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Kitchen Remodeling

5 Things NOT to do in Your Kitchen Remodel

By August 22, 2023No Comments

Undertaking a kitchen remodel can be a daunting task.  No one wants to get half-way through a home remodeling project and then uncover a problem that could’ve been taken care of before the hammers started swinging. With a little planning, you can avoid common kitchen remodeling mistakes. Whether you are working with a full service design/build firm, a general contractor or even considering doing it yourself, here’s 5 things NOT to do in your next kitchen remodel!

Don’t Skimp on the Time to Measure Accurately

Oh, the problems the future holds if you don’t measure your existing space accurately!  In the remodeling world, we call the initial measurements needed for a kitchen remodel and the plans we create from them “as-builts”. These form the foundation for the design of the new space. Accurate measurements ensure you know what cabinets will fit where, what size your appliances need to be and what size that beautiful new island you’ve been craving can be to fit into your home remodeling plans without creating a crunch.

This also applies to things like the size of your refrigerator.  A common remodeling mistake is not to allow enough clearance space for the refrigerator doors to open and interior produce doors to be pulled out fully (especially problematic if the refrigerator abuts a wall).  A second mistake is not to measure the depth of the refrigerator compared to the cabinets. Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with the cabinets, others will jut out.  You don’t have to give up storage capacity with counter-depth refrigerators; these days new – and constantly improving – design and technology means newer counter-depth models can hold just as much as other models.

Detailed measurements ensured this transitional kitchen remodel had room for not one but two beautiful kitchen islands. See more of the remodel here.

Don’t Ignore What’s Behind the Walls

What lurks beneath the drywall can sometimes be scary (especially in older homes), so don’t be afraid to poke a few holes to see what’s really going on with that ducting or electrical wiring before you start your kitchen remodel. Better to have a few drywall holes you can easily patch than start demo and realize you have a major problem on your hands. It’s not always bad news. Sometimes, there is a pleasant surprise when it comes to soffits or bulkheads. Not every soffit hides ducting so if you’ve been dreaming of ceiling-height cabinets, don’t assume you can’t have them if you have kitchen soffits. Some homebuilders add fake soffits to cut cost on cabinetry or to drop the height of the ceiling for a more ‘custom’ look. Find out more about removing or hiding kitchen soffits here.

Any professional remodeling contractor (whether large or small) should do a little exploratory surgery before construction on your kitchen remodel begins to ensure they know what they are dealing with once the walls are opened up. Even the Property Brothers will tell you the midway onscreen “oh-oh” moments when they open up a wall and find something that is going to add time and cost are all for dramatic effect. Any home remodeler worth their salt will have a pretty good idea of what’s going on behind a wall before they suggest opening it up. It’s impossible to catch everything, but it is possible to do due diligence up front and plan accordingly.

Ask your home remodeling company or general contractor to do a little upfront exploration behind the walls before demolition begins.

Don’t Have Unrealistic Kitchen Remodel Budget Expectations

It’s hard not to have unrealistic expectations when we are bombarded with T.V. shows that give the impression even the most extensive home remodels only take a matter of weeks and can be completed for a mere $20,000. Unless you are a remodeling contractor yourself, you likely aren’t thinking about what impacts the cost of a home remodel. From changing the footprint (relocating sinks, appliances, etc. requires changes to mechanical, electrical and plumbing), to the quality of cabinets you want to the floor that now has to be refinished throughout your main level because of all the other decisions you just made, costs add up. Using a design-build firm like Synergy may sound more expensive at the outset, but the benefits of using a professional home remodeler are greater transparency and realistic cost estimates from the beginning. It’s a one-stop-shop experience where you only deal with one company who can cost the whole thing out and keep it on-time and on-budget for you from start to finish.

We are believers in homeowners having the information at hand that helps them make more informed choices. Want to learn more?  You can get insider’s info in our “Square Foot Pricing for a Home Remodel: What You Should Know” blog.

Don’t Get Carried Away in Design Showrooms

Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful showroom because it opens up a world of possibility and provides a ton of inspiration with all the new beautiful tile, appliances, fixtures and fittings on display. However, it’s also easy to totally blow your budget by upgrading your materials selections on a whim because you see a tile you hadn’t considered before and you just have to have it. For example, if you see a square foot price for tile of $10.99sq ft, your emotional reaction tends to be “That’s not that expensive – and I really want it”. Take a beat, sit down and calculate the total cost. Before you commit, do your homework and make sure you are thinking through the knock-on impact to your budget. There are also lots of ways to still get the look you want without doubling the budget, from creating detail in the stove backsplash to picking out a different cabinetry line.

Working with a professional home remodeling design-build firm usually means Interior Designers work with you on not only picking out all the material selections to bring your space together, they’ll also keep you on track when it comes to how much you are spending, too!

Beautiful tile doesn’t have to blow your budget! See more this transitional kitchen remodel here.

Don’t Overdo Kitchen Design Trends

Kitchen design trends come and go and it can be head spinning trying to keep up with what’s in – and what’s so last year. Not to worry, good kitchen design lasts decades and it won’t feel like it’s dated before you’ve had your first guests over to see your recently completed kitchen remodel!

At Synergy, we are big believers in designing for real life, not the magazine version of ourselves. That starts with developing an understanding of how you use your space and what’s important to you and your family and not overdoing kitchen design trends. Each kitchen remodel we work on is customized to our clients’ design aesthetic, personal preference and keeps the architecture of the rest of the home in mind. From traditional to transitional to ultra contemporary kitchens, we do it all. We partner with our clients on developing the perfect kitchen floor plan and then our Interior Design Team help you sort the longer lasting kitchen design trends from the flash-in-the-pan fads to create your perfect kitchen. It’s all part of helping homeowners renovate happy!

For insider information and tips and hints on all things kitchen remodeling related, keep up to date here.

Our Interior Designers help you sort the design trends from the short-lived fads. See more of this kitchen remodel here

Ready to take the next step in your kitchen remodel and want to talk with a local home remodeling professional who can take care of all of the thinking for you?!  As one of the best remodelers in Reston, we know a thing or two when it comes to your home remodel! Give us a call – we’re always happy to chat about your project and help you create your dream space.

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