We love to share great ideas for kitchen remodeling, but we also want to give you a few warnings to help you avoid the potential pitfalls that come with a remodeling project. These mistakes can lead to big expenses as well as making the remodeling job take much longer than it should. With our 20 years of experience as a remodeling contractor throughout the Phoenix area, from Tempe to Surprise, we’ve seen it all, and fixed quite a bit of it too, so here’s our list of “what not to do.”
1. DIY Remodeling
This may sound self-serving, so let’s be clear right up front: sure, we’re remodeling contractors and we’d like to do the entire job, but that doesn’t mean we would mislead you about work that you could actually do yourself if that’s how you want to approach your kitchen remodel.
There is a lot that a homeowner can do, but unless you are a general contractor, it’s important to work with a licensed professional to make sure that you take all the necessary factors into consideration. There will be plumbing and electrical plans, and maybe even structural and permitting concerns that need to be addressed in the design stage. And of course, you don’t want to risk having to tear apart your newly remodeled kitchen to repair faulty electrical or plumbing work if you take on tasks you aren’t really qualified to do. It’s cheaper, by far, to pay someone who has the necessary skills to get the job done right, than to have to re-do major work later.
2. Losing Site of What the Kitchen Is For
It’s easy to get caught up in all the latest styles and the look that you are going for, and forget that the function of the kitchen is the most important part of your design. No matter what amenities you add, the basic “work triangle” is going to be key to your kitchen’s functionality. The sink, stove, and fridge should be convenient to one another and there should be enough space to move easily between them.
Design Tip: When you are designing your remodel, think about which way every appliance will open and make sure they don’t interfere with each other. If you are adding an island, make sure the oven and refrigerator doors still have room to open fully, and ideally that you’ll still have room to walk around them when they’re open.
When you look at model kitchens, it is likely to be the colors styles and patterns that catch your eye, but choosing appliances needs to happen very early in the design process. Think about what your family needs, and determine which appliances best meet that need. Then when you know how much remaining space you have to work with, you can design around those appliances.
3. Failing to Include Enough Storage and Counter Space
You can’t work efficiently in a kitchen without counter space, and since lack of it is such a common complaint, it’s a good idea to make it a point of focus when you are designing your new kitchen.
Just like you need space to work in, you need places to keep all your kitchen tools. Excess storage is never a problem, but a shortage always is. We have experts certified in universal design on staff, and they can advise you on the best way to include storage that is easily accessible.
4. Neglecting the Lighting
It’s easy to understand how homeowners forget to include lighting in a kitchen remodeling project. It often just seems to be there, and not warrant much thought, but effective lighting not only makes it possible to prepare food more efficiently, but it also rejuvenates you.
5. Ignoring the Aesthetics
Designing a kitchen remodel is a lot of work, and it’s easy to forget that what you love about certain designs is how they look! It may seem silly to focus on appearance, but picking your color scheme and decoration is an important part of remodeling because it determines how much you will enjoy being in the room when it is all done.
6. Busting Your Budget
Your remodeling contractor can tell you what to do about almost any aspect of your kitchen remodel; but nobody but you can work out your budget! You need to assess your finances, home value, local real estate prices, what you really need from the kitchen remodel, what you’d like, etc. Be sure your budget includes a way to pay for contingencies. You may plan to spend all your savings on the remodeling, and have a credit card for backup. That’s fine as long as there is credit available. Otherwise, you have to plan to set aside some money for “just in case” situations.
7. Tunnel Vision
Homeowners can get too focused on their vision, and lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s important to be aware of how your kitchen fits in with the rest of the house. Your colors can match or contrast with the colors used elsewhere, but they must work together.
You also have to think about the future. Be sure to include the features that will add the most value, and will be what future owners will want.
If you would like help coming up with a kitchen remodeling design that you will love and that will do the most for increasing the value of your home, give the experts at TWD a call at 623-544-1211. We’d love to hear what you want to do, and our certified design specialists are happy to help you make it happen.