By Beatrice White
Whether you’re building your kitchen from the ground up, demolishing and rebuilding it, or giving it a weekend facelift, kitchen makeovers are a significant commitment at every level. Of course, it’s always fun to watch as the magic happens. But there is also a lot that could go wrong. For this reason, we’ve rounded up a list of mistakes to avoid when renovating a kitchen.
1. Not preparing ahead of time
Make no mistake: a kitchen renovation is a major undertaking. For this reason, it is essential to prepare properly before you begin. Experts suggest that you take as much time as possible learning about the project and selecting the products you wish to use before you decide to spend money. Start by pinpointing how the existing kitchen lets you down. Perhaps there’s not enough counter space, too little storage, or an inefficient layout. Or maybe you’ve always wanted an eat-in kitchen. To put it simply, don’t start a kitchen renovation project without thinking through all the details, considering your needs, and defining the goals. Otherwise, you risk having delays and changes midstream. This is another mistake you wish to dodge when renovating a kitchen because it sends the costs soaring.
Undoubtedly, there’s a lot of work and planning going into a complete kitchen renovation. And, unless you are an ambitious, skilled do-it-yourselfer determined to tackle this project all on your own, the success of your kitchen renovation hinges almost entirely upon the contractors you hire. An experienced and qualified professional will change your entire remodeling experience for the better.
2. Forgoing your workflow
Behold, the working triangle – the decades-old conceptual tool marking the kitchen’s three main work areas that form, yes, you guessed it, a triangle. Specifically, the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator. While preparing their meals, homeowners circulate back and forth around these three zones, which is why the layout should situate them conveniently close to one another. Moreover, experts agree that no element, such as a kitchen island, should block the flow.
Yes, to this day, the classic triangle remains a great way to go when designing or redesigning a kitchen. But if you find that it is not jiving in your particular layout, have no fear. Rules are meant to be broken, and triangles too! Kitchen triangles have evolved, moving up from three distinct work areas to work “zones” that are self-contained. For instance, a baking zone should ideally be situated both near your oven and your pantry and have everything you’d typically need to bake – from measuring cups and spoons to rolling pins and baking sheets. Experts also agree homeowners should include a sufficient number of “landing zones” – countertop surfaces for temporarily resting things like fresh ingredients.
3. Overwhelming a small space
A functioning floor plan is doubly important in a small kitchen. Sure, having a brand-new custom space with a big kitchen island and more cabinetry storage than we know what to do with is the dream. The reality is that a majority of us are stuck with small kitchens. And though figuring out how to make such small spaces work for us while still looking beautiful is not the easiest job ever, it is still doable.
Not keeping your space in mind every step of the way is one of the biggest mistakes people make when renovating a small kitchen. One that leads to more immense struggles later on. They tend to overstretch the space, overwhelming it with appliances, and oversized kitchen islands, while forgetting that there are plenty of options available for every size and layout. For instance, any small kitchen would work better with a small peninsula over an island.
4. Not spending money where it counts
Also, one of the mistakes to avoid when renovating a kitchen is relying solely on visuals instead of practicality. Every project has a limited budget, so how you spend the money is crucial. But all too often, homeowners end up allocating too much cash to decorative instead of functional items. Of course, design is important, but good cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and hardware are the workhorse items you use every day. There are no shortcuts; it’s important to define priorities. So, try your best to spend your money on the things that can withstand the sort of wear and tear you anticipate. Moreover, the flooring you select needs to be resistant to moisture and stains and easily cleaned. Your wallpapers should be specially designed for humid areas, like the kitchen.
5. Trashing current cabinets
Cabinet frames are one of the priciest components of the entire space. So, if your cabinets are made of quality wood and still in pretty good shape, you’re in luck. Giving your cabinets a makeover instead of trashing them and getting new ones can save you thousands. This comes in pretty handy if you’re selling your home and moving.
For starters, cabinets are one of the first things potential buyers will notice once they step into your kitchen. What you can do is add new doors and drawer fronts, re-laminate fronts and sides, or repaint them (have your cabinets cleaned, and then lightly sanded. Next, spray paint instead of just painting them over.). White is not only a popular color choice but also a timeless one that will have a broad appeal to home buyers. Neutrals will also keep the entire space light and open.
Secondly, your new place of residence may not be move-in ready. And, since new cabinets can easily cost over $10,000, you might be considering moving your current kitchen into your new home. Don’t worry – as long as they’re salvageable, it’s quite simple to give them a facelift once you move in. Just keep in mind that it would be best to disassemble and take it apart for easier transfer. Dismantling such heavy furniture can ensure that they don’t get damaged or their owner hurt.
6. Skimping on storage
One can never have too much storage space. So, skipping over the seemingly minor add-ons and storage features when remodeling a kitchen is a mistake that homeowners should avoid. Additional drawer dividers, cabinet expansions, shelves, cabinets, and open storage are some of the hundreds of options available. These details are the key to increasing your kitchen’s storage efficiency.
7. Making impulsive design decisions
The world of kitchen improvement is constantly changing and evolving. But though experts encourage owners to seek out some inspiration in magazines and websites, mimicking the latest trends might not always be the best idea. They agree that favoring timeless design choices over the newest and hottest looks is a much safer bet. This is because they’re sure to hold their appeal and value over the long term.
If you simply cannot resist a particular look, it’s OK. However, try to embrace it in small and relatively inexpensive accents (cushions, window treatments, etc.) instead of a permanent feature. If you’ve decided to commit to a major design element – such as countertop materials or flooring – always bring the samples home. This way, you can get the idea of how they would look in the space you’re remodeling.
8. Changing the plumbing
Changing the plumbing should definitely make its way into lists of mistakes to avoid when renovating a kitchen. The reconfiguration of ovens, stoves, sinks, or dishwashers calls for moving water and gas lines in your kitchen. Such projects are costly, to say the least, especially in older homes. To prevent a budget blowout and lots of plumbing headaches, it’s best to keep all pipe-connected elements where they are.
As you can see there are some serious mistakes to avoid when renovating a kitchen. While you can prevent most of them with timely planning and preparation, the key is having the right contractor by your side. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you might have about the process!