The kitchen provides a space in your home to cook, entertain, and spend quality time with family and friends. Many rooms can affect the functionality, aesthetic, and overall value of your home, but few hold the same influence as an inviting and well-planned kitchen. We are here to make certain that your kitchen, as the heart of your home, is designed with both practicality and style in mind.
Unfortunately, in many cases a kitchen remodel can often fall short of a homeowner’s expectations. During the remodeling process, homeowners often succumb to common mistakes. These errors can lead to delays, costly fixes, and a feeling of dissatisfaction with the final result. Luckily for our clients, we are here to help you avoid these pitfalls and to ensure you have a kitchen your family will enjoy for years to come.
Ignoring the details
The key to achieving a cohesive and functional kitchen design is paying attention to the small details. Each plays a role in creating a harmonious space. The proper selection of materials, different finishes, placement of fixtures, and choice of appliances all add to your dream kitchen. The functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen depend on these details. For instance, the hardware you pick for your cabinets affects not only how easily you open and close the doors and drawers, but also the appearance of your cabinetry. The positioning of electrical outlets and lighting fixtures affects your ability to work efficiently and comfortably in your kitchen. Overlooking even the smallest elements can lead to a disjointed design and inefficient workspace.
Failing to plan
When starting a kitchen remodel, a comprehensive plan is of the utmost importance. This plan includes everything from layout and design to material selections and budget considerations. Without a well-thought-out plan, crucial aspects of the remodel may be overlooked. Hasty design choices can inhibit the usefulness of your kitchen. Some common examples include insufficient storage space that can limit the ability to accommodate essentials or a kitchen that feels cramped when necessary clearances between appliances and cabinetry are ignored. In the end, a failure to plan in advance can lead to a kitchen that doesn’t meet your needs or expectations.
Underestimating the cost
Once you have a plan for your dream kitchen, your next step is to set a realistic budget and adjust your plan as needed. It’s important to carefully research and consider the costs of materials, labor, and other less obvious expenses, such as permits or dumpster rental fees. Additionally, be sure to include a contingency fund for overages. It is recommended to allow 10-20% of your total budget to cover any unexpected expenses that may arise during the project. These unexpected expenses are disappointing but nonetheless a common occurrence in any remodeling project. Unseen water damage, outdated wiring, or structural problems are all hidden costs that may pop up once the walls come down. By accounting for these costs in advance, you’ll be better prepared to handle any surprises that may come your way.
Choosing appliances after the planning phase
You’ve finalized your plans. You have a realistic budget. Now you need to select your appliances. As we have said before, each of your choices influences the others. Your cabinet layout, electrical requirements, and style of your kitchen all depend on each other, as well as your choice of appliances. By selecting your appliances early in the planning process, you can ensure a seamless and well-coordinated kitchen remodel.
Choosing or ordering your appliances later in the remodel can lead to several issues. You may be forced to compromise your personal aesthetic to avoid delays. Additionally, adjustments may need to be made to cabinetry or electrical systems if appliances need to be changed because of a late delivery, discontinuation, or unavailability of the original product. The further along in your project, the more costly these adjustments can be.
Ignoring the kitchen triangle
An efficient kitchen layout is essential for ensuring you can work comfortably and effectively in your space. The ideal layout focuses on the concept of the kitchen triangle. The kitchen triangle refers to the optimal arrangement of the three main work areas: the sink, the refrigerator, and the cooktop. By minimizing the distance between these three areas, we create a logical workflow, allowing for easy preparation of meals and orderly clean up. Ignoring the kitchen triangle can be detrimental to how you move about your kitchen, wasting time and energy. Do yourself a favor by incorporating the kitchen triangle concept into your remodel to create a more user-friendly and functional kitchen.
Underestimating the amount of time construction will take
Delays and setbacks are common in any remodeling project. Setting a realistic timeline means planning for them accordingly from the start of your project. Factors to consider include the availability of materials, labor fluctuations, potential obstacles like the unseen contingencies we mentioned above, and how these factors influence the scope of the entire project. Add buffer time to your estimated timeline to account for these unforeseen issues. This may involve being flexible with your schedule and having alternate plans to fall back on. Maintaining open communication with your contractor will allow you to stay informed about any changes or updates to your project timeline.
Improperly wiring kitchen outlets
Working with a qualified electrician will ensure your kitchen’s electrical system is up to code and properly installed. They can provide input on the initial design to minimize delays and alterations in the plan. Properly wiring kitchen outlets is essential for both safety and functionality. Poor wiring can lead to electrical hazards such as the improper operation of your appliances, and in the worst cases, fires or electrocution.
