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What Things Should I NOT Do in My Chicago Kitchen Remodel?

What Things Should I NOT Do in My Chicago Kitchen Remodel?

Where you should try and save costs, bad designs, and avoiding buyer’s remorse


There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of blogs that will give you great ideas for your kitchen remodel (we’ve even written some). Some of them are outdated; some of them contradict each other; some of them aren’t actually that great of ideas. It’s overwhelming to try and read through, and then remember them all. 


Here’s the honest truth: it’s hard to go wrong when remodeling your kitchen. In fact, there are only three things we strongly recommend you avoid. Let’s discuss.


Trying to Save too Many Costs

Everyone loves a good deal. Nobody wants to spend more than necessary. It’s human nature to hold onto our hard-earned money. We want to help you keep your project on budget. But there is such a thing as trying to save too many costs, or going too cheap.


There are a few things that we recommend picking long-lasting quality over cheapest price:


  • Cabinets – Kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest chunks of your remodel budget, but for good reason. They are quite literally the foundation of your kitchen. You use them multiple times, every day. And you want them to last for the next 15-20 years. Opt for heavy-duty hardware, plywood box construction, and a protective coating on the exterior to extend the life of your new kitchen cabinets.


  • Flooring – One of the worst things that can happen to your newly replaced kitchen floor is damaging it as you move back into your kitchen post-remodel. Flooring is deceptively difficult to replace in rooms like kitchens, particularly when it comes to dealing with all the nooks and crannies of appliances, and lining up with the cabinet toe kicks. Opt for longevity and durability over the lowest cost flooring. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.


  • Appliances – We know appliances don’t last nearly as long as they used to, but some of them still last for a good length of time. Price doesn’t always indicate quality or longevity when it comes to appliances. Don’t opt for the cheapest appliances – you’ll definitely end up replacing them sooner rather than later – but you don’t need top-of-the-line appliances either. There is a good quality middle ground.


Bad Design Ideas

We said at the beginning of this blog post that it’s hard to go wrong when remodeling your kitchen. But it’s not impossible. One of the easiest ways to mess up your kitchen remodel is to not consider organization and functionality of your kitchen when planning the design.


If your current kitchen layout isn’t working for your family or your lifestyle – change it! It typically doesn’t cost that much more to move some pipes and electrical hookups around. Don’t settle for what is already laid out in your home, just because you are trying to save money. 


Changing the layout, and adding cabinet inserts to organize your space, are some of the best things you can do to make your life easier. And they are not only difficult, but also more expensive to do later on.


Another design principle to consider is the work triangle. This is the traditional method for designing a kitchen: making the space between the sink, the range, and the refrigerator the most important part. But maybe that doesn’t work for your space. Maybe you need to opt for kitchen zones, such as the cooking zone, the cleaning zone, and the storage area. 


If you have kids who are going to be running into the kitchen to get a snack while you are starting dinner prep, keep the snack zone and the eating area out of your cooking zone. Otherwise you’ll continually run into one another, and nobody will be happy.


Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

There’s a phrase that’s been created from a Mitch Albom quote, and it says, “Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy.” This is true of remodeling. As you go through the design and selection process, it’s important to take your time and be sure of your decisions. 


It’s also important to be upfront with your design-build contractor about your budget from the beginning, to avoid falling in love with designs that are out of your budget.


But don’t forget – your home is a work in progress. It can take years to make a place truly look and feel (and function) the way you want it to. If you think you might regret a choice you make for your kitchen remodel, take some time to think about it.


If it’s something smaller, like the color of your hardware, that can easily be replaced later on. If you think you might regret getting a range instead of a cooktop and double ovens, that’s much harder to fix later on. 


One of the best ways to make sure your kitchen remodel is going to be something you are truly happy with is to use our design-build process to see what your kitchen will look like before you get to demo. Contact us today to get started.

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