Top 10 mistakes to avoid when remodeling your kitchen

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The kitchen is the center of the home. Most of us spend more time in our kitchen than any other room of the house. If your kitchen isn’t working well for you, a remodel is the best solution for you. New cabinets and counter tops will surely look great, but there’s a lot more to remodeling your kitchen than that. We’ve included a list of the top 10 mistakes people make when remodeling their kitchens so you can avoid them! In this post, we’ll cover:

  • DIY Kitchen Remodel
  • Skimping on Kitchen Design
  • How Long does a Kitchen Remodel Take?
  • Being Indecisive
  • How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel
  • Wasted Space
  • Cabinet Refinishing
  • Sticking with a Traditional Kitchen
  • Ignoring the Mechanical Systems
  • Average Kitchen Remodel Cost

We hope you’ll find this post helpful! If you have any questions about how to have a great kitchen remodeling experience, don’t hesitate to contact us!

DIY Kitchen Remodel

This is at the top of the list for a reason! Sometimes people will try to keep their kitchen remodel cost as low as possible by doing the project themselves. The kitchen is the most complex room of the home. It’s also the most expensive room to remodel, so maximizing your budget IS important, but the risk of financial loss is greater if you make mistakes. A kitchen renovation requires extensive knowledge about how the house was originally built, what options are currently available, which options and materials are best suited to your life, and many other factors. Unless you have extensive, recent experience designing and building kitchens, it’s not a good idea to take this project on yourself. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration!

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Skimping on Kitchen Design

Second only to attempting a DIY kitchen remodel project, not working with a professional kitchen designer is one of the biggest mistakes people make when remodeling their kitchen. Your kitchen should be designed around you, not some arbitrary idea of what a kitchen should be. The design should be based on your current physical abilities, while considering what your limitations may be in the future. It should include features that maximize organization and access to your dishes, food and appliances, including proper lighting and working spaces. The designer will make sure the custom cabinets coordinate with the quartz counter tops, the tile floor looks good with your wall and trim colors, and everything else comes together to make your kitchen exactly what you’re dreaming of. Make sure you share all of your kitchen ideas with your designer when you meet. Sharing pictures, website links, Pinterest boards, Houzz idea books and other visual aids can help your designer know exactly what you want.

How Long does a Kitchen Remodel Take?

Rushing your kitchen remodel will only cause headaches, both during the project and after the project is finished. You must allow enough time to complete the planning and construction portions to have the best outcome. Properly designing a small kitchen remodel can take a few days, whereas a complex kitchen remodel may take several weeks. It can take another 3-16 weeks for cabinets to be built and arrive, and the project itself can take 2-6+ weeks to complete. Those times are dependent on the changes you’re making and the materials you use, so they can vary a lot. If you need a new kitchen by Thanksgiving, you can’t start the process in October. I recommend starting the design process roughly 2-4 months before you’re hoping to have your kitchen completed, and longer if the project is substantial.

Being Indecisive

An average kitchen may require more than a 1000 decisions! Isn’t that incredible? Many of those decisions will be made for you by your existing house and your budget. Some other decisions can be decided by convention (the exact positioning of door hardware, for example). Even so, there will be hundreds of decisions you’ll either need to make yourself, or allow your designer and contractor to make. The most important thing is to take each decision seriously, examine the options, trust your gut and the people helping you, and don’t doubt yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever change your mind- that can be part of the decision-making process. However, if you allow yourself to become paralyzed while making choices, your kitchen will never be completed.

How to Plan a Kitchen Remodel

Sticking with the same kitchen layout can be a big mistake. If your kitchen layout doesn’t work it might require some significant changes to correct. That can include moving your sink or appliances to new locations, or even removing walls to expand into adjacent rooms. Older kitchens were designed when homes were used differently. In fact, the kitchen used to be considered a room and wasn’t suitable for guests. Now the kitchen is the most popular room to socialize in! If your kitchen is too cramped to have more than 2-3 people in, you may want to consider expanding the room so it’s easier to entertain. Adding an island with seating where a wall used to be can transform how a kitchen feels and functions. My customers tell me that after we’ve remodeled their closed-off kitchen and opened it up to the living space, they cook more, go out less, are happier in their homes, and – get this – they’ve even lost weight! I was surprised by that last one too, but it seems that enjoying cooking in your kitchen can lead to healthier eating!

