Kitchen Renovation – DIY or Get a Pro?

We can all agree that the kitchen has become the heart of the modern home. Improving and updating your kitchen will likely be the biggest and most significant home improvement project you take on. Done well, a kitchen remodel will significantly add to your quality of life and enhance your home’s value and appeal. But the first question you need to answer before you start your kitchen renovation is: do you go DIY or get a pro?

To get it right, you will first need to decide whether to design and remodel the kitchen DIY, or or hire a licensed contractor to do the work for you. Then there’s the third option: do the bulk of the demolition and cabinet installation yourself while hiring professionals for the design, flooring, plumbing and electrical work. (Hint: most homeowners go with option 3 or something similar.)

Here, we do our best to help by laying out key factors to consider as well as advice on how to proceed once you’ve made your decision.


Doing it yourself has the obvious advantage of saving considerable cost on your kitchen renovation. It can also take a lot more time. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends you “Always double or triple the time estimated for a DIY project, unless you are highly skilled and familiar with that particular project.” Understand that you will need to be your own general contractor and the project will require careful planning, attention to detail, patience and the perseverance to see it through to the end.

You will need to have access to all necessary tools, as well as the skills to use them properly. Also consider the possibility that you will make mistakes – which may prove costly – depending on your level of skill and experience. Finally, safety first: never take unnecessary risks such as attempting electrical work unless you really know what you’re doing.

DIY: Going it (mostly) alone

Even if you decide to remodel your kitchen yourself, it’s smart to consult with a kitchen design expert before you begin. A professional will be knowledgeable about design trends, be able to spot necessary tweaks, and offer advice and options you probably would never think of yourself.

Note: Cabinetmakers Choice includes design services from friendly professionals to help ensure your new cabinetry can be used and enjoyed to your greatest advantage.

Keep in mind:

  • When choosing cabinets and other design features, do your best to design the kitchen in a style that is in keeping with the rest of your home.
  • Plan out a timeline that includes all the steps involved and the approximate time required for each.
  • Research your city’s building codes and acquire required permits.
  • Wait to begin the project until you have all the necessary tools and materials. That way you won’t get stuck with a demo’d kitchen, waiting around for floor tiles or your new dishwasher to arrive.
  • Watch youtube videos to learn about cabinet assembly and installation. Our website videos demonstrate how to assemble the Conestoga cabinets we sell – and show how our Fabuwood cabinets are made for durability and beauty.

Choosing and Hiring a Pro

Give yourself a good amount of time to find a licensed professional who will complete part or all of your kitchen renovation. This is a step you won’t want to rush.

  • Ask around. Word of mouth is often the best way to find great contractors in your area. Talk to friends about their experiences and ask who they would recommend.
  • Interview candidates. Don’t pick someone based solely on someone else’s recommendation. It’s important to make sure they can answer all your questions, and you feel comfortable enough to begin a working relationship. For a list of questions to ask, go to NARI’s website.
  • Ask for referrals. Especially if you find experts online, it’s acceptable and even expected that you ask to speak with their satisfied customers.
  • Check credentials. Make sure contractors hold all required licensed in your area and check to see if they are a member of any relevant professional associations.

At Cabinetmakers Choice, we wish you success with your kitchen remodel and we are happy to help with your purchase of quality cabinetry and kitchen design.