Kitchen renovation is one of the most popular home improvement projects in the United States today. Many homeowners believe it will add value to their homes — not only for themselves, but also down the road if they decide to put their home up for sale. Kitchen renovations can be quite costly and there are many things to consider before starting your project. You’ll want to be fully prepared so that you can avoid making costly mistakes like these five.
1. Lack of Attention to Detail – If you are like most people, you may be concentrating on the big picture version of your kitchen renovation, and not delving too deeply into the project’s details. Don’t assume that your contractor will think of all the details — like hardware for your cabinets, or if your drawers will have built-in storage. Do not rely on the contractor to take care of these seemingly small details. If you don’t communicate what you want, your contractor isn’t going to be able to read your mind. Ensure you are communicating your needs down to the last detail.
2. Not Enough Counter Space – you need to ensure that you are not sacrificing precious counter space for other design elements on your kitchen remodel. You may think you don’t need that much space on a regular basis, but think about the big picture. You may be hosting dinner parties or holiday gatherings, and you want to have as much space as you possibly can, to accommodate this. Aside from having more space for hosting, you can do more with large countertop surfaces, even when they are not being utilized for cooking. Countertops don’t have to be purely functional. They can contribute to your design element and be a focal point in your kitchen. With the various materials that are available for your countertops — like marble, granite, or ceramic tile — your choice in materials will give your kitchen, a completely different look and feel.
3. Thinking You Can DIY All the Time – There are some valid do-it-yourself projects that you can take on if you have a basic understanding of home improvements and can classify yourself as handy. There are even some DIY projects that are simple enough to learn if you know how to follow directions and take the necessary safety precautions. On the other hand, major work like your kitchen renovation should be left to the professionals. You may think you know how to rip out your kitchen cabinets and reinstall them because you watch HGTV all day, but the complexity of installing custom cabinetry work is much more intense than it looks on TV.
4. Having an Unrealistic Budget – so you want your house to look like it’s from “MTV Cribs,” but you want to get that on a shoestring budget. It’s probably not going to happen. You need to be realistic with what you can afford. If your tastes are larger than your wallet, it might be a good idea to wait on the renovation if it is not a necessity right now. Start putting the money aside today, and revisit your plans when you are ready. On the other hand, if you do have a nice chunk of change set aside, you still need to be realistic about what the entire project will cost you.
You should factor in materials, labor costs, building permits (depending on where you live), and a little extra for unexpected expenses that may come up along the way. If you have no concrete idea of the cost of granite countertops or kitchen ventilation systems, you need to do your research. If you don’t have the time to devote to research, you should enlist the services of a professional. Make sure you shop around and get a few different quotes from contractors in your area.
5. Cutting Corners to Save Time or Money – a cabinet maker will tell you that cutting corners is not a great idea when it comes to anything, but when you’re renovating your kitchen, it’s even worse. If you have not made mistake #4, you should be in a good place when it comes to budgeting and have the money available to get your renovation done right. If you have made mistake #4, you may find yourself in a bind when you realize you should have planned your budget more thoroughly.