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Planning Ahead for Your Kitchen Cabinet Renovation – A Helpful Timeline

October 27, 2021 6 min read

classic style cabinets

Ah, a kitchen renovation. Known as one of the most expensive rooms to renovate, kitchens are the place the modern-day homeowner spends most of their time. From the kids doing their homework at the kitchen island to hosting dinner during the holiday season, the kitchen is an important part of any home. So, when you decide to do renovations, it’s important that you have an idea as to how long it’ll take so that you can plan accordingly. Here’s a helpful timeline as you plan ahead for your kitchen cabinet renovation. 

First: Decide on the Cabinets You Want

The cabinets you choose will have a big impact on your renovation timeline. Some cabinets take longer to put together and ship than others, especially if you’re looking for custom cabinetry. Deciding on the cabinets you want early on will go a long way in ensuring that your kitchen reno moves smoothly and on time. 

  • Pro tip: Look for cabinets with a quick turnaround time! Our new Express Cabinets are perfect for anyone looking to fulfill their dream cabinet order quickly. With cabinets that ship out within three to four business days and an arrival time of two to three weeks, you’ll have your cabinets sooner rather than later. With both white and gray shaker-style cabinets available, you can find the perfect cabinets for your kitchen space. 

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Second: Make Sure You Have the Budget

A budget is one of the most important parts of any home renovation project. Without it, you run the risk of breaking the bank. It’s imperative that you establish a budget and stick to it. Consider putting some of your budget aside for any surprise expenses, like replacing bad sub-flooring or fixing unseen plumbing issues. You never know what will happen once contractors start opening walls or rearranging electrical. Having a small portion of your budget dedicated to that is important.

 cream and black kitchen

When it comes to cabinets, the total cost will depend on a variety of factors. Color, features and the overall size/shape of your kitchen will determine the final cost of your cabinets. Are you looking to install a roll-out spice cabinet? Or, maybe you want shelves without doors on some of your upper cabinets. All of these factors play a huge role in your total cost for kitchen cabinets. Recognizing that custom features and unique colors will require a longer turnaround time is essential in your renovation planning. 

Third: Decide on Who’s Installing

The installation of your kitchen cabinets will determine the overall cost and time dedicated to them. We proudly offer RTA cabinets for homeowners who are either fully knowledgeable on how to install cabinets or for homeowners who are hiring a contractor to do it for them. There are pros and cons to RTA cabinets, though.

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  • Pros: The overall cost of RTA cabinets is less than fully assembled cabinets. This is great for homeowners who are looking to DIY most of their renovation. RTA cabinets also have a quicker ship time since they don’t have to be assembled by the manufacturer.  One last, underappreciated pro of RTA cabinets is they are less likely to be damaged in transit to your home, reducing the likelihood of damage related delays.  

 grey cabinets

  • Cons: Assembling a kitchen full of cabinets isn’t for the faint of heart. It does take some skill, but more importantly, it takes time.  For a complete beginner, your first cabinet may take 30-45 minutes to put together.  But as you get used to the process and how they go together, you can probably get that down to 15-25 minutes per cabinet.

Regardless of whether you choose to go RTA or fully assembled, you will still need to determine who is installing the cabinets.  Many homeowners choose the DIY route while others still like the peace of mind that having a professional installer brings.  Here are some aspects to consider as you compare these two options:

  • DIY:  Like all DIY options, one of the primary drivers behind installing cabinets yourself is saving money.  Depending on your budget, this may be your only option or it may be a way to simply save some money to be able to afford some extras you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.  But while there are some cost savings, there are also some drawbacks to DIY cabinet installation.  Cabinet installation may seem like a rather straightforward process but only watching a 30-minute YouTube tutorial won’t always provide you with the best skills and knowledge for finishing the job. If you are a first time DIY’er, there is a huge potential for installing your cabinets improperly, end up hiring a professional to come in, take down your current cabinets and reinstall them. This can prolong your project and cost you thousands more than you had budgeted. If you have even the slightest worry that you might install the cabinets improperly, and you don’t have the patience (or time!) to correct those mistakes, then it’s best to have them installed by a professional.  However, if you have a hefty supply of patience, an eye for details, the right tools and just a general want to, DIY might be the route for you.
  • Professional Installer:  Peace of mind is the first thing that comes to mind with hiring a professional.  If you have a properly vetted professional installing your cabinets, you can know the job will be done right the first time.  Kitchen renovations can be one of the most stressful ventures a homeowner can take, so having this part of the remodel taken care of by a pro may be the best option for many.  And while it may cost more than doing it yourself, a pro will probably get the job done quicker - and we all know the adage, “time is money.”  

Fourth: Planning the Layout of Your Kitchen

Next on the list is planning your kitchen layout. At the center of this task is figuring out which cabinets go where. Since you have already figured out who is installing the cabinets, make sure to include them in this very important part of the process. While planning your layout, you need to take into account the location of current utilities like plumbing and electric.  Do they fit with how you want your layout to function? Or do you need to plan on moving them? This could reduce the surprise expenses you encounter.  Working with your installer and a professional kitchen designer, you should be able to find a layout that fits both the function and the budget you need.  Lastly and certainly not least, accurate measurements are vital.  Make sure your installer verifies any final layout you have selected so they can make sure it will work with the actual space.  Even an inch (or half an inch!) can cause extra costs and time if the cabinets don’t fit into the space.  

Fifth: Order Your Cabinets Early

After deciding which cabinets you want, budgeting for them, determining who’s installing them and planning your layout, you should order your cabinets. The earlier you order them, the better. There are 3 things that will affect how long until you receive your cabinets from the time you order them: 

  • Lead time - This is the amount of time that it takes for your cabinets to be ready for shipping from the time you order them.  Depending on the cabinet line, this can range from a few days to a couple of months.  Be sure to find out this number up front when shopping so you can order with a sufficient amount of time.  
  • Shipping time - The shipping time for cabinets has a huge impact on your renovation timeline. Shipments can take anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks depending on the line of cabinets you purchase and the time of year (everything slows down around the holiday season, for example).  
  • Damage replacement time - Keep in mind the laws of physics can’t be suspended for your cabinet shipment and damages do happen, so ordering early will also give time for your dealer to replace your cabinets without holding up your renovation.  Most dealers have a replacement process in place and it is best to familiarize yourself with this process before ordering so you don’t encounter any surprises.  

Be sure to take these times into account when shopping for your cabinets so you can order with a sufficient amount of time.  Getting that order placed as soon as you can will really go a long way in ensuring your renovation stays on time! In fact, our Woodline Cabinets have a great turnaround time with all the features of our Express Series, but just a few more colors to choose from, such as blue or even cinnamon. 

  • Pro tip: Looking for a way to spruce up your kitchen design? Consider multi-colored cabinets! Choose one color for your uppers and another for your lowers, or choose one color for the cabinets that line your walls and another for the cabinets on your kitchen island. 

Delays can and do happen and it is best to get ahead of them by planning ahead.  With these helpful tips, you can get started on your kitchen cabinet renovation project and head off the added stress that comes without proper planning. So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!


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