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    10 Kitchen Design Mistakes That Can Cost You Money

    By Bob Williams

    Dreaming of a new kitchen? In order to make your dreams a reality, consider ten common mistakes to avoid in designing and remodeling your kitchen to save you time, money and aggravation.

    <b>Over-customizing and inflexibility</b>

    Unless you have money to spare, remain flexible regarding materials and design for your new kitchen. For example, you're vacationing in southern Italy and the beautiful tiles you find in the craftsman's shop are perfect for your new dream kitchen. You can't live without them, even though he has to chip the marble off the mountain by hand and each one takes three weeks to make, because they have fossilized leaves imprinted in them.

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    If you need two hundred tiles, stop dreaming and do the arithmetic. Three weeks, each one, two hundred tiles. Forget it. Buy everything he has on the shelf and leave the store. Use the fifteen you bring home in your suitcase as accents imbedded in the floor here and there, or in the tiling around the sink and keep them a beautiful memory.

    Likewise, the German track lighting with special light bulbs which cast a delicate hue of light. Those light bulbs are so special and unique that they are only available in Germany!

    Avoid difficult and over specialized items so that repairs and replacements don't turn into logistical nightmares. All appliances, plumbing, electricity, and carpentry should repairable with no more then a few local phone calls.

    <b>Changing the Plans</b>

    Once work has begun, any change will cost you money even if materials are downgraded. This is because measurements have been calculated and materials ordered. Even a small change such as a two inch longer built in convection oven could mean that the hand cut granite counter which is already installed and ready, has to be pared down on one side which means you lose a customized finish.

    Be warned by the plight of those who changed so much in quest of the perfect kitchen that they abandoned their budget in the middle and ended up without the funds to finish. Living for years with an unfinished kitchen is not a very appealing option.

    <b>Spending It All At Once - Under-Budgeting</b>

    Set a budget, then plan on spending 80% of your projected figure. Remember, no one ever pays less than the estimated amount; it always costs more. That 20% you held back from your budget will be used to cover the usual unforeseen circumstances which inevitably pop up such as minor changes, previously unperceived problems and other charges.

    <a href="http://www.improvenet.com/HomeOwner/ProjectTools/index.html">ImproveNet</a> offers interactive estimators and project calculators to help you estimate how much your project will cost, how much material you'll need, and what it could look like.

    <b>Using the Wrong General Contractor</b>

    The contractor you choose should be an expert in kitchens, not roofs. Talk to people that have used a contractor you are considering within the last three months. Ask to see the work they did. Ask the right questions: Was he within his estimate? Did he finish on time? Did they keep the job clean and did they tidy up nicely afterwards? Were his workers polite, neat, clean, and on time? Are there any complaints? A little time spent on researching your contractor can save you a lot of headaches later.

    <b>Inaccuracies in Measurement</b>

    This shouldn't be your problem at all, but frequently this common mistake is passed on to the customer's wallet. Before you sign a contract, insist that the contractor take responsibility for any inaccuracies in measurement or factory flaws which often occur. Don't settle for almost fits or good enough. They have to promise and deliver a finished result according to the specifications that were agreed on.

    <b>Throwing Dollars Out the Window</b>

    Don't pay for a renovation in advance. Establish a payment plan with the majority of the balance paid after the work is completed. Evaluating the work as it progresses and testing the finished product is a great incentive for the contractor to please the customer.

    <b>Handing Over the Design of Your Kitchen to a Designer</b>

    Your new kitchen should reflect your taste, not the designers. Yes, the pink and yellow appliances are very stylish, and happy but maybe stainless steel or white is what you prefer. You are the best judge. Don't let anyone convince you that what they want is what you need. Work with your designer to achieve the practical tasteful space that fits your needs and lifestyle. Ask to see a virtual model of the plans and stay involved throughout the design process.

    <b>Going It Alone</b>

    Ask your friends and neighbors about their renovations - what they like, what they don't like. Solicit opinions from people you trust before and during the job. Ask the members of your family for ideas and suggestions about how to best utilize the workable space.

    <b>Investing Too Much</b>

    Yes it is your dream kitchen but practically speaking, even the most expensive kitchen renovations should not cost more than 20% of the current market value of your home. The average kitchen renovation adds only about 8% to market value. If you ever want to sell your home, an appealing kitchen is a big plus, but don't throw all your money into it expecting an investment return.

    And on the other hand, most experts agree that kitchen renovation done well is worth at least 5% of the value of your home. Under-spending may reflect in market value.