A qualified electrician can also assist with tasks such as adding new outlets, upgrading your electrical panel, or installing dedicated circuits for modern high-powered appliances. Hiring a professional to handle the electrical work in your kitchen remodel is a wise investment in your safety and the overall success of your project.
Not enough electrical outlets
Be sure to consider not just proper wiring, but also the placement and quantity of outlets in your kitchen design to ensure that you have easy access to power when and where you need it. Without proper consideration, you may find yourself seeking disruptive workarounds, such as extension cords, the use of power strips, or constantly unplugging and replugging devices. It’s easy to see how this can create tripping hazards and increase the risk of electrical overload. By ensuring that your kitchen has a sufficient number of properly placed outlets, you create a safe and productive environment.
Not having enough clearance
Inadequate clearance between appliances and cabinetry can negatively impact the overall functionality and safety of your kitchen. It can make your space feel cramped and difficult to navigate. Insufficient clearance can make it difficult to open doors and drawers, maneuver in your kitchen, and access your appliances with ease. This can be frustrating to the homeowner, but also, potentially dangerous for the inhabitants. Without proper clearance, there may be difficulties evacuating the space in an emergency or increased risk of accidents and injuries. Proper clearance between cabinets and appliances is crucial for creating a functional and safe kitchen, and ensuring a user-friendly and safe environment for you and your family.
Too much open shelving
Open shelving can add visual interest and make your kitchen feel more spacious. But, when incorporating open shelving into your kitchen design, consider both aesthetics and practicality. It’s essential that you strike the right balance between open and closed storage. By combining open shelves with closed cabinets, you can showcase select items while keeping the bulk of your kitchen essentials tucked away and organized. Choose items to display that are visually appealing and complement your overall design, such as decorative dishware or cookbooks. Be mindful of the ease of access and maintenance of the items on your open shelves, ensuring they are practical for daily use and easy to keep clean. Remember, they will not have cabinetry to shield them. Relying too heavily on open shelving can leave your kitchen looking cluttered and disorganized, as your everyday items will be on constant display.
Adequate lighting is essential for creating a functional and inviting kitchen. Proper lighting enhances the aesthetics of your space, creating an ideal environment to socialize. It also ensures you can work safely and efficiently when preparing meals and cleaning up. When planning your kitchen, consider including a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Ambient lighting provides general illumination for the entire space, while task lighting is focused on specific work areas, such as countertops or the sink. Accent lighting is used to highlight your unique design features, such as open shelving or artwork, adding depth and visual interest to your kitchen. By including a variety of lighting types, you can create a well-lit and dynamic space that meets all of your needs.
Not Planning for Enough Storage Space
Before embarking on your kitchen remodel, it’s essential to assess your storage and counter space needs. Take inventory of your kitchen items. Consider obvious factors, such as the quantity and size of your cookware, dishes, and pantry staples, as well as unique instances, such as the height and weight of your stand mixer. Prioritize creating ample storage space. This may involve incorporating additional cabinetry, installing pull-out shelves or drawers, or utilizing vertical space with wall-mounted storage solutions. By thoughtfully planning for sufficient storage in your kitchen remodel, you can create a space that is both visually appealing and accommodates all of your belongings.
Once you have your general storage plan, allow yourself to get creative. Incorporate innovative storage solutions into your kitchen remodel to help maximize your space’s functionality and organization. Alternative storage options such as pull-out pantry shelves, corner cabinet solutions, and built-in spice racks make use of those easy-to-overlook spaces. Trash cabinets, for example, provide a convenient and sensible way to store your waste and recycling bins, and still contribute to a cleaner and more streamlined appearance. Built-in spice racks clear up your larger cabinets for more effective storage use. Options such as these keep your more discreet items out of sight but still easily accessible.
Not Hiring the Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor
Working with a skilled and experienced contractor is crucial for ensuring the success of your project. A qualified contractor is there to help you navigate the complexities of a kitchen remodel. It starts with developing a comprehensive plan and continues with managing the various stages of construction. Consider factors such as experience, reputation, and communication style. Be sure to check references and read online reviews to get a sense of the contractor’s track record. You are looking for someone who has consistently delivered high-quality work and customer satisfaction. Choose a contractor with whom you feel comfortable communicating. Open and honest dialogue is key when issues or delays arise.
In conclusion, avoiding these common mistakes is critical in achieving a successful outcome during your kitchen remodel. A well-executed kitchen remodel not only enhances the beauty and functionality of your home but also adds significant value. By paying attention to details, planning thoroughly, setting a realistic budget, and working with a skilled contractor, you can create a beautiful and functional kitchen that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
Matt Baker Contracting specializes in kitchen remodels and you can call us with any questions that you have at (832) 210-3918.