It would be nice to close down your home, tear out everything you hate in the kitchen, and have it remodeled completely in a day; however, that may not be the best idea or even possible. Any remodeling project takes time, even before the work begins. It is important to go in stages, starting with planning.
In the planning phase you should consider what you want done, and research replacement products, materials, time, and prices. There may be some aspects of remodeling the kitchen that can be DIY, but others that may require a skilled and licensed professional. If it is just a matter of painting, chances are you may be able to handle that on your own, but if you are planning to change out the sink it would probably be in your best interest to hire someone with plumbing skills.
Once you have the layout for how you want everything to look, start from the top with lighting. With good planning and the involvement of a professional your lighting can be done in a day, assuming you have not opted to install a sky light or do anything major like widen windows. Whether you are switching out an overhead light fixture for a ceiling fan, track lighting, or chandelier, a professional can generally get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Once the lighting has been done the next step should be cabinets. Replacing the cabinets can take as little as two days as long as you have the replacement cabinets on hand and ready to go. Removing the old cabinets requires a good amount of muscle, but unless you are planning to repurpose or reuse any part of them this process does not have to be lengthy.
Countertops should come after cabinets. Again, having the replacement on hand and ready for installation is what helps make this a more efficient task completed in about a day or so. Hopefully everything has been properly measured and cut. This is particularly important if you are installing granite or marble countertops, because any adjustments cannot generally be made on site.
Once the countertops and cabinets have been installed, this is the time for the sink. This may be able to happen at the same time as the counter installation, or it can be done after the counter top installation is complete.
Since replacing appliances such as the oven and refrigerator are mostly a matter of having the new ones delivered and the old ones hauled away a good time to arrange for this is after the cabinets and counters have been completed so everything can be fitted properly.
Flooring should be the last stage of the kitchen remodel. This is to insure that once it has been done there is less risk of it being ruined by any of the other work that remodeling can cause, especially if you are having hard wood flooring laid down.
Talk with your contractor to get a good idea how long they estimate the whole project to take from beginning to end. If you cannot give up access to your kitchen it may be possible for each phase to be broken up and not necessarily require a tight schedule with one phase beginning directly after or overlapping another phase.
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