A kitchen remodel is one of, if not the biggest home improvement projects you can tackle. It can be done by you, with the right knowledge and skills, but it’s best to leave the kitchen renovation to the professionals so you don’t run into trouble down the line. During moments of excitement, it can be hard to identify what you’re not doing well or admit that you could use some extra help. If you skip the planning stage, don’t have just the right tool, or ignore your home’s bones, you’ll end up in misery. Chances are you’ve seen hilarious DIY fails and kitchen remodel mistakes on social media. It’s not funny anymore when it happens to you.
Remodelling the kitchen requires an eye for detail, not to mention a thorough understanding of your home’s structure (and potential). It may involve knocking down walls, attaching kitchen units, and deciding on flooring or backsplashes. It’s not just about adding a fresh coat of paint. Even the most well-intended projects go south if pitfalls aren’t avoided. Mistakes during a kitchen renovation can lead to expensive repairs, delayed timelines, and a result that doesn’t meet your expectations. Before diving into your kitchen remodelling project, consider these tips to make the process smoother.
Don’t Refuse Professional Help & Be Selective in Choosing a Kitchen Designer
To bring your kitchen makeover ideas to life, be certain you know what you’re doing. The one-of-a-kind balance of style and functionality is very hard to achieve, so partner with a certified kitchen designer for your project. The best-case scenario for most DIY projects is loss of time and money. The worst is a hospital visit. A professional can help you refine your plan and offer advice that can save you from terrible mistakes. You can discuss building materials, themes, colours, patterns, and room layout, to mention a few. Selective is smart, so choose your kitchen designer wisely. Look for someone who’s highly recommended and, above all, is well-seasoned.
Know Your Appliance Measurements Before the Cabinet Specifications Are Made
It’s extremely important to get a good understanding of the correct order of the kitchen fitting process; the various stages of installation must occur in a certain order. It’s a good idea to install the floors after the cabinetry to achieve a cleaner look. Imagine the following situation – you install the kitchen units on top of a hardwood floor, so the floor loses its ability to contract and expand, leading to cupping or peaking. It’s hard, if not impossible, to remove the flooring without damaging the cabinets. Install the flooring after the cabinets, appliances, and kitchen island, as a rule.
Install the cabinets before the floor and floor covering (i.e., the surface you walk on), which should be cut to size and border on the cabinets or island, leaving a small gap. The crevice will be covered by baseboard or shoe moulding. Vinyl and laminate can be installed after the cabinetry if the subfloor, underlayment, and kitchen unit height achieve the desired height. The same is true for hardwood. Tile, on the other hand, can go under the cabinets and should be treated in the same way as hardwood. The decision to tile under the kitchen units depends on the circumstances.
Ensure The Kitchen Aisles Are Wide Enough to Accommodate All That Goes On
The walkways within the kitchen should be wide enough and not cross the work triangle. Clearance helps you navigate the space better, so you don’t need to find alternative ways to incorporate counter space. The kitchen is a busy space: you prepare meals, entertain guests, and help the kids with their homework. You want it to be a comfortable space. Keep in mind that distances might look good on paper, but in reality, they might turn out to be unsuitably narrow. When remodelling your kitchen, ensure the aisles (those between islands, walls, and appliances) are between 42 and 48 inches wide.
Properly Wire Your Kitchen Outlets to Avoid Arcing, A Big Fire Risk
In case you didn’t already know, the kitchen uses more electricity than any other room in the home, for which reason it should be served by multiple circuits. One mistake you’ll want to avoid at all costs when redesigning your kitchen is improperly wiring your outlets. Inadequate outlet wiring can generate structure ignitions, therefore causing shocks and fires. Arcing happens when the circuit becomes overloaded and overheats. It will cause a fire in your home. Kitchen appliances have become bigger over the years, so each should have a dedicated circuit that serves nothing else.
Your kitchen must have no less than two or three accessible outlets, and, most importantly, all of the receptacles are on a dedicated 20A outlet, which often comes with GFCI protection to help prevent electrocution. In homes that are 50 years old (or more), it’s not uncommon to come across kitchen wiring that’s heavily undersized to meet the needs of the modern kitchen. The wiring system can remain in place only if you plan on making slight changes, but during a major home renovation project, it’s recommended to bring your kitchen up to code. The last thing you want is injuries or an electrical fire. Take on only DIY tasks that won’t generate long-term safety concerns.
Don’t Commit to Any Major Design Element Until You’ve Bought the Samples
Last but certainly not least, avoid impulsive decision-making, as it can lead to choices you’ll regret. Occasional spontaneous decisions can be exciting or enjoyable. For example, materials can look different in a showroom, so you need to see their practical application in an environment. Use samples of fabrics, textures, paints, and props for your interior. This way, you can make the necessary adjustments before tackling the renovation on a larger scale. Try to set clear expectations about the key decision-making points; when unanticipated issues arise, work to understand your options. Don’t hem yourself in with assumptions about the new way forward.
In closing, the last 20% is the most difficult, so be willing to make a special effort to achieve the desired result. Don’t you want to enjoy that sense of satisfaction that comes with a completed job?