3 Costly Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes

Written by Sam Ferris of Tukasa Creations
Updated June 15, 2020
Tukasa Creations kitchen remodel with island and oak cabinets
Don't pick style over function when you remodel your kitchen. Create a timeless look and quality workflow to maximize your investment. (Photo courtesy of Tukasa Creations)

Plan ahead when you remodel your kitchen to avoid these common homeowner blunders.

The cost to remodel your kitchen is expensive enough as it is. How expensive? Remodeling Magazine estimates a major kitchen remodel costs about $56,768. While that isn’t a one-size-fits-all number, the last thing you want is a mistake that makes that number larger. Take a look at these three costly mistakes and see how you can avoid them — before the first hammer drops. 

Mistake no. 1: Not planning ahead for your major appliances

If you’re doing a total kitchen overhaul, make sure you know what sizes your major appliances — sink, stove, oven and refrigerator — need to be. This is particularly important if you’re switching up your layout or buying new kitchen cabinets.

Why? If your current appliances won’t fit in your new kitchen design (if your sink or stove are too big or too small), then you’re forced to either buy new appliances or start over from scratch. Both options carry a hefty price tag. How to avoid it: Measure your appliances before you start remodeling.Decide whether you want to keep them or if you’re willing to buy new ones, then clearly communicate your decision to your interior designer or contractor. 

newly remodeled kitchen and cat
Think about the ways you want to use the kitchen to get the most of a new layout. (Photo by Frank Espich)

Mistake no. 2: Installing your own kitchen cabinets

I’m looking at you, DIY-ers. While it may be tempting to save money by installing your own kitchen cabinets, they have to be level with the wall to avoid problems with your countertops — and that’s a task better left to remodeling professionals. When your cabinets are crooked, there will be gaps between the top of your cabinet and your countertop, which requires patchwork. You might have to reinstall your cabinets if they’re beyond repair. How to avoid it: Hire a professional remodeler, handyman or custom cabinet maker to install your kitchen cabinets.Yes, it costs more upfront, but it’s less headache than reinstalling your cabinets or paying a professional to correct your mistakes. 

Mistake no. 3: Picking style over function

It’s OK to design with style in mind. In fact, you should, for both resale value and your own satisfaction. But that stainless steel smart fridge you want may not work efficiently in your kitchen space. It’s easy to get caught up in aesthetics and forget about the fact that your kitchen is a work zone. If your work space isn’t efficient, cooking can become a miserable process, and you’ll have to spend even more money to get a functional kitchen design.How to avoid it: Design your kitchen with function in mind. Consider hiring a planner or remodeler to help you map out the design and workflow before construction begins.Is your stove in the right spot? Do you have enough countertop space? Do you need more storage space for dishware? Would cabinet drawers be better for your back than cabinet doors? These are the questions you need to ask yourself first, not whether you want a traditional or contemporary kitchen design. Functional design hinges on the way you use your kitchen. 

Have you remodeled your kitchen or are you considering a remodel? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below. 

About this Experts Contributor: Sam Ferris is the marketing and social media director at Tukasa Creations, a retail flooring and remodeling company in Corpus Christi, Texas. He has experience in the flooring and remodeling industry, and also designs kitchen cabinets. You can connect with Tukasa Creations on Twitter and Google Plus.

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