Remodeling your kitchen is exciting, but you can't just dive into the project head first. Overhauling your kitchen constitutes a major remodel, and it requires proper planning.

No matter how eager you are to get started, there is a whole slew of tasks that you must take care of before you start tearing out counters and moving in new appliances. Going through each of the steps on this kitchen remodeling checklist will help you approach your renovation in a smart, streamlined manner.

Identify Your Goals

Identifying your motivation for a kitchen remodel is one of the very first steps you should take. After identifying your "why," you can evaluate each remodeling decision based on what best fits your goals.

You may have just one purpose in mind or a mix of several. Your goals may include:

  • Expanding the square footage of your kitchen.
  • Increasing your storage space.
  • Rearranging the location of appliances.
  • Creating more workspace.
  • Moving the location of windows or doors.
  • Updating the style of your kitchen.
  • Improving the value of your home.
  • Replacing old plumbing or wiring.

Think About Money

Kitchen remodels can be expensive, but proper planning can help reduce your financial burden. It's imperative that you set a budget that you can actually afford and then make your remodeling decisions based on what fits that budget.

Consider how to fund your project. If you don't already have money set aside, you may want to begin a savings account dedicated to the renovation. Another option is to take out a home equity line of credit.

Once you figure out how much you can spend, you must assign portions of the budget to various aspects of the project. HGTV offers a free budgeting worksheet that can help.

Consider Potential Changes

If there's something that you've always wished was different about your kitchen, now is the time to change it. The finished product may look quite similar to your current kitchen, or it could be entirely different. It all depends on what changes you decide to make.

Aspects of your kitchen that you might want to change include:

  • The layout of the room. This includes the placement of doors, windows, appliances and cabinets. You might choose to add an island or an eating area. Some layout changes may require expanding the room.
  • The style of the room. Kitchens may be traditional, contemporary, rustic or a mix of styles.
  • The kitchen basics. Most homeowners install new cabinets and countertops during a remodel. Many also replace their sink, their appliances and their lighting fixtures. You might want to add a few new gadgets, such as a pot filler faucet or a wine cooler.

Select Your Materials

The many, many choices available for kitchen fixtures can be overwhelming. Having a plan for what design style you want for your kitchen can help you narrow down the choices for materials.

Your selection process should cover the following aspects of the room:

  • Cabinets: How much storage do you want, and what do you want the cabinetry to look like?
  • Countertops: Will you select granite, quartz, laminate or another countertop material?
  • Hardware: Do you want the hardware finish and style to coordinate with your appliances and your sink?
  • Flooring: Would you prefer tile, wood or another surface?
  • Colors: What shades would be best for your cabinets, countertops, floors, walls and appliances?

Learn more about selecting materials in the following video:

Get Set for the Project

In addition to making a number of decisions before beginning a remodel, there are some practical tasks to which you must attend.

Choose a Contractor

Kitchen remodeling is a big job, so it's smart to rely on a pro with whom you feel comfortable. Looking for a company with good references is essential.

Learn more hiring tips in this video:

Keep in mind that this probably shouldn't be one of the last steps on your kitchen checklist. Selecting your contractor early in the process allows you to turn to your building team for design help along the way.

Schedule the Time

Finding the right time for a remodel is a must. It's smart to stay away from seasons that are particularly busy for your family. Of course, you must also select a time when your contractor is available for the job.

Order Materials

It can take a while for cabinetry, countertops and other materials to arrive, so order them as early as possible. It's often a good idea to wait to begin the project until all materials have arrived.

Careful measuring is a must. Even small sizing errors can cost you major time in the remodeling process.

Follow Local Requirements

Many municipalities require you to get a building permit before starting on a project like this. If you're using a remodeling company, the contractor may take care of this step for you.

Prepare Your Home

Kitchen construction can be a temporary inconvenience, but good preparation can lessen the burden. It's a good idea to:

  • Set up a temporary kitchen area stocked with easy-to-prepare foods and portable appliances.
  • Purchase disposable dishes.
  • Buy or borrow a mini fridge.

If a new kitchen remodel is in your future, following the steps of this kitchen remodeling checklist can help you get ready for the process. Renovating your kitchen is a major commitment, but when you're standing in your beautiful new kitchen, you'll know that it was worth the effort.