How to Avoid the Most Common Kitchen Renovation Mistakes

Planning a kitchen renovation can be stressful, filled with multiple decisions and stages that turn your home upside down. But this home improvement project will also significantly improve daily life and property value, provided you can avoid common kitchen renovation mistakes. From hiring decisions to design and budgeting, these slip-ups can drive up costs and transform your renovation into a nightmare. Check out these dangers and think about how to avoid them.

1) Making a Bad Hiring Decision

Choosing a contractor is perhaps the single most important decision you can make during your renovation. Opt for an established, qualified contracting firm and your new kitchen is bound to be finished well; hire an inexperienced, amateur contractor and your living space may be butchered.

Obtain several quotes from recommended contractors, and carefully compare each of the estimates. Choose a contractor based on their expertise, but consider warranty, reputation, price and how well you communicate with the sales staff. Whether you opt for a general contractor or a specialized kitchen remodeling firm, choose well and hire the best.

2) Taking the DIY Route Too Far

The modern world loves a good success story, and DIY has moved well beyond the trend stage. But many homeowners assume that their interest in carpentry or DIY projects will translate well into renovation skills. A major kitchen remodel requires a broad subset of talents and abilities that most people are missing, and trying to DIY this renovation may result in big trouble.

Even those homeowners who plan to be their own general contractor may run into difficulties. Dealing with subtrades, schedules and materials delivery is enough to stress anyone out, and only an experienced general contractor can handle this end of the project with efficiency and professionalism. In some areas of the country, bylaws demand that a general contractor be involved with your renovation. Their advice, direction and expertise are truly invaluable.

3) Paying Too Much Cash in Advance

Most contractors require a deposit before slotting your project into their schedule. This helps to seal the deal and allows for the capitol to order materials and hire reliable subtrades. But some homeowners are too willing to hand over large sums of money. Be wise and negotiate realistic terms with your contractor.

Expect to pay a deposit, usually no more than 30 percent of the total price, upon signing the contract. Another draw may be required once the project starts, or midway through construction. Be sure to hold back a certain amount until final inspection, and avoid bowing to any pressures to pay early. A professional contractor will work within an agreeable and reasonable schedule of payments.

4) Designing to Trends Instead of Following Your Lifestyle

Kitchen trends are short lived, and often include unique and sometimes strange design features. Avoid following these trends for your kitchen renovation; consider your own lifestyle instead. Looking through the latest home reno magazines and browsing the web for kitchen remodel ideas is a wise thing to do, but opting for trendy designs simply on the merits of fashion will result in a dated kitchen that doesn't work for your family.

Try not to copy the kitchens of your friends and neighbors, but focus instead on the needs of your own family. Think about how you prepare food, eat meals and entertain. Consider your tastes and flow of life, choosing the materials, finish and colors that suit those considerations.

This goes for design options and appliances, flooring and lighting choices. Do not invest in a double oven unless you plan to cook for a crowd and avoid purchasing natural stone flooring unless you are prepared to take proper care of it.

5) Settling for a Standard Kitchen Design

Although you should avoid the latest kitchen trends, it's also important to allow some customization. Standard or cookie-cutter kitchen designs may cost less, but they also deliver lower performance on a daily basis. Your renovation investment would be best spent on a layout that suits your family and finishes chosen with your own tastes in mind.

If your budget puts strict limits on customized design, consider spreading out the work. Instead of merely settling for the kitchen you can afford today, why not plan and save for the kitchen of your dreams?

6) Ignoring the Importance of Plumbing and Electrical Design

Most of us are seduced by the look and feel of a new kitchen, but it's the systems behind the wall that make for a top quality kitchen. Your contractor should hire licensed plumbers and electricians to install the systems. Make sure that a trained professional reviews all aspects of the design prior to installation.

Invest in top quality materials at every stage of the project, both those in sight and those out of sight. Cheap plastic plumbing and connectors may result in leaks and inadequate electrical components put your family at risk. Do not neglect important elements like plumbing and electrical, but ensure your kitchen renovation is well designed.

7) Making Multiple Changes to the Design

Time is money. And once the final design has been approved and work has started, the time to change your mind has passed. Be thorough during the opening stages of your kitchen remodel and hammer out a detailed design. Alterations made along the way tend to stall the flow and almost always cost your contractor more with wait times, revisions and reorders.

Some changes may be necessary, as removals uncover surprises or certain materials become scarce. Take control and do not shift from your original plans unless absolutely necessary. Be confident in your selections and watch your dream kitchen take shape. If an alteration will make a major difference and help you to realize a greater investment from the product, talk to your contractor about the change. They should be able to suggest solutions and guide you through the process smoothly and affordably.

Plan your kitchen renovation well, working hard to avoid these common mistakes. Whether your new kitchen will be small or large, fancy or casual, taking the time to think and communicate about the project helps you to steer clear of these mistakes, helping you to save money and appreciate a more valuable space.

Posted by: diana
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