There are a lot of homeowners planning on doing a kitchen remodel next year. Many of them will emerge victoriously from the process with the kitchen of their dreams. However, there will be plenty of homeowners who’ll soon find out that they made costly, time-consuming and frustrating mistakes during their renovation. Get your pen and paper ready because we’re going to reveal the top remodeling secrets that you need to know about before starting your kitchen remodel to ensure your projects success.
There are a lot of variables to consider. Here are 20 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid. Plus 3 bonus kitchen remodel.
Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid
Renovating your kitchen is a huge undertaking with many variables and critical details to consider that are key to a successful finished product. The last thing you want during your remodel is regret! We’re going to reveal the most common design and remodel mistakes, so you can take the necessary steps to avoid them and be sure you’re left with the fully functional and gorgeous kitchen you envision.
Mistake 1: Putting Form Over Function
It’s natural to want a beautiful end result when you’re doing a kitchen remodel. However, don’t focus on aesthetics to the exclusion of functionality. You still need to spend every day in the kitchen working – and you’ll be unsatisfied with your kitchen design if you find out it creates more work for you in doing your everyday tasks. For example, good kitchen design focuses on work zones. For food prep, your stove, refrigerator and prep counter should be in close proximity. Sometimes homeowners design a kitchen putting the refrigerator on the other side of the kitchen or even on the other side of the island. While the design may look good, you’ll quickly grow tired of all the extra legwork when you’re doing food prep and cooking.
Another common “form over function” mistake when doing kitchen remodeling is to not consider how your cupboards, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher open. For example, can you open the refrigerator and nearby cupboard door at the same time? You probably think this is something silly that never happens in real life, but it’s a lot more common than you may think. A design slipup like this is especially frustrating when putting dishes away or for families that tend to have more than one cook in the kitchen at a time.
Mistake 2: Designing for the Neighbors
Sometimes homeowners do a kitchen remodel with their friends, family and neighbors in mind. They buy appliances they think will impress others, get custom kitchen cabinets that “one up” the cabinets their neighbors just purchased. They put in an expensive tile because it’s the “in” thing to do. Keep in mind that your friends and neighbors don’t live in your home. They don’t prepare or cook food in your kitchen, much less go through an everyday routine in your home relying on function and efficiencies. You can also bet they’re not going to pay your invoice when you do a kitchen remodel either. I mean if they are, then you’ve got yourself a good friend, but chances are that’s not the case. Point is, don’t design for other people – design for yourself. Create a home you’ll love with the features that most benefit you and your family. Don’t worry about what anyone else will think of it, unless you’re remodeling solely for the purpose of selling your home. In that instance you’ll want to do your due diligence in determining the features within a kitchen that are in current demand, but that’s an entirely different topic.
Mistake 3: DIY Remodeling
If you are an HGTV fan, you are probably thinking it’s an easy task to renovate your home. What could go wrong? Whereas you may be excited and raring to go on your remodel, performing portions or all of your remodel yourself can actually be more costly and time consuming than you realize. Television shows are anything but reality it seems. Forty-eight hours and two thousand dollars will not produce a modern gourmet kitchen like they portray. There is a lot that a homeowner can do, but unless you are a general contractor, it’s important to work with a licensed professional to make sure that you take all the necessary factors into consideration. There will be plumbing and electrical plans, and perhaps even structural and permitting concerns that need to be addressed in the design stage. Depending on the year that your home was built, there’s a chance that upgrades such as the plumbing and electrical will be needed in order to meet current building codes, or safety concerns such as lead or asbestos to worry about. And of course, you don’t want to risk having to tear apart your newly remodeled kitchen to repair faulty electrical or plumbing work if you take on tasks you aren’t really qualified to do. It’s cheaper, by far, to pay someone who has the necessary skills to get the job done right (and in a timely manner), than to have to re-do major work later.