    <b>Indulging The Latest Fads</b>

    Resist the temptation to choose trendy designs which will make you queasy after you get over the pizzazz. Remember your kitchen is the heart of your home. Make wise choices with an eye on livability. The best strategy is practical, classic, timeless. We've all seen kitchens designed in the latest fashion. Nothing becomes as outmoded as yesterday's modern look. Avocado green cabinets anyone? Mosaic daisies tiled into the walls? Also try to resist flamboyant displays of self expression. In the end, you will live happily ever after!

    *********************
    Uncle Bob Williams, our home improvement expert, has had his share of challenges. Now you will benefit from his advice based on many years of experience. Uncle Bob tackles common home renovation, remodeling and do-it-yourself projects at <a href="http://www.unclebobstips.com/">unclebobtips.com</a>

    #2
    very useful tips!
    but I'm not really agree with your statement about giving kitchen design to designer... not always people know what they want... that's why they ask designers to offer them several versions so they can choose.

    some people also like to be stylish everywhere, even with their houses... so they ask for stylish designs for their rooms, kitchens and so on

    Comment


      #3
      Useful tips.

      I always prefer to have a quality kitchen cabinets for my home. I line a durable and designable kitchen cabinets for my home. These tips are really helpful to choose a kitchen cabinets for my home.

      Comment


        #4
        Nice share! XD... Well we have a very simple design on our kitchen, just a proper division for the utensils and other tools. To make it more cheaply since my uncle has a small farm with many trees we asked some to use for making cabinets and other stuff needed in the kitchen, we only pay for the labor.

        Comment


          #5
          Our kitchen is functional, clean, and ageless.

          Unlike the 70s with its orange countertops, faux stone laminate walls, harvest gold appliances, nasty floral wallpaper, cheap plastic "wood grain" sheeting covering cabinets, and gold/green colored vinyl floor tiles...nobody can accuse us of smoking something when putting it together.

          Comment


            #6
            Kitchen Remodeling cost more

            High ceilings and large rectangular windows allow an abundance of light into this room radiating a sense of space and air with an elegant ambiance.Kitchen Remodeling project can cost much more if you bring Continous changes during the project. So after taking any decision just check your pocket.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
              By Bob Williams

              Dreaming of a new kitchen? In order to make your dreams a reality, consider ten common mistakes to avoid in designing and remodeling your kitchen to save you time, money and aggravation.

              <b>Over-customizing and inflexibility</b>

              Unless you have money to spare, remain flexible regarding materials and design for your new kitchen. For example, you're vacationing in southern Italy and the beautiful tiles you find in the craftsman's shop are perfect for your new dream kitchen. You can't live without them, even though he has to chip the marble off the mountain by hand and each one takes three weeks to make, because they have fossilized leaves imprinted in them. SNIP!!
              </a>

              But these "listicles" do not address the REAL solution to saving money: how about not re-designing the kitchen at all??


              People are tricked into renovating because they think their kitchen is "outdated". Yes your avocado-green refrigerator may be- but not your butcher block countertops or your real maple cupboards with vintage crystal drawer pulls. Neither is wallpaper "outdated"- that stuff is expensive! priced any lately??

              Gorgeous mid-century home, with gingerbread cut-out wooden framing(?) over the sink, professionally craftsman installed boomerang design laminate countertops (those had to be done a certain way, with aluminum sides and special laminate beveling tools), even Terrazzo(!!!$$$!!) flooring are torn out to have it all replaced with the ubiquitous "granite countertops" and those ghastly recessed lighting. And don't get me started on "open concept"!! I sneered and snickered at that young couple on "Flip or Flop" who just LOVE to destroy and rebuild, without even taking into consideration what they're replacing.

              When I saw a matchbox sized "GEM"-built house in South Phoenix where the median home price is 80k (i.e., 'crapola') and you hear sirens going off all hours of the night- renovated with the granite countertops, open concept kitchen/living and the recessed lighting cans all over I knew the time for this trend was OVAH!

              "Old" does not translate always as "better", but gosh how I wish homeowners would learn to appreciate well built and quality stuff when they see it. If grand-pops kitchen lasted 60 years without deteriorating then it must be good I think.

              Give me a Pink Bathroom any day over a "spa-like" bathroom that looks like every other house in every other city using the same Made in China junk.

              Comment


                #8
                One thing I see in most modern kitchens is that they have way more electrical than is truly needed which adds a lot of money. Picking on my kitchen alone we have; under cabinet lights, central ceiling lights, hanging lights over the table, lighting over the sink, can lights, stove top lighting, etc. and all the wiring and light switches that go with it.

                Seems like you have to flip about four switches to get enough light in the room to work on something. Kitchens of the past had a couple good ceiling fixtures that lit the whole room up and maybe another over the sink.

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