7 Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid from Ty Pennington
Is your kitchen bringing you down? Get out the blueprints and roll up your sleeves—it’s time to renovate! Kitchen remodeling projects are fraught with risk and reward, eye-popping results and money-sucking pitfalls. But have no fear! I've been through this a time or two and I've learned what not to do when renovating a kitchen. Here, I list the 7 classic mistakes to avoid when attempting your dream kitchen.
1. Bigger isn't always better
Mistake No. 1, many people think a bigger kitchen equals a better kitchen, but that's not true. What are the most important features of the kitchen? The sink, stove, and refrigerator. The three busiest areas of your kitchen should be positioned in a triangle to form the most efficient workflow. The goal should be to create a work zone. Everything should be within easy reach with as few steps or blockages as possible. Big kitchens are great, but efficient space is better.
2. Plan for efficiency
Mistake No. 2 is a lack of organization. Sure, more cabinets help but a little reorganization and restructuring can transform a small galley kitchen into a highly functional chef’s dream. From drawer dividers and pantry pullouts to deeper cabinets and a Lazy Susan, storage add-ons maximize your kitchen’s working capacity. Remember, a well organized kitchen will make meal prep faster.
3. Supersize surface area
Mistake No. 3 has be sacrificing counter top space for small appliances. Countertop space is a key element of your kitchen, so don't settle for less. A good rule of thumb, give yourself three different surface areas with at least 4-feet of space on each. Honestly, the most clutter-free countertop space you have, the more willing people are to help you prep the meal.
4. Don't blow the budget
Mistake No. 4 would be blowing the budget on one thing. Sure, those fancy convection ovens with high BTU output are great, but don't spend your entire budget on just the stove! A kitchen remodel can be as inexpensive as replacing the handles on your cabinets to gutting it all and starting anew. Create a budget, itemize the costs and stick to your plan. Get several estimates from highly recommended general contractors and most importantly, ask for discounts! Every contractor negotiates. Don’t be afraid to ask for overstock items from their previous job or find a local up-cycling facility that sells used cabinets, countertops and tile. But remember, every project runs into pitfalls. As a rule of thumb, know that everything will cost 30 percent more and take 25 percent longer than you expected.
5. Choose wisely & measure twice
Mistake No. 5 has be trying to squeeze that double door refrigerator into a space made for something slimmer. My advice -- choose your new refrigerator and dishwasher before settling on cabinets and countertops. It’s much easier to arrange your kitchen around the dimensions of your appliances than vice versa.
6. Don’t overlook the backs & tops
Mistake No. 6 would be leaving the backsplash blank. Sure, it's a small space between the countertops and the upper cabinets, but that tiny bit of real estate can add the personality your kitchen needs. Designed to protect the wall behind your stove and countertop, the backsplash is your chance to create eye-level appeal. Play with color and patterns—use different shades of the same tone to give your backsplash a classy, cohesive look.
7. Stop waiting to exhale
Mistake No. 7 would have to be losing your cool and throwing a tantrum in the middle of the renovation. Seriously, people, don’t forget to breathe. No matter how much you plan and prepare, renovations can surprise you with all sorts of unforeseen complications and expenses. It’s happened to me and it can happen to you!
When things go off-script, stay patient and focus on the end result. You’re not just renovating your kitchen—you’re transforming your life. Get pumped about your new and improved kitchen experience. This remodel will last you for many years to come and increase the overall value of your home. And don’t forget to document the process. Everyone loves dramatic before-and-after photos!