Don’t Make These 9 Common Kitchen Design & Remodel Mistakes

custom kitchen remodel can increase the efficiency, function, value, and enjoyment of your home. Unfortunately, mistakes can make the project itself a huge time and cost sink. The problem is, that there are many common remodeling mistakes that, if unaddressed, can evolve into large problems down the road. Based on our extensive experience, we’ve developed a list of 9 common remodeling mistakes that you can avoid.

Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid

Here are 9 mistakes people make when designing or remodeling their kitchen. You’ll want to avoid these common pitfalls on your next kitchen renovation project:

Trash compactors fit right in with islands, and countertops.
Trash compactors fit right in with islands, and countertops.

1. Improper Garbage Setup

Kitchens are huge producers of garbage. Organic food waste, bottles, cans, plastic containers, wrappers, and bags need throwing out constantly to keep a kitchen clean and sanitary.

Despite how obvious the need for proper disposal might seem, many kitchen designs don’t adequately allocate space for the different types of waste kitchens create.

If you’re planning to recycle, you’ll need a separate container for your paper, glass, and recyclable plastics. You might also want to consider a trash compactor in your kitchen remodel design. Non-compacted containers can fill up quickly and take up a lot of space in your bins.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets with the perfect amount of personality
Color, materials and styles that don’t go out of fashion

2. Excessive Trendiness

Some kitchen design concepts stay relevant for decades while others fall out of fashion after a single season. When making color, styles, and material choices, picking a brand new concept in your favorite home improvement magazine or Pinterest page could be risky.

You don’t want to feel embarrassed when people are in your kitchen five years from now. Dated styles can even make it harder to sell your home at the price you want. Kitchen remodel experts can point you towards timeless design choices.

Well lit kitchen - examples to follow
Don’t skimp on lighting when designing your kitchen remodeling project!

3. Lack of Lighting

Each kitchen remodel requires 3 main types of lighting: task lighting, accent lighting, and overall illumination. Lack of task lighting could make it difficult to chop vegetables, prepare meals, and even use your cooking surfaces. Improper accent lighting can make your kitchen look really dark or dull.

Overall illumination is obviously important for everyone who uses your kitchen. When designing your lighting setup, you need to think about how natural light from your windows will affect things.

A combination of fluorescent or LED ceiling lights, strip lighting, hanging lights, and track lighting can be used to fulfill a wide range of purposes.

Well placed Ventilation helps a kitchen breathe
Well-placed ventilation helps a kitchen breathe

4. Inadequate Ventilation

Just because a meal smells delicious the night you make it doesn’t mean you want to experience its odor days later. That’s why installing cheap ventilation that doesn’t actually remove the air from your kitchen can be a big mistake in your kitchen remodel.

A quality air intake on a range hood will actually transport unwanted air outside. Not only does this remove odors, but it gets rid of excess heat from the stove top and smoke from high-temperature cooking.

Good ventilation also extends the life of your appliances, especially your refrigerator. Not making the investment here in your renovations can cost you a lot more in the long run.

Extra storage space
Make sure to have enough storage space when designing your new kitchen.

5. Not Enough Storage

No kitchen really has enough shelf space for every single tool and gadget you want, but not creating enough storage real estate for the items you use most can make preparing meals a real chore. Many kitchen remodel projects make the mistake of not taking advantage of every storage opportunity.

For example, rather than investing in high-quality custom kitchen cabinets, homeowners will use a big part of their budget to purchase visually appealing fixtures, flooring, and countertops. While the initial aesthetic flare may seem worth it, the lack of investment in storage will be painful on an everyday basis.

Ideal kitchen island placement
An ideal kitchen Island placement improves the flow of the kitchen

6. Incorrect Island Placement

Kitchen islands have been popular in kitchen remodel projects for quite a while, but improper placement can create a huge problem. Anyone who’s ever swung a hammer, or ordered building material, can tell you a good rule of thumb is to know where you want things to be before you drive that first nail, or make the first cut. 

One of the biggest issues is when an island obstructs efficient workflow between important areas, mainly the refrigerator, sink, oven, and stove top. This can be caused by an island that’s too close to other kitchen components or an island installed in a space that’s simply too small.

Ideally, an island should have at least 3.5 feet of open space around it on all sides, so consider spacing during the floor plan design process of building your dream kitchen. Dimensions for your ideal kitchen island need to be measured carefully in your remodel design.

Ample counter space example
Ample counter space is an attractive factor for a kitchen you’d cook in.

7. Counter Space Shortage

Few things are more frustrating when cooking a meal than running out of counter space. When designing counters, many homeowners make the mistake of prioritizing visual appeal over function.

During the design phase of your kitchen remodel, think carefully about the tools and gadgets you want immediate access to on your countertop as well as the space you need for preparation. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough space around the things you use most, including your sink and stove.

8. Lack of Planning

Almost any home remodeling expert will tell you that the more thorough and detailed your planning is, the easier construction will be. Still, many homeowners rush through the design phase of their custom kitchen remodel with the idea of making changes as things go along unwittingly making their first costly mistake.

This can be a big mistake. Changes during construction can have unintended consequences that can cost a lot of time and money.

This is why it’s a good idea to work with a kitchen contractor who has lots of experience with the design aspect of renovations. They will help you make sure everything is covered before construction begins.

9. Going Over Budget

Every other mistake in this list leads to this one. Spending more than you budgeted for is probably the biggest worry homeowners have when making renovations.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, being realistic with your expectations helps. The average kitchen remodel in America costs about $21,000, but that can be higher or lower for you depending on your objectives and your area. To ensure construction does not stall, make sure you have extra funds on hand to get through unexpected problems.

Solution? Contact a Kitchen Remodeling Expert

A kitchen remodel can be very complicated and stressful but, when done right it can add a lot to the overall quality of your home. The more you know about the most common mistakes made during these projects, the more likely you are to avoid them.

In central Pennsylvania, contact RM Kitchens to create an experience that has a minimal amount of delays and budget issues. We serve the Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon, Lancaster, York, and Reading, PA area (see entire service area) for remodeling jobs. As a full-service remodeling project contractor, we provide professional designers and work with your budget. Like you, we value quality at a sensible price.

About RM Kitchens

RM Kitchens Inc is a custom cabinet maker serving the continental USA. We’re also a full-service bathroom and kitchen remodeling contractor in Lebanon County, PA that serves all of Central PA (including Lancaster, Harrisburg, Reading, York, Hershey, etc) (see entire service area). Focusing on high-quality custom cabinet design, handcrafting, and installing, RM Kitchens has been making homeowner dreams come true since 1969.

To discuss your unique kitchen remodeling needs, contact us today at (717) 967-4038