From Margaret Everton on April 08, 2008 in Kitchen Remodel
Perhaps the biggest undertaking you can tackle when updating your home is the kitchen remodel. It can feel a bit like remodeling a spaceship in mid-flight. Yet it’s a project that many of us are eager to undertake. However, a kitchen in the midst of a remodel can be a fickle beast and can turn on you at any time. Many homeowners get caught up in those inevitable twist and turns. Here are the top 10 common mistakes made in kitchen remodeling and some hints for avoiding them.
- Overspending. A common problem is going crazy over appliances. You want to build your kitchen, but focus on what you will use. Unless you are one, you won’t need a five-star chef’s kitchen and you may need that extra money to address the unforeseen hurdles of remodeling.
- Overstuffing. Trying to fit too much within the limited space you have is another frequent faux pas. When designing your new kitchen, pay careful attention to what you have to work with and plan accordingly. Islands are a common factor here. They are popular and welcome additions for storage and counter space but only if you have the room. Otherwise it can end up feeling like someone dumped a large boulder in the center of your kitchen.
- Underestimating. Be sure to figure more than enough time and money to do the project. You cannot see all ends, especially in the kitchen. This ties in with #1, the money you save by not purchasing unnecessary extravagances you can use for trouble shooting.
- Who Needs a Tape Measure? The main reason that major appliances are returned is not because of manufacturing defects, dents, or scratches. It is because they do not fit! Be sure to measure every opening correctly. Then measure them again.
- I’m My Own Contractor. I can’t stress enough what a monumental undertaking the kitchen remodel is. It is very time consuming, complicated, expensive, and something you don’t want to tackle. Too many homeowners think they’ve got it all under control but end up with a gutted, unusable kitchen for a year. There are plenty of qualified kitchen contractors available to you. Take your time and find one you can trust and work with.
- It “Looks” Great. Quite often homeowners focus too heavily on the aesthetic value of their cabinets or countertops without paying any attention to what’s behind the scenes. Your cabinets may look spectacular but if the sides and hardware are subpar in quality, the doors will be crooked in no time. And that fancy granite or tile countertop will surely crack if not installed on a strong, level base.
- Changing your Mind. An all too common holdup for kitchens is an indecisive homeowner. The kitchen remodel is already a complicated, often unpredictable job and a lot of wavering on your part will only add to complications and can cause frustration for you and your contractor. Take whatever time necessary, before you start, to decide what you want and stick to it.
- Overbooking. Never schedule an event, such as a big party, that is dependent on the completion of your remodel. There are scores of reasons for delay and you will want to have a clear schedule with a healthy buffer zone built in.
- “How will I Eat?” A common source of tension and frustration for homeowners in the throes of a kitchen remodel is the microwaveable frozen pizza they’ve eaten for a month straight. Either be prepared to eat out, eat frozen, or work around the mess. You can save a piece of old countertop for temporary use. Get creative, have fun with it, when it’s all done you won’t want to leave your kitchen so enjoy this initial time away.
- Not Doing It. The grand finale, the biggest mistake you can make in a kitchen remodel is not doing it at all. There is no problem that can’t be fixed, no turn that cannot be taken. Just about every mistake on this list can best be avoided through planning, planning, planning. If you dedicate extra thought and time in the design and plan phase, before you know it you will find yourself standing in your new, custom kitchen preparing the best meal you’ve ever had and planning that party you’ve been putting off.