Ten Questions to Help You Avoid Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes

Remodeling your kitchen is a huge undertaking, and if you want successful results, a lot of preparation should come before you jump in with the sledge hammers to tear down those walls.

Asking yourself some very important questions can help you set realistic expectations, make the process more predictable, and give you positive results.

Consider these 10 questions before you begin:

1. Why do you want to remodel your kitchen?

First of all, decide why you really want to remodel your kitchen. This is a major project, so deciding which improvements you really want to make in your kitchen will help you get your planning off to a good start.

Spend some time in your kitchen and decide on the major goals you want to accomplish with your kitchen remodeling. List the areas of your kitchen you want to improve and then prioritize them. Later in the process, if you have to cut corners to stay within your budget, you can go directly to the items at the bottom of your list!

2. How will the remodeling process affect your life?

Living in your home while remodeling your kitchen will present some inconvenience. So be realistic about this before you begin and make alternative plans before you get into the middle of it.

Talk with your family ahead of time and make sure everyone is on board for a little inconvenience until your kitchen is back in working order. Plan ahead and think about where your temporary “kitchen” will be. Decide where you will wash dishes – guest bathroom maybe? Think about eating out more often, and planning to use the grill and microwave for meals at home.

3. To gut or not to gut?

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, as the old saying goes. If you go in and tear out, you have no choice but to replace everything. So be certain of your budget and the actual cost of replacement before you go into it in full swing.

4. Is your perfect schedule realistic?

No matter how well you plan ahead, unforeseeable events can interfere with your plans. Delays in receiving materials and other unplanned circumstances can, and probably will, affect your perfect schedule.

The best idea is to keep some padding in place as you schedule each aspect of the process. For instance, if you’re scheduling your sink to be installed on the day after your counter tops are completed, add an extra day or two in between. Also, order your cabinets, appliances, tile, etc., before you begin the project.

5. Whose recommendations will you follow?

You’re going to be dealing with a lot of different people in your kitchen remodeling project – possibly an electrician, plumber, painter, decorator, installers of all types.

It is important to listen to the recommendations of the experts, but don’t be swayed to make decisions that are beyond what you need and beyond the price you can afford. Try to stick to your list of priorities to make sure you get the most from your project and don’t skimp on the quality of the things you want most.

6. How do you find a reliable contractor?

First of all, don’t tackle this project yourself if you aren’t experienced; you’ll be glad to have professionals when it’s all said and done. Don’t settle for the first contractor you speak with. And don’t just go with the cheapest estimate.

It’s ok to have more than one estimate, and you should be sure your contractor is qualified, bonded and insured, and experienced. And get it all in writing to avoid complications later. Getting recommendations is always a smart move on your part.

7. Have you measured thoroughly?

One of the most disappointing and costly mistakes you can make in a remodeling project is to order appliances or cabinets, get the work completed to prepare for installation and then find out your appliance, sink or cabinets won’t fit into the space.

Do yourself a favor and work with an architect or kitchen designer who can draw up your plans. Then choose professional installers who can understand and implement the plans effectively.

8. Does your dream kitchen fit with the rest of your home?

One of the worst decorating mistakes you can make is creating a dream kitchen that absolutely doesn’t work with the rest of your home. Don’t create a sleek contemporary kitchen if the rest of your house is traditional.

You can find a happy medium and have a great style that will compliment the rest of your home and still fill the needs of an updated kitchen. Be reasonable in your choices and think about balancing the style of your new kitchen with your existing d�©cor.

9. What kinds of appliances are realistic for your needs?

Unless you’re a gourmet cook, you might not need the most expensive stove with all the bells and whistles. Again, balance is the key to good choices. If you enjoy cooking and you’ve always wanted a gas stove rather than electric, that’s reasonable.

Don’t go overboard with any one appliance just because you see it on the cooking network. Choose the types of appliances that will actually suit your purposes and bring efficiency and style into your new kitchen.

10. What about lighting?

Good lighting makes a huge difference in the ambiance of your kitchen. But you also need useful lighting for the work areas.

One of the most popular types of lighting in today’s kitchen is recessed lighting under cabinets. If you choose this kind of lighting, make certain the cabinet bottom is also recessed so your light fixtures won’t be apparent.

And don’t forget about a plan for your electrical outlets. There’s nothing more disappointing than great kitchen appliances with no logical place to plug them in. There is a lot to think about when you plan to remodel your kitchen. If you take your time, do your homework, plan ahead, and remain flexible, you can survive it and end up with a great new kitchen as a gathering place for family and friends to enjoy for years to come.

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