Thursday, October 2, 2014

Avoid These Kitchen Remodeling Planning Mistakes

If you're looking for kitchen remodeling ideas, the Internet can feel at once inspiring and overwhelming. Sites like Pinterest and Houzz offer treasure troves of beautifully curated images, helpful tips and tricks, and plenty of links to products and services. Yet the sheer abundance of information can lead some homeowners astray.

Remember the wisdom of the popular idiom: too many cooks spoil the broth. The same is true of kitchen remodeling: too many ideas can derail a project! Over-planning a kitchen is just one of many remodeling mistakes--or as the Internet likes to call them "disasters."

The Internet is a great place to strike within you the fear of the kitchen remodeling gods!

Hestia, the eldest child of Kronos and Rhea, was the Greek goddess of the hearth and home. Happily, Hestia did not have a weapon: she abhorred the violence of her brother, Zues.

If you've researched your project online, you've undoubtedly read a remodeling horror story (or two, or three...) Quite simply, the web is loaded with remodeling disaster stories. Most of these stories follow a similar pattern: the homeowner's expectations for a project are subverted in some small or large way.

MKBD has performed successful kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects since 1983--and we've learned that by honestly assessing your project’s potential pitfalls, you can reduce the frequency, magnitude, and, most importantly, cost of mistakes. We're not here to tell you that mistakes do not happen. They often do! The key to a successful project is not eliminating mistakes--but limiting mistakes. And proper planning can certainly help.

However, some homeowners overdo it. Proper planning is about setting about reasonable expectations. If you're in the kitchen remodeling planning stage, make sure you avoid the following planning mistakes.


In a sense, "over-planning" is a misnomer: studious planning is really the key to kitchen remodeling success. Yet, it is important to remember: the actual remodeling project might not conform precisely to your plan. For this reason, it is helpful to be adaptable: change the plan when appropriate, especially when considering potential mistakes. 

Obviously, mistakes cost money, but the biggest mistake might be not accounting for mistakes in your budget. Your remodeling company or contractor might not discover potential problems--like plumbing or electrical challenges--until the work begins. So leave a portion of your budget for dealing with this unforeseen problems.

Unrealistic Expectations: The Completion Date

Unrealistic expectations can transform an otherwise brilliant project into a nightmare, and often the main source of contention between homeowners and remodeling companies or contractors is the completion date.

Kitchen remodeling projects often exceed the stated completion date. It's helpful to accept this before your begin the project. It's also helpful to let your remodeling company or contractor tell you the completion date--instead of the other way around.

By placing undue stress on your workers to finish by a certain date, you might inadvertently compromise the quality of your project. If you're concerned about the completion date, talk to your lead contact about a reasonable timetable that accounts for potential setbacks before work begins.

The "before and after" photos below reveal a tremendous transformation. Remember, this sort of transformation will take time! With realistic expectations, you will feel happy about your project, from beginning to end.

Before: For this MKBD project, the homeowners desired a total kitchen transformation with impeccable design. The "after" pictures below reveal a true dream makeover!

After: Every detail here, from the built-in warming drawer to high-grade kitchen hardware provides confidence and spark. Warm paint colors on the kitchen walls complement glazed maple cabinets with gorgeous pink granite countertops. Eye-popping red exotic hardwood floors provide the final punch for this beautiful kitchen. MKBD designers wanted to get every detail right in this new kitchen and worked tirelessly to give homeowners a kitchen of their dream. 

Overspending: Spending Too Much Money

Overspending covers two distinctive ideas: spending too much money and wasting. The first idea, spending too much money, is likely on most homeowner's minds, but surprisingly few homeowners recognize how to avoid this mistake.

Quite simply: the kitchen remodeling industry is very competitive; with so many vendors vying for your business, you have the power to negotiate the best deal for you. To adequately equip yourself, do your research about product quality and prices, and negotiate for every product and service. Otherwise, you're simply accepting prices at face value.

Negotiation could amount to some serious savings--and that's money you can reserve for potential mistakes or for a more diverse array of high quality products.

For this Fort Washington-area remodeling project, the client was uncompromising about purchasing the highest quality materials at the lowest possible price, from the custom-made cherry cabinets to the green sea granite countertops.

Overspending: Wasting Money

The remodeling project above is a great example of a homeowner spending his money wisely by purchasing only the highest quality materials. Another way that homeowners waste money is by seeking the lowest price, which often equates to the lowest quality. It's far better to seek higher-priced options, then (as we note above) negotiate the price.

It might seem like a paradox, but the quickest route to wasting money is spending too little money. We often see this problem with DIY projects. A DIY project can save you thousands of dollars on labor fees--only if you know what you're doing. If you're not sure how to install a dishwasher, for example, you might make a mistake that could cost you dearly! If you hire a high quality professional, you will avoid the risk and hassle of a DIY project.


A kitchen remodeling projects require a significant financial investment. Some remodeling companies might try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge. At MKBD, we strive to educate our customers--just read our blog! We tell you the secrets other remodeling companies don't want you to know. We empower customers. You will find many answers on this very blog! However, if you can't find the answer you're looking for, please call us: (215) 355-4747.

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