Mistake 4: Losing Site of What the Kitchen Is For
It’s easy to get caught up in all the latest styles and the look that you are going for, and forget that the function of the kitchen is the most important part of your design. No matter what amenities you add, the basic “work triangle” is going to be key to your kitchen’s functionality. The sink, stove, and fridge should be convenient to one another and there should be enough space to move easily between them. Design Tip: When you are designing your remodel, think about which way every appliance will open and make sure they don’t interfere with each other. If you are adding an island, make sure the oven and refrigerator doors still have room to open fully, and ideally that you’ll still have room to walk around them when they’re open. Likewise if your appliance opens into the heart of the kitchen or into a wall. When you look at model kitchens, it is likely to be the colors, styles and patterns that initially catch your eye, but choosing major appliances is a key step that needs to happen very early in the design process. Think about what your family needs, and determine which appliances best meet that need. Then when you know how much remaining space you have to work with, you can design around those appliances.
Mistake 5: Failing to Include Enough Storage and Counter Space
You can’t work efficiently in a kitchen without counter space, and since lack of it is such a common complaint, it’s a good idea to make it a point of focus when you are designing your new kitchen. Speak with your general contractor about tips and tricks they have up their sleeve for increasing your countertop space. One way to extend your counter work area is by adding decorative elements to the ends of your cabinets, such as corbels or shelving supports to create added room for the top to extend. Another idea involves reconfiguring the layout or flow of your space to include a peninsula or freestanding island.
Just like you need space to work in, you need places to keep all your kitchen tools. Excess storage is never a problem, but a shortage always is. Experienced general contractors, like TWD, have experts on staff that are nationally certified in universal design. Meaning they can advise you on the best way to include adequate storage that is easily accessible to you now, and as your needs evolve. The last thing that you want to do is design a beautiful kitchen today that doesn’t meet your needs tomorrow.
Mistake 6: Neglecting the Lighting
It’s easy to understand how homeowners might forget to include lighting in a kitchen remodeling project. Lights often just seems to be there as a given, and not warrant much thought right? However effective lighting not only makes it possible to prepare food more efficiently, but it also rejuvenates you. Pay particular attention to lighting sources over your stove and countertop areas where you will be spending the most time. Taking it a step further, as we age our vision adjusts and changes. While we may never admit to it, it is inevitable. Incorporating sufficient lighting will add to the ambiance of the space now, and it will also aid in your independence to safely perform everyday tasks when those days come.
Ideally for a beautifully designed kitchen, there should be at least three types of lighting. General overhead lighting for illumination of the room, task lighting that is more focused and accent lighting. Pendant lights are great for illuminating prep areas. Under-cabinet lighting, over-cabinet lighting or even along the toe kick of your cabinetry show off and accent some of the design elements that you love the most, like that sexy backsplash that you splurged on.
Mistake 7: Ignoring the Aesthetics
Designing a kitchen remodel is a lot of work, and it’s easy to forget that what you love about certain designs is how they look! It may seem silly to focus on appearance, but picking your color scheme and decoration is an important part of remodeling because it determines how much you will enjoy being in the room when it is all done.
Particular colors speak to us in different ways. Some are calming. Others are passionate or mysterious. There are specific schemes that invoke feelings of all natural or organic qualities making them great choices for eating areas. Color psychology plays an important part in any home improvement project, especially in rooms that you and your family spend a substantial amount of time in, like the kitchen.
Mistake 8: Busting Your Budget
Your remodeling contractor can advise you what to do about almost any aspect of your kitchen remodel; though nobody but you can work out your budget! You’ll need to assess your finances, home value, local real estate prices, what the overall goal is for your kitchen remodel, what your needs versus wants are, etc. A comfortable budget needs to be established in the very beginning during the planning phase of your project. It does your home no justice to go through the planning and design phase of your kitchen remodel project, only to then determine that the funds to support your vision are not available.
