Planning a Kitchen Renovation

My memory of the whole kitchen planning process is just a little fuzzy – ’cause it’s been over two years since we gutted and redid our kitchen six days after we moved into our run-down little bungalow in a new town! I do know we happily worked with The Home Depot, opting to install everything ourselves with the help of a plumber-friend (have we said “thank you” yet, Jeff?!). And I vaguely recall sitting down with a kitchen planner before we moved, being completely unprepared for what the whole process would entail.

Since a kitchen is said to be the heart of the home, and any good realtor will tell you a great kitchen is a huge selling feature, it makes sense to spend 5-15% of your home’s current market value on a kitchen reno. For most of us that’s a good chunk of change. Spending that kind of money SHOULD take some effort, time and planning.

So in case any of YOU are feeling a kitchen reno coming on, I spent some time this week walking through the kitchen planning process  with The Home Depot (hi Melodie!) just so I could share it with you. Are you ready?

1. My Kitchen Planner

If you’re contemplating a kitchen remodel – be it a full gut job or just updating what you have – Home Depot’s My Kitchen Planner is a great tool to get you started!

Very basically, My Kitchen Planner is a tool to help The Home Depot’s Design Experts understand what YOU want in YOUR kitchen.

  • You can enter what your cabinet style (traditional, sleek modern, country, etc) and colour preferences are
  • You can use the Kitchen Visualizer to choose the basic shape of your kitchen (galley, u-shape, etc)
  • And then outfit it with any number of The Home Depot’s cabinets, fixtures, lighting, hardware, etc. to see a 3-d rendering of what those choices could look like
  • You can upload images of kitchens or fixtures you love from anywhere to share with your designer
  • You can also ask as many questions as you like of your designer via My Kitchen Planner’s My Message page!

It’s a fabulous starting point!

Once you’ve “played around” with My Kitchen Planner, it’s time to sit down with a Kitchen Designer in-store (location of your choice). Your online info gets passed on to someone in your store, who will then call you to set up a time to get together.

2. Initial Appointment

Your first appointment – which lasts from one to one and a half hours – consists mainly of filling out a Kitchen Questionnaire and talking through your selections on My Kitchen Planner. It is extremely helpful to bring overall measurements to this appointment. Included on the questionnaire are very specific questions like project scope (full gut and rebuild or just some things), time-lines, cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc. It also includes questions about the existing space – bulkheads, ceiling height, plumbing and electrical.

During your first appointment there is also a thoroughly itemized Kitchen Estimate Worksheet. This is super helpful for tweaking your budget because you can see approximately what each part of your kitchen will cost and make adjustments if necessary. Because it’s an estimate there is a Basic Estimate and a Premium Estimate. The Basic Estimate involves the approximate price of basic cabinets plus 3 “upgrades” like a drawer bank, light rail and glass door. The Premium Estimate involves the basic cabinets plus 10 “upgrade” options.

You will also decide if you want installation provided by The Home Depot or if you’re going to DIY the project. Decide too if you will be doing some of the work, like removing old cabinets or relocating electrical, or having the Installer do all of the work for you.


3. Exact Measurements

If you are doing the installation yourself, you will need to go home and take exact measurements of everything in your kitchen. You will be entirely responsible for how your kitchen turns out going this route. If you are having The Home Depot do the installation, the Installer will arrange to come and take measurements. There is a $100 deposit for the installer to come out and take measurements. If you have The Home Depot install your kitchen, that $100 goes back towards the cost of your kitchen.

4.  Design Appointment

The second appointment takes about two hours and is all about the design. Your kitchen planner will draw out the specifics of your kitchen including each piece right down to the trim. This is super exciting – or maybe it’s just me who loves floor plans!

There is no charge (besides the $100 measuring deposit if you go that route) up to this point. It’s all a free service The Home Depot offers!


5. Final Appointment

At the third appointment you will receive an itemized list of each piece of your new kitchen and a quote based on your design from the second appointment. You’ll sign disclosures, get more firm lead times and pay for your kitchen!

6. Installation & Finished Kitchen!

Finally comes the installation of your new kitchen! Wahoo!


Curious what a new kitchen will cost you?

Well, as I mentioned a kitchen reno should cost 5-15% of your home’s current market value. So let’s do some math (yikes!): if your house is valued at $200,000 that means you should spend $10,000 to $30,000 on your remodel.

Not helpful enough? How about this: Kitchens are priced by linear or running foot. So if your kitchen is 10′ x 10′ that means your total is forty linear feet. Prices for cabinets at The Home Depot cost anywhere from $65/linear foot for flat slab white melamine Eurostyle to $350/linear foot for Cherry Kraftmaid. That’s $2,400 to $14,000 – JUST for basic cabinets – plus countertops, flooring, hardware, backsplash, lighting, etc.

So who wants to plan a new kitchen? Has anyone used The Home Depot’s My Kitchen Planner? What does your dream kitchen look like?

All photos, except for the first, are via The Home Depot. This post sposored by The Home Depot. All opinions are AS ALWAYS our own!


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Time to Chat

  1. 1


    We just finished a major kitchen reno from the floor up. My kitchen has 5 doors and 2 windows so was quite a challenge. It is basically unfitted with only the sink unit coming from Home Depot. The best part is the hot water heated floor!

    • 2

      aka design says

      Sounds challenging! Our kitchen was tough too – two doorways, a pass thru, a window, an electrical box, a hot water tank and we had to incorporate the washer and dryer too!
      So jealous of your heated floor! So wasn’t in our budget – or expertise – a couple of years ago!
      Enjoy your new kitchen!

  2. 3

    Carolynne says

    Such great timing on this one! The kitchen is certainly a high priority at our “new” house. In fact, we’ve spent many hours already talking about what we are going to do – lots of graph paper and scale drawings. This is a great starting point and resource. I knew your work would come in handy here. Thanks!

  3. 5


    I wish I would have seen this post a year ago! I actually just posted about our kitchen renovation yesterday, and although I’m happy overall with how it turned out…I think a little more could have gone into the planning (we were just so anxious to get it DONE!)

    • 6

      aka design says

      I feel the same about our own kitchen! I wish we’d known a bit more about the planning process a couple years ago too. Hopefully it will help someone!

  4. 7


    I planned my kitchen for years before we built! I was/ am obsessed with kitchens! It turned out great and I am so happy with it and with all of the time we put into the planning process. It always pays off when it comes to kitchens. I saw you on Centsational Girl today!! Yay for you! Great post!

    • 8

      aka design says

      Thanks, Catherine! I love kitchen planning and design too. One of my favourite things to dream about!

  5. 9


    Although we have used Ikea for our kitchens, many of our friends have used Home Depot and they have all turned out amazing. Great work and awesome tips – thx!

    • 10

      aka design says

      Thanks, Anna! We hear the Ikea and Home Depot flat-packed kitchens are very similar. Home Depot was so much closer when we redid our kitchen, which was a huge part of our decision. We’re pretty happy with it!

  6. 14


    Congrats Dean and Shannon on a great blog. They are certainly not cheap at $10,000 thats for sure. Although I think there are some great alternatives to granite which do work out much cheaper.

  7. 15

    Cincinnati Home Renovation says

    Never heard of the tool before. The kitchen planner will help my clients find out what they want before we have an initial consultation, thanks!

    • 16


      Renovations can produce a great deal of waste if not handled properly. Here you can learn about the management issues you should consider, the availability of green building products, indoor air quality problems that might arise, how to reduce renovation waste and how to dispose of the remaining waste properly.

      • 17


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