9 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

9 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

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Kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular home improvement projects, and it’s easy to see why. A new kitchen can increase the value of your home, make it more functional and enjoyable, and reflect your design tastes. But kitchen remodeling can also be a complex and expensive project, so it’s important to avoid common mistakes to protect your bank account and minimize unnecessary stress.

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the most common kitchen remodeling mistakes and how to avoid them. We’ll also provide tips for planning and executing a successful kitchen remodel.

1. Neglecting family and friends’ input

The kitchen is where families and friends gather to cook, eat, and socialize. That’s why you should consider their input when planning a kitchen remodel. Before knocking down walls, gather some thoughts and feedback from the people in your life. Here’s how:

  • Ask them what they love and hate about the current kitchen. What works well for them? What doesn’t?
  • Find out what their needs and preferences are. What features are important to them? What kind of layout would they prefer?
  • Show them pictures of different kitchen designs and get their feedback.
  • Bring them to the kitchen showroom to see materials and finishes in person.

By soliciting input from family and friends, you can ensure that your kitchen remodel meets the needs and preferences of everyone who will be using the space.

2. Overlooking the importance of a focal point

A focal point is an element in a room that draws the eye and creates a sense of balance and harmony. A kitchen without a focal point can feel disjointed and unfinished, while a well-chosen focal point can make a big difference in your kitchen’s overall look and feel.

Consider incorporating one of the following as a focal point in your kitchen:

  • Kitchen island: A kitchen island is a great way to create a focal point in your kitchen. It can be used for meal prep, entertaining, or simply as a place to gather with friends and family. Consider adding a statement lighting fixture or backsplash to your kitchen island to make it even more eye-catching.
  • Backsplash: A backsplash is another great way to create a focal point in your kitchen. Choose a backsplash that is both stylish and functional. Consider using a bold color or pattern to make your backsplash stand out.
  • Lighting fixture: A statement lighting fixture can be a great way to add a focal point to your kitchen island or dining area. Choose a light fixture that is both stylish and functional.
  • Range hood: A range hood can be a functional and stylish focal point in your kitchen. Choose a range hood that complements the overall style of your kitchen.
  • Window: A large window can be a beautiful and natural focal point in your kitchen. If you have a large window in your kitchen, make sure to accentuate it with the right window treatments.

3. Underestimating your storage needs

In the quest for a kitchen that looks amazing, it’s important not to forget or compromise on functionality. Underestimating storage space needs is a common mistake that often frustrates homeowners as a cluttered kitchen can be difficult to use.

When planning your kitchen storage, consider your lifestyle and how you use the space. For example, if you’re a frequent cook, you’ll need more storage space for food and kitchen utensils. If you have a large family, you’ll need more storage space for dishes and other items.

Adding any of the following smart storage solutions for your kitchen will help ensure you have the storage you need in the kitchen you love:

  • Kitchen cabinets: Kitchen cabinets are a traditional and versatile storage solution. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find the perfect ones for your kitchen.
  • Open shelves: Open shelves are a stylish way to store dishes, cookbooks, and other decorative items. However, it’s important to note that open shelves can be dusty, so they’re not ideal for storing items that need to be kept clean.
  • Pantry spaces: A pantry is a great place to store food, drinks, and other kitchen supplies. If you have the space, consider adding a pantry to your kitchen.
  • Pull-out drawers: Pull-out drawers are a great way to maximize storage space in lower cabinets. They’re also easy to access, making them ideal for storing frequently used items.
  • Lazy Susans: Lazy Susans organize and store items in corner cabinets. They make it easy to access items without having to reach into the back of the cabinet.

4. Ignoring task lighting in key areas

Task lighting is more important than many homeowners realize, especially for those kitchens that see a lot of cooking action. It provides bright, direct light to the areas where you need it most, such as countertops and kitchen islands. This can help you to see more clearly and avoid accidents. 

Good task lighting can also improve the overall look and feel of your kitchen. It can highlight architectural features and create a more inviting atmosphere. 

Think about adding under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights, track lights, or a combination to ensure your kitchen is well-lit and efficient. Additionally, consider the following:

  • Use warm white light bulbs. Warm white light bulbs produce a soft, inviting glow that is ideal for task lighting.
  • Avoid harsh overhead lighting. Harsh overhead lighting can be uncomfortable to work under and can create glare.
  • Use dimmers. Dimmers allow you to adjust the brightness of your task lighting to your needs.
  • Keep task lighting fixtures clean. Dirty task lighting fixtures can reduce the amount of light they produce. Make sure to clean your task lighting fixtures regularly.

5. Overlooking proper door openings

The placement and swing of doors may seem trivial at first glance, but neglecting this detail during your kitchen remodel can result in inconvenience and even pose safety hazards. When envisioning your updated kitchen space, deliberate on how doors will interact with the overall layout.

