The Typical Timeline for a Kitchen Renovation in NYC

How long does remodeling a kitchen take? Let’s break down the challenges surrounding NYC kitchen renovations.

July 31, 2018


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The Typical Timeline for a Kitchen Renovation in NYC

A complete kitchen remodel, also known as a gut renovation, involves demolishing the existing kitchen and rebuilding the entire space. The process includes many variables, which ultimately dictate the timeline.


How long does it take to remodel a kitchen? The answer depends on the scope of your project. Upgrading the cabinets, countertops, or fixtures might take only a couple of days. But completely renovating your kitchen makes the process much more involved.

A complete kitchen remodel, also known as a gut renovation, involves demolishing the existing kitchen down to studs, plumbing, and wiring. From there, you rebuild the entire space, including new plumbing and wiring, walls, floors, cabinets, countertops, and fixtures.

With so many components, the most efficient way to minimize the time your kitchen remodel takes is by trusting the entire process to a full-service design-build firm. Working with trusted experts who can handle the design, procurement, and building aspects of your job is vital to staying on target with timelines, eliminating any unforeseen hold-ups throughout the process. Plus, they offer procurement advantages through various vendors, which can make securing permits, adhering to board regulations, selecting the right finishes and more, much simpler. In New York City, where gut renovations often take place in co-op and condo buildings, working with an all-inclusive company is even more essential.

To highlight that advantage, let’s examine the factors that contribute to the overall kitchen renovation timeline. Most custom kitchen renovations in NYC can be categorized into three main phases:

[#1]Design, Selection, and Procurement[#1]


The design, selection, and procurement stages make up the first few steps to remodeling a kitchen. During this phase, the designer creates a 3D rendering of your kitchen that includes every detail, such as the layout, cabinetry, fixtures, appliances, lighting, and more. The selection phase involves identifying the design aesthetics of the space and offering several options for finishes, fixtures, cabinetry, and accessories.

Once you’ve selected the components of your new custom kitchen, the designer will procure all the finishes before starting the demolition and build phases. Typically, design, selection, and procurement can take up to 30 days, though that timeline depends largely on how quickly you decide on your new fixtures and finishes.

Keep in mind, labor-only contractors are not responsible for procuring finishes, so without a design-build firm in place, you’re more likely to run into incorrect measurements from outside vendors, longer lead times, miscommunication, and poor logistics coordination.

Blended kitchen and dining area from a Brooklyn brownstone renovation. View full renovation before and after.

[#2]Protection and Demolition[#2]


The next pre-build phase consists of protection and demolition. This includes implementing protections around the site to contain dust, debris, and other materials for optimal safety. Zip walls will seal the demolition area. Sticky pads on the floors around the space will make sure workers don’t carry anything on their shoes when they walk out. In condos and co-ops, hallways, elevators, stairs, and other common areas must also be protected.

Once protections are in place, the builders will start demolishing the old kitchen to make way for the new custom one. They’ll remove the cabinets, countertops, floors, walls, and plumbing, making sure to sweep up at the end of each day. Design-build firms ensure all deliveries are coordinated precisely with completion of construction, to ensure there is no down time during renovation.

The demo process usually takes two to four days, depending on the size and layout of the space, as well as whether your kitchen is in a private home or a multi-unit building. If renovating in a NYC apartment building, demo timelines can be extended, due to confined work hours, freight elevator limitations, wet space restrictions, and any additional work imposed by the board.  

If you live in a co-op or condo, then board approval and permitting will also affect the renovation timeline for this phase. Without a design-build firm to properly handle approvals, there’s a chance your renovation can be postponed or even forced to start from scratch.

[#3]Building and Finishing[#3]


The final phase of a kitchen renovation in NYC is the build - where the magic happens. Builders will start with framing, then end with testing everything and cleaning up. In between, they’ll put in new electrical and plumbing, then install all the new walls, floors, cabinets, countertops, accessories, and fixtures, as selected.

The location of your kitchen — specifically, if in a private home or an apartment building — matters most during the build phase of your remodel. Renovations inside a building take longer, due to the city and board considerations mentioned above. Typically, though, the process takes three to six weeks once underway.

Kitchen from Manhattan condo renovation in Nomad. View full renovation before and after.

If you’ve ever completed a renovation using a labor-only contractor, the renovation timeline above might seem highly optimistic. However, that’s the sentiment expected when working with a turnkey design-build firm such as Gallery. Working with a renovation partner that takes care of all the details guarantees delays won’t impact your new renovation timeline or success. Contact us today to see why our New York City apartment renovation and remodeling services are the most mindful choice when considering a residential renovation in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Chief Revenue Officer

Alex Ushyarov

Alex Ushyarov is the Chief Revenue Officer of Gallery KBNY, a full service design-build firm specializing in the design and interior renovation of apartments, townhomes, and lofts in NYC. Recognizing the importance of differentiation in a competitive industry, Alex has developed a clear and compelling brand identity for the company. Through meticulous market analysis and a deep understanding of customer needs, he has honed the firm's unique value proposition, highlighting its ability to deliver innovative, sustainable, and high-quality design-build solutions.




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