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Wasted Space

We often think of that mistake with small kitchen remodels. Your cabinets need to maximize your storage space and you’ll want to be intentional when evaluating which features will be most important to include. When space is limited it’s important to maximize every cubic inch! However, it’s very important to avoid wasting space in large kitchens too. Wasted space can result in work stations being too spread out, which means extra walking while in the kitchen. If you have a large kitchen, make sure you think through how each space can be used and what you need in each space to be efficient. For example, one area of your kitchen could be used for general every-day cooking, while another area may be organized around weekend baking. Whatever you decide, make sure it works for you and your family.

Cabinet Refinishing

First, the caveat. Refinishing is a decent option when all you want to do is redecorate and your cabinets are in outstanding shape. However, in most cases I’ve found mold, water damage and structural damage in cabinets 20 years old or more. While refinishing and refacing cabinets is a current trend, it doesn’t solve any of the organizational or functional problems your kitchen may have. Prior to 1995, most kitchens weren’t professionally designed and little serious consideration was given to function and traffic flow. Older cabinets also weren’t designed to support stone counter tops. If you’re considering replacing laminate counter tops with granite, quartz, marble or concrete, the added weight may cause your cabinets to settle and come apart in some cases. It might even damage your new counter tops! If you want to remove the kitchen soffit above the cabinets, refinishing or refacing won’t correct that either. Today’s kitchens are designed with current materials and lifestyles in mind. That includes maximized storage and organization, easy to clean surfaces, and superior construction methods and materials. In addition, refacing your cabinets and replacing hardware will often only cost 25% less than full replacement

Sticking with a traditional kitchen

Traditional design might feel comfortable, but it’s also tired for some. If modern is too… modern for you, go with transitional styling. It’s a combination of those two extremes and will help your kitchen feel new and fresh without being so other-worldly that you can’t relax. Current trends in kitchen renovation include incorporating natural finishes like wood and stone, and some pops of color like blue on cabinets. Dark stained cabinets are still popular, as are white shaker cabinets. Transitional style also mixes rough and refined textures for added character. There aren’t many rigid rules with the transitional style (besides mixing it up) and the options are nearly limitless. It’s a fun style with many opportunities to appreciate the details!

Ignoring the Mechanical Systems

That includes plumbing, electrical/lighting, heating/cooling and ventilation. These functional systems can make or break your kitchen remodel. Your current systems should be evaluated to determine if they’re meeting your current needs, and if they’ll function correctly with your new kitchen and appliances. You should also determine if adding features could enhance your new kitchen. Some conveniences that people find extremely helpful include a food prep sink in the island, a pot filling faucet above the range, dimmable under cabinet LED lighting, lighting in base cabinets and toe kick spaces, extra receptacles, cellphone and tablet charging stations in drawers, built-in microwave drawers, in-floor radiant heat, wine and beverage refrigerators, and adequate, quiet range ventilation.

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Average Kitchen Remodel Cost

Having an inappropriate budget for your kitchen remodel can prevent you from having the best outcome. Remember, the kitchen is the center of the home! It’s the most important room to design and execute well. A budget that’s too limiting will result in having to use poor-quality materials or hiring someone who isn’t qualified to complete your project well. Spending on things that don’t add enough value could be wasteful. Too many features can even make your kitchen less usable. Every kitchen and every family is different, so determining a budget without designing the kitchen can have bad results. You should communicate what your desired budget is to your contractor or designer, but you’ll also need to determine what is most important- budget or function. In general, for an average sized kitchen with medium quality materials, you can plan on spending between $30-50k. Spending a little more could make your kitchen work really well for you. Spending less often results in regrets. And if you’re looking for average kitchen remodel costs in Minneapolis or the surrounding suburbs, or other projects for that matter, check out our page Average Project Costs.

Avoid these 10 mistakes and your kitchen remodel results will be outstanding! If you’re looking for a high-quality kitchen contractor and designer in the Minneapolis area, we’d be happy to help! Contact Simply Beautiful Remodeling here!

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