Nothing upgrades a house faster than a remodeled kitchen — and if you’re about to invest in yours, you’ll never regret planning carefully to create a space you love. There are many common blunders that people make when redoing this part of their home. With good planning, you can avoid them!
Wondering what turns a kitchen renovation into a disappointment fast? Here’s what other home remodelers, kitchen contractors and designers would tell you to be on guard against while taking on a major kitchen redesign:
- Blowing the budget.Anyone who’s been through a major renovation will tell you that costs accumulate fast. You may start your project hoping to spend a certain amount, but then a product price goes up or a contractor flakes out on you. This is why it’s wise to build a 15% to 20% buffer in your expected costs. That said, it’s vital to stick as closely to your budget as you can. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting how much you’ve spent on the new kitchen you’ve created.
- Not designing for your household.While it’s always good to think about resale value and make renovations from the perspective of the public, you still want to design for you. Before starting your project, think carefully about how your household uses your kitchen and what needs should be addressed. If you fail to renovate to your lifestyle, you could end up with a nice, new kitchen that still doesn’t fit your family.
- Skimping on storage space.From cabinetry to counter space, a pantry to pull-out drawers, every updated kitchen needs storage space — and lots of it. Here again, think about the items you need to store, and make sure you create storage to accommodate it. Not only does sufficient storage make your kitchen more functional and usable, but it gives you places in which to keep all your supplies and ingredients out of sight. A well-organized kitchen can mean clearer counters and a cleaner kitchen vibe.
- Forgetting the kitchen triangle.The common concept of keeping easy access between the stove, sink and refrigerator is popular for a reason. Any cook knows that being able to prep food relies on having everything you need within reach. However you design your space, ensure that these main three work areas are near one another. Plan for this triangle in your design.
- Constricting the aisles.Typically, the aisles in your kitchen need to be wide enough to make it easy for multiple people to be working together. This means between 42 and 48 inches. Go any smaller, and you risk cramping the space.
- Overcrowding the layout.As popular as islands are in modern kitchens, they won’t work in every space. In a kitchen with a small footprint, for example, a peninsula will typically provide the most convenience. Shoving a large island into a small kitchen creates the same dilemma as too-narrow aisles: The room ends up feeling too tight.
- Going too trendy.Understanding what’s currently in style is good; spending a lot of money on a remodel that will seem outdated in a few years is not. Rather than going big on trends, look for features that are more timeless. If you like, you can nod to trends with a few smaller and easily replaceable features, such as a few open shelves, instead of an entire kitchen of them.
If you’re like most homeowners, you understand why the kitchen is called the heart of the home. It’s where you make and eat meals, where friends congregate, and often one of the most frequently used rooms in a house. That’s exactly why you want your renovation to turn out to be one that pleases you and enhances your life. Use this list to know what to watch for while you’re renovating, and you can create the finished space you’ve always wanted.
Author bio: Nathan Weizmann is the co-owner of Wise Builders — specializing in kitchen and bathroom remodeling in the South Bay Area, from concept to the final construction product. With a combined industry experience of 30-plus years, Weizmann and Wise Builders strive in directions to propel the company forward while using the old school approach with new school methods.