Common Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

More than any other room of the house, your Kitchen is about function just as much as it is design.  We all want a beautiful kitchen, but we also want one that’s easy to cook in and clean, and has adequate storage space for all of our utensils, appliances, and dishes.

That’s why proper design and planning is so important when preparing for a kitchen remodel.  Here are some common mistakes homeowners make and how you can avoid them:

They put design before function

Who doesn’t want that show kitchen that is the envy of your neighborhood?  The problem is that show kitchens aren’t necessarily functional.  How accessible is the stove, fridge, and sink?  How much counter space will you have? 

Think of your kitchen more as a “work space” than a living area.  You want everything to be nearby while you’re cooking so that you can easily prepare meals without running from one end of the kitchen to the other.  Your stove, fridge, and sink should be relatively close (this is known as the “kitchen triangle”) to maximize efficiency.  Using this principle, you shouldn’t be more than a few steps away from either of these kitchen features at any time. 

And this should be the primary focus throughout the design process, ensuring each choice takes into account how it will function in your kitchen.  While textured granite, or tile, countertops look very nice, they may not be ideal if you do a lot of baking and are regularly rolling out dough.  While beautiful, they can be more difficult to clean depending on what you’re making and how you’re using them.  So each choice needs to be based on how you intend to use your kitchen to maximize its function.

They cut costs that they later regret

Your kitchen is the most expensive room in your home to renovate and, while there are certainly opportunities to reduce that cost, you want to make sure that you’ll be happy with those cuts long term.  While you certainly don’t want to spend beyond your means, every decision should be considered and weighed against its impact to function or the overall design.  What you may find is that, for either an aesthetic or functional reason, some things are worth splurging on in order to get the kitchen that you want.  Often, the additional cost may even be able to be recovered through other choices you may make in the design of your kitchen or the materials chosen.

This is where you have to consider what is most important to you in the design of your kitchen.  Is it high end appliances?  Decorative cabinets or molding?  High end finishes like granite countertops or ornate backsplashes?  There are a lot of decisions that go into designing a kitchen and you want to make sure that the end result is something that you can be happy with for years to come.  While many of these choices will impact cost, picking one or two that are of particular importance to you can result in a project that may be a bit more manageable while still getting something that you’ll love.

They don’t recognize potential hazards

From water damage and mold issues, to Asbestos, you can find a lot of potential issues during your kitchen remodel.  For this reason, it’s important to keep alert for any signs of trouble, and be aware of how these issues can impact your project.

Water Damage and Mold issues may require additional tearout, mitigation & drying, or mold removal and remediation work.  This additional, unplanned, work can delay your renovation, add additional expense to your bottom line, and increase the scope of needed repairs and renovation.  It’s important however to recognize the signs of moisture damage and mold discovered during a remodel, as you certainly don’t want to complete your renovation only to find out that you have to tear it out again.

Asbestos can be found in many building materials commonly used in kitchens, including floor tile and mastic, insulation, and even sinks!  As part of your renovation, you certainly don’t want to disturb Asbestos, or potentially create a health hazard.  As a result, whenever you or your contractor are tearing out materials that may contain Asbestos, it’s always a good practice to have testing performed first.    Testing can be performed by a qualified, licensed, Asbestos testing firm. 

They try to do it all themselves

We totally get it, we’re DIY’ers ourselves, but some things are better left to the professionals.  Installing cabinets and countertop for instance, while it may look easy, requires a tremendous amount of precision and skill.  Not only do your cabinets need to be installed perfectly level, but an installer often needs to adapt to imperfect walls and floors. Most homes are not perfect, most walls aren’t perfectly horizontal or straight, most floors aren’t perfectly level.  A qualified installer will have the knowledge and experience to ensure your cabinets and countertop are still level and installed securely.

That’s not to say that there aren’t projects for the DIY’er.  Things like painting, cleanup, installing drawers and hardware, and finishing touches like putting everything away in your new kitchen are all great projects for anyone that wants to be involved in the process and more than enough to keep you busy.

We hope your kitchen remodel is a success and that you’re happy with the finished product!  If you run into any issues like Water Damage, Mold, or Asbestos during your renovation, please don’t hesitate to let us know.  We’re happy to help!

About Disaster Blaster

Disaster Blaster is an indoor environmental firm serving the Northeastern PA Area.  We have been providing our local area with unparalleled water damage mitigation, basement waterproofing, mold remediation, radon mitigation, asbestos abatement, and fire / smoke restoration services for decades, and are proud to have been named The World’s Greatest Indoor Environmental Firm.  For more about Disaster Blaster, as well as more helpful tips, please visit our website at: or call our office at (570) 963-1123.