Be sure your budget includes a way to pay for contingencies. You may plan to spend all your savings on the remodeling, and have a credit card for backup. That’s fine as long as there is credit available. Otherwise, you have to plan to set aside some money for “just in case” situations. In any remodel project, there are unknowns that can arise once a wall is opened up or material is removed. Rule of thumb is to set aside 10% of the total cost of your renovation as a precautionary safety measure.
Mistake 9: Tunnel Vision
Homeowners can get too focused on their vision, and lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s important to be aware of how your kitchen fits in with the rest of the house. Your colors can match or contrast with the colors used elsewhere, but they must work together. Remember to consider all elements of your space: cabinet hardware, backsplash, fixtures, flooring, wall color, etc and how they all tie together. You also have to think about the future. Be sure to include the features that will add the most value, and will be what future owners will want unless your plan is to age in place staying in your home for the foreseeable future.
Mistake 10: Skimping On The Small Stuff
Once you dive into planning your remodel, there’s no hiding the fact that the cabinetry will be the most expensive item in your kitchen remodel. Don’t let the price tag of the cabinets themselves shut down your consideration for the small add-ons. The cabinets, while costly, will be a lasting feature in your home. Sure, you or a future buyer could switch out cosmetics like the appliances, paint scheme, flooring or even the countertops, but unless you are performing a large scale remodel chances are the cabinets will be there for the long haul. That being said, don’t hastily pass on the small cabinet add-ons just because of the base price tag. While it may not seem like a make or break situation to your kitchen, including features such as drawer dividers, pantry pullouts, lazy Susan’s, etc. will help maximize your available kitchen storage and efficiency. Not to mention, these features typically cost more to add to your kitchen design later on.
Mistake 11: Insufficient Electrical Outlets
Everything you love in life seems to require power. Your can opener, KitchenAid, and even smart device that you need for your favorite recipe all plugs into the wall. You’re going to need more than two outlets to make those famous blueberry muffins! Talk to your general contract about ways to hide additional outlets within the island, backsplash or in a drawer for those times you need another nearby socket available.
Mistake 12: Too Much Open Shelving
If you’ve been scouring Pinterest or binge watching remodel shows on television, then you’ve seen the hype on incorporating open shelving into your kitchen design. While it is gorgeous in the magazines when the trendiest dishware can be perfectly staged alongside the fresh flowers that you can only assume were just picked out of the garden. That is undeniable. However, do real families actually live, eat and do dirty dishes in those staged kitchens? Be honest: Do you want everyone that steps foot into your kitchen seeing your mismatched glassware, novelty mugs or generic-brand spices on display 24/7? Odds are, no. Open shelving is a great addition … in moderation. During the planning stage, think about what items you would like out on display that you can realistically keep clean and organized. Perhaps wedding china, heirloom dishes, the artsy bowl you picked up overseas, or wine glasses are perfect to exhibit, then hide the rest behind closed door cabinetry.
Mistake 13: Overlooking Oven Backsplashes and Ventilation
The oven tends to create a lot of mess and odor, which is why your kitchen remodel should include plans for making it easier to clean the air and surfaces. One such pragmatic item is a backsplash, which is an element that makes it easier to clean the spatters, oil, grease and other foodstuffs around the stovetop. It’s much easier to clean a backsplash than it is it clean wallpaper or even a regular wall. Indeed, heavy cleaning of these items can lead to wear and tear on your paint and wallpaper.
The second item you’ll want to make a priority when you’re doing a kitchen remodel is installing good ventilation. Nobody wants to walk in smelling the bacon you cooked a few days prior? An inexpensive oven may come with a hood which re-circulates air, but it doesn’t truly clean the air. It’s better to invest in a ventilation system that will help pull the odors out of the air, vent smoke and heat out of your space.
