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Helpful Remodeling Tips

5 Reasons Kitchen Remodels Go Wrong

Nothing makes us sadder than hearing horror stories about terrible home remodeling experiences. Not every home remodeling company or general contractor is created equally and there are usually common root causes why things don’t go well. Noone wants to end up on a renovation nightmare reality TV show, so let’s take a look at five reasons kitchen remodels go wrong so you can avoid the same mistakes!

1. Not Researching The Different Ways to Remodel

We can’t say it enough: before you start googling “home remodeling company”, take some time to research the different ways you can remodel so you have a better understanding of what services a company really provides. Having the right expectations going into a home remodel will save you time, money and energy later in the process. For example, Synergy Design & Construction is a full service home remodeling company, meaning we have a team of in-house interior designers, carpenters and project managers who partner with you from the design and layout of your space through the end of construction – all professionally managed along the way. A General Contractor (GC), on the other hand, is more likely to look to you to decide on finishes (and, in some cases, buy the materials) and may be more comfortable with a more straightforward home remodel with no significant changes to the footprint. 

Find out more about the ways to remodel and how it impacts your decision making here or watch this video to find out more about our approach to home remodeling. 

2.  Unrealistic – or no – Budget 

This sounds like a no-brainer, but we can’t tell you the number of people who start a remodel with no real sense of what it’s really going to cost or what they should have budgeted for. Start with the basics. Put together a must-have (can’t live without), nice-to-have (would be nice but could live without) and pinch-me list (all the bells and whistles you’d love if money were no object) for your remodel. Discuss them with the home remodeling firms or contractors you meet with. This will help potential contractors really understand what it is you want out of your remodel and the level of finish you expect which has a direct impact on cost. 

A WORD OF WARNING: Anyone who gives you a ballpark estimate on their first visit to your home is not doing a thorough assessment of the work needed. A number of factors drive cost up from switching up the footprint to the level of finish you want to figuring out if that wall you want removed is load-bearing or not. 

Not sure where to start in figuring out how to budget for your home remodel? Read this!

3.  Skimping on Cabinets

Beautiful, quality cabinets form the basis of any home remodeling project. It’s one of the areas that’s definitely worth spending more for a better quality product. Most full service home remodeling companies have preferred cabinetry partners they work with who can provide a vast array of finishes, colors and price points. Others may only have a choice of three or four different door styles to pick from. This all goes back to the type of home remodeling company you decide to work with. 

Whatever the scenario, it’s always worth seeing at least a sample door you can touch and feel. At Synergy, our preferred cabinetry partners provide a range of cabinetry from contemporary to transitional to traditional. They can (and have) even color matched to all sorts of inspiration – in one case, a client’s favorite purse!

In this Reston home remodel, the same gorgeous cabinets were used to create a two sided pass through to the Dining Room. On the other side, glass fronted cabinets provide space for storage and display of favorite items.

Image Credit: Synergy Design & Construction.

4. Not Knowing the Difference Between “Pull & Replace” and a Total Redesign

They make it look so easy on the reality TV shows. Don’t like the sink stuck in the corner of the kitchen and want to put it on the island instead and take down that wall while we’re at it? No problem! And all that for a tiny budget and unrealistic timeline. Don’t be fooled! While reality shows are great for inspiration, the budgets and timelines are far from realistic. 

A “pull and replace” kitchen remodel (where literally the cabinets and appliances are pulled out and replaced in exactly the same location with very little design input) is definitely cheaper than moving a sink, relocating a refrigerator or adding an additional appliance (pellet ice maker anyone?!). Changing the footprint of your kitchen WILL cost more money. From plumbing lines to electrical changes to load-bearing walls or columns, not understanding the cost implications of your design choices is a surefire way to completely blow your budget and end up in a spiral of cost. This is where a professional home remodeling company comes in: they will work with you upfront to understand your goals and vision for the space and be straight with you in terms of how much it will really cost.

The footprint of this Reston home was changed transforming this mid-century house in a contemporary gem. 

Image Credit: Synergy Design & Construction

5. Forgetting About Flooring

This one trips up a lot of homeowners. Think about the impact your kitchen remodel will have on your floor. If you switch up your kitchen layout, does that mean part of your old floor is going to be exposed? Do you want to replace everything with new or “tooth-in” new wood with the old wood and restain it so it matches as best as possible? If so, where do the transitions end – in the kitchen, in the family room or do you want to rip off that bandaid and replace the flooring in the entire main level? These are choices that need to be made at the beginning of your project because, you guessed it, that’s another budget line item you need to add at the front end of the process. 

A good illustration of this is what happened to an out-of-area friend: she decided to replace only the floor in the kitchen and hallway with new flooring. When it was finished, however, the transition to the main level office and dining room was immediately obvious and she wished she’d just done the whole main level to begin with. This is where a professional home remodeler can help you work through the design choices and explain what impacts that might have once the work is complete. 

The flooring throughout the main level of this Reston townhome was replaced providing continuity throughout and visually making it feel much bigger. Image Credit: Synergy Design & Construction

If you’re ready to work with a full service local home remodeling company who can help you take the guesswork out of your kitchen remodel,  get in touch! Our consultations are FREE and there is no obligation.

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