Today’s most common remodeling projects revolve around an efficient kitchen. A successful job means attention to minute details including time spent to avoid kitchen mistakes. There are a handful of common missteps to watch out for in any Sun Prairie WI project. With decades of jobsite experience, veteran remodelers know what to look for – when it’s OK to take a shortcut and when a miscue has serious repercussions.
Two early steps in the process are logical and based upon common sense:
- Moving too fast – there’s an old saying: “plan the work, work the plan.” Outlining all the variables in your proposed project in advance helps to put timelines and budgets together. Evaluating the existing footprint of your kitchen, the extent of your wants/needs is a great place to start. Once on site your plans might require 3-4 revisions. Always make contingencies for unexpected glitches – there are always a few. Your contractor brings experience to the project at this stage, too – details like permits, technical details on plumbing, HVAC, electrical needs, etc.
- Unreal budget expectations – as you consider a remodeling project’s budget you need professional advice. DIY homeowners don’t have access to all the prices and costs related to a complicated kitchen remodel. A general rule of thumb is create a budget and then add at least another 20%. The extra cushion is for peace of mind if nothing else. More likely, the final quote for your project will be higher than you expect.
Additional Cost Considerations
Materials that look great in a showroom don’t often fit in your real world. Therefore, don’t commit to major elements like flooring or countertops until you’ve brought home samples. See how they look in your space. Will you need to change your mind, change cabinetry, add or change kitchen lights?
A few other cost-related mistakes to review:
- Penny-pinching – no one wants to waste money, but a penny-pinching mindset creates problems for your contractor. “Cheaper” is relative. Products with lower price tags may require extra efforts to fit into the room – adding to installation costs. Or, they don’t wear as well as slightly higher cost products so need to be replaced sooner. Best advice: choose wisely and use the best materials you can afford.
- Make up your mind – change orders make contractors cringe. Make a plan and stick as close to it as you can. Understand, there will be times when changes must be made. But don’t get caught up in trends and fads. Realize any time you go to your contractor with a “what if,” there will be a cost assigned to the result.
Kitchen Mistakes From Design Flaws
Why do you want to change your kitchen? A Variety of common mistakes fall into the category of design flaws. You have to design your kitchen around the way you envision using it the most. Will you be doing a lot of cooking and entertaining? Or, will it be the family gathering place for everything from meals to homework and conducting family business. With an understanding of what you want to change firmly in hand, consider these missteps to avoid:
- Wasting space, extra efforts – even in a spacious new kitchen layout a step-saving floor plan is vital. You don’t want to walk any more than necessary to make a meal. Wide open “dead” spaces in the room contribute little. Create areas that work for you – meal prep, cleanup, dining, family time, etc. Maintain clear routes between oft-used appliances like the refrigerator, stove, sink and dish washer.
- Too little space – at the other extreme are aisles within the room that are too tight to navigate comfortably. Especially if you regularly have more than one person using the kitchen at a time. Keep aisles wide enough to open cabinets, drawers and appliances without collisions. It is embarrassing to find (too late) that cabinet drawers in corners won’t open because they cannot clear the nobs on an adjoining drawer.
- It’s not all about floor space – true, you’re creating a floorplan, but you live in a multidimensional world. You have to think about the entire space. Plan for all the space – openings for modern refrigerators, adding a pantry, overhead storage above an island, counter-to-ceiling backsplash and adequate lighting. Doors that open and block walkways or connect with the wall are common mistakes.
Where Does Everything Go
Are you knocking out walls or renovating within the space you already have? It’s easy to over-extend yourself on paper only to find things just don’t fit. Consider these additional potential problem areas:
- Kitchen overload – if your plan calls for renovation within the same footprint, beware of overwhelming a small space. You have a lot of options so don’t try to cram too much into your new kitchen – you may regret it later.
- Kitchen islands – a kitchen island is one of the most in-demand additions to remodeled kitchens. Unfortunately, it isn’t the right choice for everyone. In large spaces and island is a real asset – if the space is really big, maybe two islands! They come in assorted sizes, shapes and functions. Professional kitchen designers caution: big isn’t always better. If an island is more than 4 feet deep it can be hard to reach the middle. If it’s more than 10 feet long it requires a lot of steps to get around. Overloading island storage creates many of the same problems in deep cabinets that you’re planning to avoid.
- Storage and more storage – you never have enough storage. Unless it’s storage done wrong. A good kitchen design tailors storage to specific needs. You have choices from open shelves to cabinets and pantry additions. Before committing to one form or another think about what will reside in each location. Do you want everything in your kitchen visible to everyone who walks in? If not, open shelves, no matter how trendy, are not a wise choice. Pots, pans and cooking utensils take up a lot of standard cabinet space. Is it time to work in an overhead storage scheme?
Professionals Avoid Costly Kitchen Mistakes
Sims Exteriors & Remodeling is one of the most experienced remodeling firms in the Madison area. It fields knowledgeable, experienced and skilled craftsmen. Contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling at 608-825-4500 – call or email us – for ideas on the best options, the hottest trends and to avoid kitchen mistakes in your Sun Prairie WI home.