which is putting up the frames of your kitchen design. The extent of the framing will depend on the level of restructuring you have planned. If you plan to put in a new window, for instance, the build out is quite complicated. Once the build out is complete, you will have a good idea of what your new kitchen will look like.

Roughing in

Roughing in starts right after the build out, and involve spouting in the ducts, vents, wiring, and plumbing. This stage of the remodel takes quite a while as different professionals work on it at the same time. The time it will take to complete the rough in will depend on the extent of the restructuring. If you are rerouting pipes, for instance, this might mean breaking up concrete or drilling through walls, which can be a long business. Building codes might actually require you to install new lines for your plumbing and electrical wiring. You will need plumbing and electrical wiring rough in work done by licensed plumbers and electricians in these instances. This typically involves getting an inspector to sign off on the work before you can close it up.

Closing up

If all goes well with the rough in, the remodeling company can go ahead with the rest of the work. This includes putting in insulation before closing it up with drywall. The drywall will then have to be prepped with plaster to accept paint or other finish, which will not take too long unless the weather is wet, as this will keep the plaster from drying properly. In such cases, you contractor will probably use portable heaters to dry out the plaster faster.


The next step in the process is the flooring if your plan requires changing your existing ones. Since demolition should have taken care of the old floors, all that needs to be done is cleaning the prepping the subfloor for the new floors, and typically takes between three and five days, depending on the area and the type of flooring.

Cabinets and counters

With the new floor in place, the cabinets and countertops can come in. Installation can take just a few hours if you have RTA cabinets as long as you have them on hand, and your remodeling company has already fabricated your kitchen countertops. If you choose the DIY route, this can take a few weeks and a lot of hassle. Do yourself a favor and have pros do the work. In either case, the cabinets have to go first, as it will support the sink and countertops.

Final touches

The last step in the remodeling process is cleaning up the work area before putting in fixtures and the appliances. Make sure you are on hand when this happens so you can ensure everything is in good condition and goes to where you want them. Do not hesitate to ask questions or express any concerns you might have about the work. Your contractor has an obligation to follow the terms of your agreement. Inspect and test everything to ensure they work before you complete payment and sign off on the work.


Kitchen remodeling is no joke, so it is a good idea to have some background on what to expect during the process. It also helps a lot if you have a reliable remodeling contractor to handle the work for you. Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products. We are experts at kitchen remodeling, and sell only top quality products for all your renovation needs. We have top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials and natural and engineered stone slabs from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor. Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your home renovations!
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Picture of Sam Kazanci <br/><span id="position">Owner</span>
Sam Kazanci

Sam Kazanci is the owner of Fairfax Kitchen Bath Remodeling. He has experience to build and remodel the kitchen and baths with his team and the author of fkb blog: You can find Sam on LinkedIn and Twitter.