Creating an entirely new kitchen can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. Kitchen remodeling, if not planned and budgeted for carefully, can rapidly turned into a full blown disaster resulting in the need to spend more money to fix the issues and/or hiring professionals to correct mistakes.
So, what kind of common mistakes might you face when remodeling a kitchen? There are many. Below are some of the more frequent errors novice kitchen remodelers make.
Not Trusting Your Own Vision: For the most part, the average person does not consider him/herself to be a designer of any kind, including an interior home designer. As such, we question the styles, colors, and textures we like, believing that so-called professional designers know better. If you are set on installing light grey cabinets with glass door fronts, then stick to your wish. Don’t let someone else who is not familiar with your tastes to dictate what colors and styles are on-trend or that you should select for your kitchen.
Insisting on High-End Products: If you have the budget to purchase high end products, such as the best granite for countertops and top-rated appliances, go for it! If, however, you need to work within a set budget, do your research. Read reports and reviews. Shop around to compare prices. And don’t rule out the scratch-n-dent aisle. An item might be drastically discounted simply because it has a scratch on it.
Color Choices: You may have your heart set on a bright orange kitchen and that hue of orange may look fantastic in the store. However, given the different type of lighting in your home, that orange color you loved may look all wrong when you put it on your kitchen walls. The best thing to do is to select several color chips, bring them home, and put them against the wall for a few days. Then, narrow down your choice to a few colors and purchase testers. Testers are small amounts of paint that you can put onto the wall to see what it actually looks like. From here you can confidently select the color that you want in your kitchen!
Cabinet Selection: Like paint color, cabinets can and often do look differently in the store than they do when installed in your kitchen. Also, like paint color, you can bring samples of various cabinets home so that you can view the style, color, and material against your color and flooring choices. You can repeat this process with samples of flooring and backsplashes.
Know Your Measurements: Head the advice, “Measure twice, cut once.” Too many remodelers work too fast without double-checking their work before they begin to cut wood or tile, or purchase and install cabinetry. One of the most common errors is to miscalculate the size of your appliances – refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. Make sure that you have the correct height, width, and depth of each appliance before you purchase each.
Watch Contractors: If you end up hiring a kitchen remodeling contractor to do some of the remodeling, make sure you or someone who is very familiar with the project is on-site when the contractors are working. Holes need to be drilled in the right places, electrical outlets added in the right locations, etc. Being present when this work is being done also helps the contractors should any questions arise during the process.
Know Your Abilities: Many people know what they can do well, what they could learn and attempt, and when a professional should be brought in to do the work. For example, painting is quite straight forward as long as you prep ahead of time with drop cloths and taping off edges. Learning how to install flooring (tile, laminate, or wood) is relatively simple and easy given today’s products. Dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, sinks, and refrigerators may require a licensed electrician and/or plumber to complete installation according to building codes.
Create a Reasonable Timeline: Engaging in a kitchen remodel may mean that you and your family will be without part or all of the kitchen needed to prepare meals and wash dishes for some time. As such, developing a step-by-step action plan with the number of hours/days required for each step in the remodel is a must in order to avoid a kitchen remodel disaster that goes way over time and over budget, and that forces you to eat out frequently.
A full kitchen remodel is not for the faint of heart. In some instances, it is better to tackle a portion of the remodel, such as replacing the floor or refinishing the cabinets, instead of demolishing the entire kitchen all at once and building it from scratch. Unless, of course, you have the time to do so, and you are able to make alternative arrangements for storing food and cooking.