How Long Should Your Custom Kitchen Take from Start to Finish?

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Custom kitchens can make your home feel like home, but what is the timeline for a project like this?

Getting a completely custom kitchen is one of those common household bucket list items homeowners love. A custom kitchen can empower you to cook with more flow, and it always just looks really nice. This is one of those home upgrades that you will love to show off, but what does it take to make a brand-new kitchen from scratch?

“I really want to get a brand-new kitchen, but I’m not sure how long it will take. One month? Two? Six?”

“A six-month kitchen renovation is cause for concern! Let’s discuss a more realistic timeline.”

The kitchen of your dreams comes with a set schedule, but that schedule can vary. Let’s explore this further.

An Average of 6 Weeks from Start to Finish

In general, you can expect that your custom kitchen will take, on average, 6 weeks to complete. This is a standard turnaround time for a custom kitchen from start to finish—at least as far as the actual building time goes. 

“So, my renovation will take six weeks?”

“Not necessarily. This is the average, but timelines can vary from one household to the next.”

During this 6-week window, you can expect to have your contractors running in and out of your kitchen on a semi-regular basis, which is something to consider when agreeing to the contract. However, this is not the span of time that will cover the entire process.

The 6-week timeframe is exclusively for the build. It does not include any of the prework, like the design process, which must be completed in advance. The amount of time that these other processes take can vary, but once the prework is done, you can enter this 6-week building phase.

Variables that Change Timelines

Timelines are not guaranteed, and they are certainly not all the same length. Your neighbor’s kitchen might take 5 weeks and yours might take 7 weeks. This is because there are certain variables throughout the build process that can influence the timeline. Depending on what you choose during the design phase, you might find yourself increasing or even decreasing the timeline. It helps to know what to look out for.

“I guess it makes sense that the timelines will change based on our choices. Can you tell us what really influences the timeline?”

“Absolutely. Knowing this can help you to make informed decisions.”

New Cabinetry

Adding all new cabinets can take additional time that will ultimately increase the timeline. This is because of the processes involved with replacing cabinets, as well as the amount of time that it takes to get certain cabinets. With things the way they are, importing certain materials can take longer than normal. 

“Wait, so if we just keep our existing cabinets, will that change the timeline?”

“Absolutely. It means less work for the team.”

When you replace your cabinets, you are going to be removing the existing cabinets and adding in the new ones. This adds to the process, as opposed to simply keeping the cabinets that you already have. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t invest in new cabinets, just that you will want to consider the change in timeline.

Solid Surfaces

Solid surfaces are another addition that can take more time. This comes down to the installation and the materials themselves. Just like with cabinets, certain solid surfaces might take quite a while to get to your home, which can delay the timeline. Some surfaces will also require more dedication and care during the installation. This can slow things down.


Painting is a final step, but it can add to the timeline. Any time that we paint a room in your home, we must put aside the time to do it right—and this can vary depending on what you want to see. Painting generally won’t add a lot to a timeline, but it is another instance where skipping it can make things move along more quickly. Of course, plenty of homeowners enjoy adding a new color to go with their new kitchen!


Adding in a backsplash or replacing an existing backsplash does influence the timeline a bit. Once again, this cycles back to the materials and the installation. It won’t be a huge time increase in most cases, but it is still something to consider.

Moving Locations

Any time that you want to rearrange your kitchen in any way, you can expect to add 2 to 3 days per change. If you want to move your kitchen sink, add a few days. If you want to place your stove in a different location, add a few days. These changes can look great and increase the functional flow of your kitchen, but they do take time because we have to move the plumbing or electrical systems that support these features.

“Does it really matter if we want our sink by the hall instead of the window?”

“It sure does—because it isn’t just the sink that we need to move.”

The Longest You Should Expect for a Custom Kitchen

In the majority of cases, a fully custom kitchen will take 6 to 7 weeks. This is not a guarantee, but it is the standard of what you should expect if you ask for all of the bells and whistles during the renovation. This timeline should give you a good idea of what your fully custom kitchen will take, but even this isn’t set in stone. If you’re looking for all the upgrades, you can expect changes.

“Do we save time when we only renovate certain parts of the kitchen?”

“You sure do. Less work and materials mean a shorter timeline.”

Like-for-Like Makes it Easy

Homeowners who want to keep their timeline cruising right along will find that taking a like-for-like approach makes it much easier. For a faster timeline, keep your kitchen essentials where they are and look for opportunities to keep what you can from your old kitchen. This can even bring down the price of your renovation, so be sure to discuss your options with your contractor.

“I love the layout. I just want to change the actual kitchen features.”

“Great! That will make your remodel much easier!”

The Takeaway

A custom kitchen is one huge opportunity to improve how you feel in your home. Certain upgrades can make it easier to cook, support your family’s unique needs, and will add a special designer touch to your kitchen. While these upgrades are very popular and we have refined how we approach certain upgrades, making a custom kitchen will always take time—especially if you want something truly spectacular! 

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