Many people think the kitchen is the most important room in the house – and they’re not wrong. For most, it is the center of a home where a family eats, has coffee, chats, and prepares food. Getting ready for a kitchen renovation is exciting, but there are some things you should be aware of if you want to avoid making a mistake!
The golden rule, if you are thinking of having a kitchen remodel, is not to rush into it. A kitchen is a hybrid of the comfortable and stylish, mixed with practicality. It is really easy to get it wrong, and making a mistake can be expensive. You need to plan meticulously, so you know exactly what you want, before you start.
Another key thing to remember is not to underestimate how long it’s going to take to renovate a kitchen. Take what you hope and add a week or two – it won’t do any harm to overshoot it and be surprised when it is done early or on time. This can be due to lead times in the home renovation industry, unexpected setbacks, changes in supply of materials, and more.
Read blogs like this one! Seriously, do your research and be thorough, when it comes to kitchen remodeling. There are all sorts of things to consider before you buy the materials and get into construction.
The first thing to do is work out what your family needs from a kitchen and make sure that the design you settle on meets those needs. It is easy to underestimate the area of workspace you need and the amount of storage required. Kitchens are not just to look at, they are to live in and to make meals in. Don’t make the mistake of creating something eye-catching that is impractical, or a layout that will not suit you in ten years.
So look around at your friends’ kitchens, visit showrooms, and surf the internet. Make boards on Pinterest and save posts on Instagram. Storage solutions are always evolving, so make sure you understand what’s available. When you choose the style you like, try to see the big picture. It’s a whole room you’re creating -- not just a collection of individual items. Floor, walls, cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, lighting, appliances, and accessories should all work together.
The big-ticket items need thought, but the first thing to decide on is the style you like. Whether that’s ultra-modern, farmhouse, Scandinavian, or minimalist, there are ways to produce the effect you want for all budgets. Knowing the feel you are aiming for helps to concentrate the mind and eliminates some of the limitless (and sometimes overwhelming) possibilities available.
If you plan it right and have good, reliable contractors, then kitchen downtime should be reduced to a minimum. However, you will inevitably have to deal with the problem of having no kitchen for a while. The worst thing is having to do without a refrigerator. If you can, move your current refrigerator into your garage or into a spare room, and if that’s not possible, at least get a cool box. A mini-fridge is another great alternative. Most of us can live without having to cook for a little while, but not being able to keep any fresh food in the house is a nightmare.
For food, you’re going to have to rely on takeout and simple meals that don’t require cookingYou may also rely on more meals at the homes of friends, our outdoors in your yard or a common area of your apartment building. This can get expensive, though, so you do need to budget for the time your kitchen will be out of commission. Plus, it’s recommended to make certain that you allow for delays.
There are pros and cons for both laying the floor before installing the cabinets and vice versa.
Putting the floor down first means no tricky fitting around the bases of the cabinets, and no fixed footprint, should you wish to change things around at a later date. On the other hand, flooring laid where no one will ever see it is an expense you may want to avoid, and if you decide you’d like a new floor, you are going to have to remove the cabinets as well.
Beginning with the cabinets means less costly flooring is needed, and damage to the floor while assembling the cabinets can be avoided. However, fitting flooring around the cabinets is going to be trickier and might take longer than simply reflooring the room itself… and you can’t make any kitchen layout mistakes.
You also need to consider the final height of your countertops. Sometimes even half an inch can make the difference between a comfortable working height and one that makes everything a painful chore. So you need to consider the cabinets and appliances with the flooring materials before making a decision about which should be done first.
1. Putting Form over Function
This is number one on the list of the biggest kitchen design mistakes. It is easy to get so caught up in a style of kitchen that you ignore its main use. Having the perfect farmhouse kitchen may be the dream, but if there’s not enough storage area, or the refrigerator is too small for your family, you risk a huge disappointment. Don’t forget what a kitchen is for.
2. Designing for the Neighbors
We all want a kitchen that makes everyone’s jaw drop, but don’t let looks get in the way of utility. It is perfectly possible to have a great-looking kitchen that is also the perfect place to store, prepare, and eat food. Try not to get that balance wrong.
3. DIY Remodeling
If you have the skills, then DIY can be the way to go. Cheaper than getting professionals in, there is also the satisfaction of a job well done. But, recognize your limits. A kitchen refurb has to go as smoothly as possible; you don’t want to have to do without it for longer than necessary. Also, mistakes can be very costly. Be careful and do your research, before going down the DIY route.
4. Losing Sight of What the Kitchen is for
Remember why you have a kitchen. Obviously, it is where you prepare and cook, but specifics vary from family to family. Recognize what you and the people who share your home need. Some families cook rarely, but eat out a lot, some make meals every day. Some entertain large parties, get-togethers or even host events at home. Work out your priorities before you begin.
5. Failing to Include Enough Storage and Counter Space
This is key and easy to get wrong. It pretty much goes that however much cupboard space and work area you think you need, you’ll need more. Not having enough of either is a cardinal mistake and can make or break the success of a kitchen.
6. Neglecting the Lighting
Lighting is not an afterthought. Bear in mind that you don’t just want good-looking lights -- you also need lighting that allows you to work. Have you ever tried finely slicing an onion in the dark? Enough said.
7. Ignoring the Aesthetics
While practicality is super important, don’t neglect the looks and style. You spend a lot of time in your kitchen, and there’s no reason why it should be anything other than a delight. Aesthetics and utility are not mutually exclusive.
8. Busting Your Budget
With a project of this sort, it is easy to get carried away. At the start, you need to work out how much you want to spend and stick with it. Don’t lose sight of how much it is costing or you may get a very nasty surprise.
9. Skimping on the Small Stuff
That budget also needs to include the small stuff, and not just the premium items. Whether we are talking kitchen utensils, storage jars, or fruit bowls, the finishing touches are so, so important and it is silly to think anything will do.
10. Insufficient Electrical Outlets
Don’t underestimate the number of electrical outlets you’re going to need. Not only are extension cords awkward, but they’re also unsightly and can even cause danger! Apart from all those labor-saving appliances we can’t do without, you're also going to need outlets for phone chargers, smart speakers, and all the rest.
If this makes it sound like kitchen remodeling is a big deal, well… it is! There’s a lot that needs to be thought about before you begin and through to the finished kitchen. Skipp can help make that dream a reality and take away a lot of the difficulties.
After one 30-minute visit for a 3D scan by a professional surveyor, we get your kitchen measurements, create layouts for your review, and we quickly offer you our sets of name brand kitchen design collections for you to choose from. Suddenly, your decision-making process is much easier and the stresses fall away. Then, we can help you choose contractors that have been personally vetted by us, and we guarantee you the perfect kitchen at a price you can afford.
Getting your kitchen remodeled is a great way to improve your home and put your stamp on it. All it needs is a lot of thought and planning. Never be afraid to consult with experts. A kitchen is complex and it is easy to overlook something important, so take your time, and do it right. If you feel you need help, Skipp is just a call or email away.
Start your Skipp 3D scan today and learn what we can do for your kitchen.