Avoid These Common Kitchen Remodel Pitfalls

Avoid These Common Kitchen Remodel Pitfalls

Okay, so you’ve gotten a great sense of what you want your kitchen remodel to do. You’ve consulted a calculator, a contractor, and a kitchen designer. You are ready to refine your ideas into an actual design… Now what?

As you can tell, the goals (intended functions) of your new kitchen will dictate the form (design). Every kitchen redesign begins with an assessment and evaluation of the current space. Small kitchens are often cramped and difficult to prep food in. This might be due to lack of storage or counterspace. Sometimes these smaller spaces need creative thinking. Some owners opt to take down a wall to open the kitchen up into an adjoining room. If you outline your current challenges, planning will present problem-solving and functionality.

And, if you think big kitchens are exempt from design planning, think again. Better Homes and Gardens notes that even a big kitchen makes use of “a compact step-saving work core. You don’t want to walk a mile to make a meal, or even worse, generate dead space within the room. Pick areas that will work hard during meal prep, dining, and family time.” They also recommend not making huge plan changes mid-project. Odds are these changes will ratchet up the cost of the remodel. They can also delay project timelines. With proper planning, though, there’s less of a likelihood you will want to shift gears mid-project. That’s because you’ve already considered every aspect of your your family’s needs and wants. And you’ve likely found creative solutions well in advance.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months planning for your kitchen remodel.

House Logic suggests that “if you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction mayhem will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.”

Choose a Functional Kitchen First

Forbes advises to always choose function over form. Don’t just think about how your new kitchen will look. Sure, it should look amazing. But it should also function well for you and your family for years to come. So, if that huge commercial-grade oven cramps your available space, opt for something more appropriate for the square footage in your kitchen. And if that eye-catching soapstone, limestone, or marble countertop surface is hard to maintain and protect, you may want to opt for something like granite, quartz or stainless steel.

Don’t Purchase Materials Too Early

Home Advisor warns against purchasing your materials prematurely, calling it a “renovation fail” and describing the risk of added costs:  “You need to have accurate measurements and a clear idea of what the completed project will look like before you start purchasing supplies and materials. Low prices on an unexpected sale might be tempting, but you could end up losing money when you find out that your new appliance is the wrong size or that you didn’t order enough flooring and now the store is sold out. Make a plan, set a budget, and then purchase your supplies.”


  • Wasting space. Small kitchen? Don’t be afraid to build your cabinets from floor to ceiling to capitalize on vertical space for storage, appliances, and other option. Have a large, sprawling kitchen? Try segmenting the space into smaller eating nooks, prep stations, computer workstations, or seating options for gatherings or family occasions.
  • Making spaces too tight to work in. If you try to economize too much, you risk creating narrow aisles, inefficient workstations, and poor traffic flow throughout your new kitchen.
  • Not adding enough storage. Across the board, homeowners list a lack of storage as their top reason for remodeling their kitchen. It’s easy to add in the design phase; difficult (and costly) to add after the fact.
  • Changing plans mid-renovation. When dollars and cents count, late changes to the game plan will take a huge chunk of your budget, which may cause you to sacrifice more critical elements of your design. Changing plans mid-project is always more costly, more time-consuming, and more unpredictable.

Free Kitchen Renovation Guide

Considering renovating your kitchen? Our renovation guide will give you an overview of what to expect. Planning questionnaire included to get you started.

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