How Long Does A Kitchen Renovation Take?

kitchen renovation

Thinking of renovating your kitchen but wondering how long it will take before you can start enjoying your updated space? Kitchen remodels represent one of the biggest home renovation projects you can undertake, often requiring plumbing and electrical work, structural changes, flooring installation, cabinetry, worktop fitting, painting, and more. With so many components, it’s normal to question just how long the process takes from start to finish.

The duration of your kitchen renovation depends on a few key factors, including the size and scope of the project, the level of customisation and upgrades chosen, supply chain and labour availability in your area, and how prepared you are to make quick decisions. Typical kitchen overhauls can range anywhere from a few weeks for a minor remodel to several months for down-to-the-studs renovations.

In this blog post, we’ll overview the phases of a kitchen remodel and map out an estimated timeline so you know what to expect. Whether your project is small or large, understanding the time investments required by design, permissions, demolition, installation, and finishing will help you budget your time and resources appropriately.

1. Planning Phase

A kitchen renovation’s planning phase is when crucial upfront decisions are made to set the timeline and budget. Rushing this stage can cause delays later if the scope must change or supplies cannot be sourced. Investing enough time in planning is well worth it.

Kitchen plans

Kitchen Ideas and Design

Finalising the kitchen design and layout isn’t an overnight process, especially if you’re making structural changes. Expect to spend several weeks considering different concepts based on how you cook and entertain, browsing various styles, taking measurements, and figuring out your optimal work triangle between the oven, sink and refrigerator. Consult a qualified designer if you need help visualising changes or maximising functionality. They’ll draw up floor plans so all this thought translates into a kitchen that suits your needs. Reuse existing layouts or make minor surface-level changes to expedite the design phase.

Budgeting and Material Selection

Hand-in-hand with design choices comes setting budgets and selecting appliances, cabinets, worktops, fixtures, new flooring —the works. Research costs on must-have items and stay accountable to your overall budget to avoid financial strains later on. Give yourself a good few weeks for pricing options, narrowing down preferred materials and styles, checking stocks or lead times if ordering, and even sourcing salvaged pieces. Factor in additional lead time for made-to-order or custom pieces. 

2. Obtaining Permissions and Approvals

Planning permission approval

With major structural renovations, you’ll likely need formal approvals before work begins. Failure to obtain necessary permits or follow regulations risks project delays or legal issues if your local council takes notice. Plan for the approval process when mapping your timelines.

If you’re knocking down walls or reconfiguring spaces, have a structural engineer draw up plans that you can submit for building regulation approval or a formal planning permission application from your local authority. This ensures changes meet standards. In London, recent permitted development legislation makes various home improvements exempt from needing planning permission. This includes single-storey rear extensions up to 8 metres for terraced or semi-detached homes. 

Typical approval timeframes vary by councils across the UK but take around 8 to 12 weeks. Complex approvals with environmental impact assessments or public consultations take longer—up to 16 weeks or more. You can’t begin building works until consent is granted, so delays here push back your overall schedule. 

3. Demolition and Preparation

With paperwork sorted and the green light to start renovations, it’s time for demolition and prep work. Builders tear out old kitchen components like cabinets and appliances before addressing structural, electrical and plumbing needs in the space. How long this takes depends on factors like the state of existing features, complexity of structural changes, and how readily available electricians or plumbers are to book.

Gutting the existing kitchen should only take a crew 2-3 days unless performing extensive structural demolition. With walls exposed and pipes poking out, dedicated time is now given to necessary structural and system alterations. Common changes like moving an entrance or knocking down walls take around 5-7 days. Larger modifications like extending the kitchen take longer. 

Kitchen demolition

4. Kitchen Installation Phase

Kitchen cabinet installation

With structural and systems work complete, the installation phase transforms those four empty walls into the kitchen of your dreams. Time is dedicated to bringing in and fitting cabinets, appliances, countertops, backsplashes, flooring, lighting—you name it. A typical 10×10 kitchen renovation may take 4-8 weeks for installation depending on materials selected and customisations. Larger or more intricate kitchens with high-end finishes take longer.

Cabinetry Installation

Hanging cabinetry is one of the lengthier installation jobs, often taking up to two weeks. Kitchen fitters spend time constructing units, fitting them perfectly to floors and walls, levelling, and testing doors and drawers. Factor extra duration for speciality storage solutions like pull-out pantries or bespoke shelving around chimneys or alcoves.

Appliance Fitting

With cabinet boxes in, next comes fitting the cooker, fridge, dishwasher and other major appliances. Delivery times can vary by brand and model availability. However, hooking up appliances usually only takes plumbers and electricians 1-3 days once on site. Remember to order appliances early so everything arrives before installation day.

