4 Things that Aren’t on Your Kitchen Remodel Checklist But Should Be

A remodel takes a lot of planning. It’s wise to think through each kitchen remodel checklist item ahead of time so you can be prepared. Hopefully you already have all the basics on your list:

  • Planning & design
  • Demolition
  • Structural build-out
  • Rough-in (plumbing, electrical, etc.)
  • Finish walls & ceiling
  • Install flooring, cabinets, countertops
  • Install appliances & fixtures

There are a few other items that you might not have on your kitchen remodel checklist that are just as important to consider. Here are four that you should definitely have on your radar.

Address Delays

Delays will crop up in your remodeling project; it’s the nature of the beast. Some of them you can plan for and some you’ll never see coming. The important thing is to address them correctly.

Scheduling Delays

A kitchen remodel is a little dance that has to be coordinated between many people and things. If the cabinets are on backorder, it may throw off your entire remodel schedule. Here’s what to do.

  • Schedule extra time into your timetable so you have some wiggle room
  • Be flexible and creative in finding other things that can be done while you wait
  • Do you research and hire reliable contractors and order products you can count on

For instance, RTA Cabinet Store offers the Quick Ship Guarantee™, which ensures your cabinets leave the warehouse within three business days or we refund you up to $250 of your order. Knowing you can count on your cabinets arriving on time helps smooth your schedule.

Surprise Pre-Existing Issues

Once the dust clears from demolition, issues you didn’t see before become apparent. They always mean extra time and money. Here’s what you can do.

  • Add a contingency plan into your schedule with extra time and money set aside
  • Get your kitchen inspected by an experienced inspector or remodel contractor who can spot potential problems before you start the project
Person drilling a hole in wood during a remodel.

Dealing with Permits & Inspectors

You will be subject to the schedules of other people during your remodel and sometimes your schedules won’t jive. You might have to wait weeks or months for a permit to come through or for a spot to free up for the inspector. Here’s what you can do to avoid these types of delays.

  • Start early. The more changes you make to your kitchen, the longer it takes for your request to be reviewed and permit to be granted
  • Leverage your contractor. Often a contractor has the relationships and experience to help get those permits and inspections moving

Getting in Your Own Way

Believe it or not, many homeowners are the cause of delays in their kitchen remodel. Slow decision making, changing your mind, or making DIY mistakes can cause a kitchen remodel to drag on. Here’s what you do.

  • Invest in an architect or designer. They can guide you through the tough decisions you need to make and help you stay on track
  • Plan, plan, plan and stick to your plan

Consider Insulation

Insulation is easy to overlook. It’s not the most exciting part of your remodel, that’s for sure. But it’s a key component to many things including, heating and cooling efficiency, keeping the weather out, moisture reduction, and noise reduction. As long as you’ve got the walls down to the studs, you may as well invest in some good insulation.

Extra insulation on exterior walls is always worth the investment. Get formaldehyde-free R-11 to R-38 grade fiberglass insulation. Or you could go with another type of insulation such as foam, cellular, or ceramic fiber. Do your research to find the right insulation for your home.

Woman planning a remodel in an empty room ready for construction.

Decide Whether to Install Floor or Cabinets First

There is an age old debate over whether it’s best to install cabinets or flooring first. Our experts say it depends on the type of flooring you’re installing and what your priorities are.

Do the Floor First When . . .

. . . you have hardwood floors. Most hardwood flooring is easier to install before the cabinets. If you install the floor first, you’ll have a nice clean look and won’t have to use quarter rounds to finish the space between your cabinets and the floor. That said, putting in the floors first creates a slight risk of damage to the floors when the cabinets are installed. Generally, hardwood stands up to cabinet installation pretty well, usually better than cabinets do to flooring installation.

Do the Cabinets First When . . .

. . . you have floating floors. Floating floors are tongue and groove planks that fit together and come in many different types: laminate, vinyl, engineered hardwood. They are called floating because they are not secured directly to the subfloor. This means that they expand, contract, and shift. If you put cabinets on top of them they cannot move and you’ll end up with flooring issues down the road.

Either, Or

Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether your floor or cabinets are installed first. This is the case with tile and some hardwood and vinyl flooring. Just keep in mind that flooring under the cabinets could be considered a waste since you won’t see it. On the other hand, if you ever do a remodel in the future and have flooring under the cabinets, you can change the layout of your cabinets without having to replace the flooring.

Know When to Call for Help

You save a load of money and time and by doing your kitchen remodel yourself. But if at any point you find that things aren’t going so well, it helps to have thought about this ahead of time. What will you do if you fall behind? What will happen if you run into a problem you can’t solve?

Be realistic about how much time you have and the limitations of your skill set before you start the kitchen remodeling project. Give yourself an out if it becomes too much. Know who you can turn to if you run into a snag. Pick out a contractor you’d like to work with should things not go as planned.

It’s noble to want to do it yourself, but if you are in over your head, you’ll end up spending more money and time rather than saving it.

Maybe you’ve already got a good kitchen remodeling checklist to get you started on your project, but don’t forget to add these four often overlooked items. They’ll help your remodel go more smoothly and help you successfully complete it on time and on budget.

For more remodeling tips read on.

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