Mistake 14: Forgetting About Your Surroundings
While you may only be remodeling your kitchen, think about the entrances to your kitchen. Are there any connecting rooms? During the demo phase and even build out of your new kitchen, construction dust will be in air. You’ll want to make sure that your general contractor has made adequate plans to contain as much of this construction dust and debris to the one room being worked on and/or to the staging area for your remodel. In addition to that, if you will be keeping any large or bulky furniture in the construction zone, be sure to properly protect it from drywall mud, paint drippings or spills that could happen.
You’ll need to properly plan how your contractor will have access to the construction area. In some instances a rear door may be most convenient point of access to avoid workers trudging through your entire home having to use the front door. This is a topic that you’ll want to discuss with your contractor at the pre-construction meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page come start day.
Mistake 15: Overlooking The Trash
Trash is not something you want as your focal point of your newly remodeled kitchen. If cabinetry space allows, having a cabinet dedicated to trash and recycling pull-outs is ideal for keeping unsightly garbage tucked away. This design option makes recycling convenient and easy to manage for your entire family. Treat yourself to soft-close cabinetry while you’re thinking about it.
Case in point when a cabinet is not available, you’ll want to carefully consider a dedicated placement within your kitchen. Having an open wastebasket in the center of the kitchen most likely is not a part of any kitchen you’ve dreamt about.
Mistake 16: Waiting To Choose Appliances
Choosing your appliances last or later in the design phase of your project can cause a lot of extra work on your part, as well as your contractor. The size and specifications of your appliances are imperative to know as they have a direct effect on the size of the surrounding materials. By choosing your gadgets first, it is easier to design the cabinetry and countertop around it for a perfect fit instead of the other way around.
Mistake 17: Stainless Steel Overload
Your major appliances have been planned since day 1 (from our advice in mistake 16 listed above, of course) and like most homeowners, you may have chosen stainless steel for your fridge, oven and dishwasher. Be mindful of going overboard with stainless, as you will still be adding in a microwave, toaster, coffee station, cooking and frying pans, etc. Stainless Steel overload can have a cold feeling, rather than the cozy inviting space you were planning on. Try mixing in a colored or different metal choice for your hood or other cooking gadgets.
Mistake 18: Making Changes During Construction
You know the saying, cross all of your T’s and dot all of the I’s before you begin something. Same goes for construction. Once your kitchen remodel is underway, the cost of making changes skyrockets. All of the materials that you have chosen have been ordered, received and have been staged ready to begin your remodel. Changing your mind on the floor tile, fixtures or other selection midstream can result in …
– Your project coming to a screeching halt.
– Additional operating costs to re-order and revise the current contract.
– Extra funds being needed to cover the difference in pricing between materials.
– Applicable restocking fees of the original material (can often be up to 25%),
– Labor and/or material delays holding up your project.
Mistake 19: Forgetting To Have Fun
Let’s not forget that you’re planning your dream kitchen. Your vision will soon be a reality. No more of that dingy space that you simply don’t love. You’re in motion towards getting rid of that broken cabinet, that drawer that sticks, and hello … the 80’s called and want their color palette back! How exciting is that? While remodeling can be stressful at times, when you entrust an experienced general contractor to take care of the details it allows you to focus on what you will enjoy most in your newly remodeled space or how you’ll decorate it. Don’t be afraid to incorporate in that cheery pop of color that you connect with.
Mistake 20: Not Hiring Berceli for Your Remodel
While this may be your first time doing kitchen remodeling, the team at Berceli has worked on remodels of all sizes and complexities since 1999. Building an extensive portfolio. They have the knowledge, skills and experience to turn your kitchen design ideas into a beautiful reality. With over 21 years of experience as a remodeling contractor throughout the New York area, they’ve seen it all, and fixed quite a bit of it too. Just look at their gallery of recently completed remodel projects and you’ll quickly see how versatile their services really are. A good kitchen renovation not only boosts the value of your home, it also makes your home more warm, inviting and comfortable. On the flip side, a bad renovation can be a stressful, costly and time-consuming mistake. That’s why you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid these mistakes when doing your kitchen remodel