What Is Your Best Kitchen Renovation & Planning Advice?

Psst... have you ever renovated a kitchen? Are you full of advice on things like counters and cabinets and the best way to get a good deal from a contractor? I can't say too much yet, but it looks like I may be embarking on my very first kitchen renovation later this spring, and I would love all the advice I can get! If you've renovated a kitchen, or built a new one, what is your best advice? What do you wish you would have known then?

My own renovation (if all goes according to plan) will be fairly extensive and not very DIY — there are lots of issues that require pros. It's an investment, although we would certainly be watching our pennies. I've already spent hours with the peculiar sadomasochistic pleasure of the IKEA kitchen planning software — but this ain't a $1527 kitchen.

Naturally if all goes well you can expect to see lots of this project right here on The Kitchn. I'm planning on blogging my way through the whole process, especially the budgeting and fine details of how this kind of thing actually happens.

Meanwhile, I (and all the rest of us who are doing kitchen renovations this year) would love some sage advice. What are your best tips for working with contractors and suppliers? What do you love about your new kitchen or your renovation? Do you have any advice for people plunging into this process? (And IKEA tips are great, but believe me — I'm starting a whole other thread on that soon!)

Related: How Much Did Your Kitchen Renovation Cost? Reader Intelligence Request

(Image: Josh and Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod, from their kitchen tour)