Countertop Installation

Fabricating and fitting granite, quartz or other natural stone countertops takes skill and precision. Template measurements are taken of your cabinet runs before a fabricator cuts and polishes your slab. Installation day involves securing the heavyweight counters to cabinets with seamless joints.

Flooring and Tiling

New floors can make or break the design, setting the tone beneath your feet. Whether you choose wood, tile, vinyl or laminate, allocate 2-4 days for proper installation and drying time. The same goes for splashing out on statement backsplashes or accent walls in tile, ceramic or glass.

Plumbing and Electrical Work

With surfaces covered, the finishing electrical and plumbing links things together. Light fixtures, Under cabinet lights, or accent lighting create the perfect mood. While plumbers connect sink fixtures, instant boiling water taps and integrated drainboards.

5. Finishing and Detailing

The final push to completing your kitchen renovation involves finishing touches like paint, hardware, quality inspections and more. At this exciting stage, expect 1-3 weeks of painters, cleaners, inspectors and builders perfecting things before the big reveal.

Painting a white wall green

Painting and Finishing

With cabinetry secured and floors gleaming, it’s painting time. Walls are prepped and painted in your selected hues, adding colour and vibrancy to the space. Cabinets and woodwork may also need staining, sealing or painting if not pre-finished. Allow proper drying and curing times between coats. Finishing crews may also polish or seal stone surfaces.

Adding Accessories

Little details that make a kitchen are hung and installed in the final week—items like pendant lights over islands, appliance handles and knobs in on-trend finishes, sink side spray faucets and other hardware. Don’t forget to purchase these items well in advance. Time is also spent restocking drawers with kitchen tools and tableware.

Final Inspections

Before move-in day, consultants inspect all finished work to ensure flawless function and aesthetics. It’s common to compile final punch lists of minor fixes needed like adjusting cabinet doors and drawers, replacing damaged tiles, or touching up paint. Builders rectify issues over 2-5 days. Thorough inspections prevent nagging imperfections from marring your enjoyment of an otherwise successful renovation.

6. Timeline Variations

White shaker kitchen

While following the typical full kitchen renovation timeline and phases covered, your particular project may take more or less time depending on several factors:

Size and Complexity

Larger, more complex new kitchen overhauls involving structural changes, high-end appliances and finishes, or intricate storage solutions add duration across planning, installation, and finishing stages. Simpler facelifts like paint, lighting and functioning upgrades prove quicker.

Contractor Availability

Securing reputable contractors like electricians, plumbers and cabinet makers depends on their project backlogs and demand in your area. 

Client Cooperation

Homeowners unwilling to make prompt decisions on layouts, finishes or changes drag out timelines. Be decisive when reviewing options to keep everyone on track. Approve purchases so lead times don’t stall progress.

Unforeseen Circumstances

No matter how organised, unpredicted issues occasionally arise like centres needing structural reinforcement, backordered appliances, or builders affected by weather or illness. Pad extra weeks into schedules to accommodate hiccups. While frustrating, temporary setbacks prevent rushing steps that compromise quality.

With realistic expectations set on typical durations and potential timeline impacts, you can better plan your kitchen renovation process. Stay flexible, decisive and friendly with your contractor to complete the project on time and on budget.

7. Average Timelines

So how long does the average kitchen renovation take from brief to home cooking? Typical timeline estimates fall between 6 to 18 weeks depending on the size of the project scope. Here’s a breakdown of how various factors expand the durations:

For minor kitchen refreshes involving surface updates like paint, flooring, lighting and cabinet facelifts, allow around 6-8 weeks total. 

More involved remodels changing layouts, widening openings, relocating plumbing or electrical systems, installing new cabinetry, counters and high-end appliances average 8-16 weeks. Extras like custom storage solutions, speciality lighting or high-end finishes add another 2-4 weeks.

Modern wooden kitchen

Major down-to-the-studs renovations require a good 4 months (16+ weeks). Longer design phases are needed for significant layout changes. Structural modifications take time. Custom cabinetry and speciality finishes have lead times. 

In all cases, the property size and age, existing state of the kitchen, and product/ labour shortages contribute to timelines. Be realistic when budgeting schedules. Discuss expectations openly with your contractor so everyone understands limitations. With strategic planning and execution, you’ll make the most of your renovation duration to maximise functionality and longevity of your kitchen.

Get in touch for expert kitchen renovations in London

Now you know roughly how long it takes to fit a kitchen. Whether you’re seeking a minor kitchen facelift or a full-fledged renovation down to the studs, understanding what affects timeline lengths benefits all involved.

If you’re based in London and are looking to improve your kitchen, speak to our team at Build & Create today. We’re professional builders with a proven track record in kitchen remodels and extensions. Contact us for a free consultation.

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