Unless you live and breathe remodeling projects, the chances that you’ll end up making a mistake or two during your kitchen remodel are pretty good. That may sound disheartening, but you can take steps to mitigate the number of errors you make along the way by giving yourself enough time before the project begins to learn about some of the more common reno pitfalls. Here’s a list of some do’s and don’ts that’ll get you started.
- Do your research. Even before you sit down to begin interviewing contractors, choosing appliances, or selecting fixtures, you need to develop a clear idea of what your project will entail. To help you with your visualization, create a Pinterest board filled with images of what you’d like your kitchen to contain. Think about how you’d like your kitchen to be laid out, how it could be made more functional and what color scheme you’d like to employ.
- Do consider your space and how it will be used. Understanding the purpose of your kitchen can impact your final design. For example, will your kitchen be a gathering place for the family? Do you find yourself entertaining often and need plenty of space to prepare elaborate meals? Having a clear understanding of how space will be used will help you and your designer incorporate all the things you need to create your dream kitchen.
- Do attempt to get the most you can from the space. Make sure that you are maximizing the space. Since many kitchen remodels involve gutting the existing space, this will be your opportunity to make sure that every square inch of your kitchen has a purpose. Consider extending cabinets to the ceiling for additional storage or add a prep station in a previously under-used corner of the room.
- Do budget for the unexpected. You might think you’ve successfully budgeted for your project provided you can account for every dollar you intend to spend. Unfortunately, most home renovation projects contain at least some unknowns, and that means unexpected expenditures. A general rule of thumb is to designate 10-20 percent of your overall budget for additional expenses.
- Do keep a record of your spending (receipts). It’s never a bad idea to hang on to your receipts and you will have many. Whether you need to return unneeded materials, want to provide the documentation of the work completed to the next owner, or need supporting documents for any tax credits you’re claiming, ensure you have a designated spot to keep your receipts organized.
- Do meet with a kitchen design expert. Experts are experts for a reason. Not only can they provide you with answers to the questions you do have, but they also answer questions you didn’t even think to ask! Benefitting from the experience of a professional could save you time, money, and a lot of frustration compared to if you decided to go it alone.
- Do put stock in the words of experts. Remember that if you hire a group of experts to remodel your kitchen, it’s their job to make your home look great. If you’ve done your due diligence when hiring your contractors, trusting their judgment and work ethic should be easy. If the expert doesn’t understand your vision, it could be a sign that you should hire someone else.
- Do be realistic about the renovation project. Whatever you do, make sure your project is rooted in reality. Your budget is often a tether to reality that you can rely upon, but even so, it’s easy to get carried away. If your existing kitchen has a good flow and is structurally sound, perhaps all you really need are a few cosmetic upgrades instead of a complete kitchen remodel.
- Don’t skip the technical homework. Though it’s perhaps more enjoyable to plan out what your cabinets will look like, what your countertop will be made out of, and which high-end appliances will grace your kitchen, considering the more technical items of the project are equally important. For example, you’ll want to ensure that any new outlets or lighting are optimally placed for the new layout. The functionality of the smaller details could determine the layout of the rest of the kitchen.
- Don’t rush through the design and planning phase. The more time you spend in the design and planning phase, the more smoothly your project will go. It’s admittedly very tempting to get the ball rolling once the ideas start to flow, but it’s important to redirect that enthusiasm back to planning activities. You need to be able to visualize working in your new kitchen and make sure that everything you’ve chosen is right.
- Don’t price yourself out of your neighborhood. If your renovation plan reflects the changes you want to enjoy for years to come, perfect. If, however, your reno plan is motivated by a decision to imminently list the house for sale, there is such a thing as over renovating. For example, your renovations could add so much value to your home that it will actually put it outside the budget for those looking to move to your neighborhood. Before putting your plan in action, be strategic on how much value your changes will add.
- Don’t expect your space to look like a home reno television show. Remember that even reality television shows are highly scripted. The transformations that inspire you while watching your favorite programs are usually a far cry from what you can expect your project to look like.
- Don’t fall prey to short-term style fads. Consider for a moment that styles are constantly changing; the style you fall in love with today could be a style you detest tomorrow. Since kitchen renos don’t typically happen at the drop of a hat, try to avoid any perceived short-term fads. If in doubt, stick with a classic style.
To be clear, the items above don’t represent everything you’ll need to consider, but they’re a great place to start and it may get you thinking about things you previously didn’t. If you have more questions or are ready to get the planning phase underway, check out Builder’s Cabinet Supply for unique, custom kitchen cabinets that will last for years to come.