Kitchens (and bathrooms) are the most popular rooms to renovate in the home, and for good reason: done properly, they will increase the resale value of your home or apartment. And who wouldn’t want a spacious, gourmet kitchen? However, it’s also a big undertaking with plenty of pitfalls and headaches if you don’t watch out. So before you begin your kitchen remodel, read through the following advice to avoid the most common kitchen renovation mistakes:
SET YOUR BUDGET IN THE BEGINNING
With kitchens it’s easy to get carried away with fancy gadgets and expensive countertops when you see how pretty they make them look in the showroom, so before you start looking at actual items, have your budget set and you won’t have to scramble to pay for the project. Whether your budget is $5,000 or $75,000, kitchen costs typically fall along these numbers:
- 30% for cabinets and hardware
- 20% for design and installation
- 16% for floors, walls, ceiling and doors
- 14% for appliances and ventilation
- 10% for counters
- 10% electrical and plumbing
So keep this in mind when you are figuring out how much you want to spend.
DECIDE YOUR LAYOUT
It’s all well and good to have a kitchen that looks beautiful, but if you actually plan on using it to cook, then all the visual appeal in the world won’t save you from being annoyed if it’s not actually functional. If your current layout works well, then consider keeping the positioning. Moving wiring, plumbing and gas lines all add to the cost, so if you can avoid this, it will work in your favor. If part of the reason you are remodeling your kitchen is because the layout is bad, then think about using the “classic work triangle.” This means positioning the refrigerator, stove, and sink in a triangle (i.e. within a few steps of each other) so that you don’t have to move far in any one direction to move between the three.
KEY SPACE PLANNING NUMBERS
Here are a few key dimensions to remember, so that the flow of your space is smooth and no one feels cramped when working side-by-side in the kitchen:
- If you’re lucky enough to have room for an island, make sure that there are at least 42 inches (106cm) between the counters and the island.
- In front of appliances like oven doors, make sure that you have at least 30 inches (76cm) of space in front of them when their doors are open so that people can still walk comfortably by.
- Have at least 36 inches (91cm) of counter space for food prep, with at least 24 inches (60cm) on one side of the sink and 18 inches (46cm) on the other.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
If you have some (or no) idea of what tiles, appliances, and countertops cost, don’t just wing it. Visit showrooms, look online, ask a friend whose kitchen you admire. All of these will give you a good idea of price. Another great way to get information and inspiration is to go on house tours in your area. Often the designers, contractors and suppliers are either on-site to answer questions, or their information is provided in the tour booklet. On top of potentially hiring these people, remember too the cost of labor, materials, shipping and delivery. These are the numbers homeowners often forget to factor-in when they are budgeting, so don’t forget to ask questions of the professionals about these costs as well.
In 90% of the kitchen remodels that I have done, the owners have wanted a gourmet cooktop. Why? Because they look amazing in the space. It’s almost become a standard in US kitchens. But before you splurge on this piece, make sure you consider the following:
- They are REALLY heavy. Some can weigh more than 900 lbs (>400kg), so depending on where you kitchen is, the stove may require extra floor support.
- As they are larger than your standard size range, the pro-grade ones often stick out 4 inches (10cm) beyond the standard counter depth.
- These high fire power cookers will need a 10 inch (25cm) duct to vent away the heat, as opposed to the standard 7 inch (18cm) one.
- It’s going to cost you at least $5,000 USD to get one in your space, but they can run upwards of $10,000USD.
- Parts and repairs can be pricey.
So there you have it: my must-read list of remodel considerations. Hopefully they will make your renovation easy as the pie you’re going to bake in your new kitchen!
Check out my most recent video for plenty of helpful tips and tricks to make your kitchen renovation go smoothly.