Doors should swing away from the main kitchen workspace to prevent potential clashes and disruptions. If feasible, opt for doors that open against a wall or into a corner, minimizing interference with the central activity hub of your kitchen. Another thoughtful consideration is the use of pocket doors, which slide into the wall when opened. This not only saves space but also enhances mobility in the kitchen.

Additionally, avoid these common door-opening mistakes as you plan your new kitchen:

  • Don’t place a door directly in front of a stove or oven. This can be a safety hazard, as people could bump into the door and accidentally turn on the stove or oven.
  • Don’t place a door directly in front of a refrigerator or freezer. This can be inconvenient and can also damage the door of the appliance.
  • Don’t place a door directly in front of a dishwasher. This can make it difficult to load and unload the dishwasher.
  • Don’t place a door directly in front of a trash can. This can block access to the trash can and can also make the kitchen feel cramped.

6. Forgetting your electrical needs

One common mistake to avoid when remodeling your kitchen is forgetting to include enough electrical outlets. This can be a major inconvenience, especially if you have a lot of appliances or devices that need to be plugged in.

When planning your kitchen remodel, take some time to think about all of the electrical equipment you’ll use in your kitchen. Make a list of all of the items that need to be plugged in, and then plan for enough electrical outlets to accommodate them.

Be sure to include electrical outlets on the perimeter of the room. You might want to add an outlet under your kitchen island for a blender or food processor, or near your oven for a toaster oven or air fryer. And if you have a pantry, create a countertop area with outlets so you can hide and use appliances there, keeping your main counters clutter-free.

7. Not incorporating a kitchen triangle

Your kitchen will see a lot of action as you move between different appliances as you cook.  Make your space work in your favor by incorporating a kitchen triangle that maximizes workflow efficiency. 

The kitchen triangle is a design concept that refers to the three main work areas in a kitchen: the sink, the refrigerator, and the stove. 

Place the sink, refrigerator, and stove within four to nine feet of each other. Avoid placing obstacles between the three work areas. Make sure that the traffic flow between the three work areas is clear and unobstructed.

To further optimize your space, particularly for small kitchens, group similar appliances and activities together to create zones. For example, you might have a cooking zone with the stove, oven, and microwave, and a prep zone with the sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Doing so will help ensure your dream kitchen isn’t just stylish, but functional as well. 

8. Not having a contingency budget

When it comes to remodeling, things come up that can derail your project. It happens often enough that homeowners should plan a contingency budget before starting a remodel. A contingency budget is a set amount of money that is set aside to cover unexpected expenses. Unexpected expenses can arise for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Discovering mold or other damage during demolition
  • Discovering structural issues that require remediation for the project to proceed
  • Needing to make changes to the scope of work due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Experiencing delays due to bad weather or other factors (e.g., supply chain issues)

If you do not have a contingency budget in place, you may be forced to go into debt or delay your project if unexpected expenses arise. To keep this from happening to you, set aside 10-20% of your total budget for unexpected expenses. You may want to set aside more money if your project is large or complex, or if you are remodeling during a time of year when bad weather is common.

If you don’t need to use your entire contingency budget, you can roll it over to other projects or save it for future expenses.

9. Not Hiring Professionals

The home flippers on television make remodeling look easy, but really it’s a complex and time-consuming project. While it is possible to DIY some aspects of a kitchen remodel, it’s important to know your limitations and hire professionals when mistakes are particularly costly, like electrical wiring and plumbing. The cost of having to fix mistakes is usually much higher than if you would have hired professionals in the first place. 

There are several benefits to hiring professionals for your kitchen remodel, including:

  • Expertise: Professional contractors have the expertise and experience to handle all aspects of a kitchen remodel, from demolition to installation. They can do the job right so you get the kitchen you want. 
  • Efficiency: Professional contractors remodel for a living and can complete your kitchen more efficiently than you can on your own. This will save you time and stress.
  • Safety: Working with power tools and appliances can be dangerous. Professional contractors have the proper training and equipment to complete your kitchen remodel safely.

If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen then get estimates from multiple contractors before making a decision. Be sure to ask about their experience, qualifications, and insurance coverage. Get everything in writing, including the scope of work, budget, and timeline. And 

communicate regularly with your contractor during the project so that all parties remain perfectly aligned.

Go with the trusted pros at Auros

A kitchen remodel can be a big job and an expensive investment. That’s why we’re here to help you realize your dream kitchen and avoid common mistakes that can waste your time, cost you money, and cause you stress. 

Our creative designers and experienced contractors will work with you to help you achieve a kitchen that’s both stylish and functional. Kitchen remodels are our bread and butter, and we can get you in your new culinary space in as little as 10 installation days. 

Get started by scheduling your free in-home design consultation today! 

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