IKAN’s 6 Steps to Consider Before Renovating Your Dream Kitchen

Article edited by Michelle Heslop. Photos courtesy of IKAN Installations, IKEA, and Sarah MacNeill.

Ready to trade in your formica countertops for hard-wearing quartz or your linoleum floor for white washed oak planks? Renovating your kitchen is a big deal; it can add simplicity to your life and value to your home. But conventional wisdom says it can be stressful and costly. Whether you want to make a few changes or start with a complete gut, these simple steps from IKAN can simplify the process and move you closer to getting the kitchen you want.


Evolving into a multipurpose headquarters, the kitchen is not only a place to cook but has become a place to eat, socialize, craft, and do homework. The boundaries of kitchen designation are widening and now is the time to embrace the change and create your own remodeling wish list.


1. First things first, ask yourself how you want to use your kitchen. Consult other family members and establish a wish list based on idea boards, Pinterest and blogs for tips and examples of ways to improve your kitchen’s function. Do you have space for an island? Do you need a workstation for your computer? Do you like open shelving? Dig deeper into your kitchen psyche to determine how you like to cook, how many chefs will be using the kitchen, predictable traffic patterns and the best part, your splurge item? Once you start your search you will discover that the possibilities are infinite. Identify your goals, organize your priorities and determine your must-haves.

2. Consult one of IKAN’s professional designers. If you feel overwhelmed by the current orientation of your kitchen and the boundless options, don’t fret about making decisions on your own. Arm yourself with your list of priorities and IKAN’s experienced designers will come to your home and offer specific ideas regarding layout and efficiency.

Our designers will save you time and money by recognizing potential problems before you start. Once you provide your wish list, they will share their tricks of the trade: clever substitutions for high-end materials, how to maximize storage and how to incorporate all your must-haves without breaking the budget.


3. Depending on your need for structural changes, we recommend working with a designer, architect or engineer to determine the scope and budget of your project. While dependent on each other, scope and budget will likely evolve as the project transpires. Any changes to the scope will have implications for the budget. If you simply want to replace your kitchen cabinets or make other minor changes, we recommend contacting one of IKAN’s skilled designers to walk you through the scope of the project. From there we can provide a quote for your cabinetry and installation.

If you’re renovating from a complete gut, then you would meet with a designer, architect or engineer to create a design and a subsequent budget.

There are innumerable contractors out there so choose wisely. With over a decade of industry experience, we have built strong working relationships and can recommend trusted contractors and sub-trades for all your renovation needs. Visit your contractor’s current job site to get a sense of how they work and the scope of their projects. As they say, a contractor is only as good as their last job.


4. Assemble your potential team of tradespeople and get quotes for each service. We highly recommend hiring professionals who specialize in their respective trades. Working with a number of different tradespeople can be a smooth process that ensures professional people and results. IKAN is happy to provide a list of trusted businesses offering competitive pricing and unparalleled service—we select the best of the best at what they do.


5. Finalize your finishes and fixture details. Let us help you make your final decisions regarding countertop and backsplash surfaces, light fixtures, sink and faucets, appliances and anything else due for an upgrade. We will factor these costs into your budget to determine an estimate of your project cost.

6. Get out your calendar to book contractors and installation. Start clearing out your cabinets and don’t forget to take a “before” photo for your album first!



  • If you can work with your current layout attempt to make other changes while maintaining your current infrastructure. Costs can add up quickly when you take down walls and move plumbing, electrical and gas lines. Well-versed in storage for efficient kitchens, we can suggest interior organizers in cabinets and drawers to solve any space issues.
  • Choose a flat-packed cabinetry system. IKAN specializes in flat-packed cabinetry and agree with the experts — Sarah Richardson, JD Power, Style at Home magazine — that it is the most economical and efficient way to get quality cabinetry.
  • Expansive drawers trump lower cupboards based on their accessibility. The days of getting down on your hands and knees to get a far-reaching pot at the very back of your cabinet are over.
  • Have a contingency fund of at least 20% to cover overages, splurges and unforeseen conditions, such as moving an electrical component.
  • Ask about floor model appliances or last year’s model to stay within budget.
  • Include lots of power outlets.