6 Kitchen Renovation Myths That Should Go Away

A-Nice-KitchenDid you skip hiring a professional renovator because someone told you it’s expensive? Did you avoid changing the design of your kitchen and just replaced old counter tops or floor tiles with the same color and design because of fear of a design fiasco? Know some of the most common myths about kitchen renovations.

Myth 1:

It’s expensive.

 It may be expensive. It may be inexpensive. There is always a type of renovation that fits the budget. You don’t have to go all out and break your bank when you’re restoring or updating your cooking venue. A professional designer or renovator can plan an appealing new look for your kitchen without ripping you off.

Myth 2:

painting-kitchen-wall-artThe kitchen doesn’t need art. You just cook in it. It’s not a living room.

People forget that just like any other part of the house, the kitchen needs proper design, and design requires art, symmetry, balance, and harmony. The kitchen may be clumsily viewed as a place cluttered with utensils, glassware, silverware, and pots. You can always make this place cluttered if that’s what you want. But a dainty kitchen with cabinets and drawers, where you keep the cooking and dining utensils, is an inviting place for you and the rest of the family to spend a nice weekend preparing snacks together.

Myth 3:

I repainted the walls. I guess I can Re tile the floor and update the bench top.

Man-painting-a-wallThere is only so much you can do as a DIYer. Just because you were successful in repainting the walls without splattering paint all over the place does not mean you can do anything else. The costs of DIY failures are high. If you’re not sure how to replace the cabinetry or replace the window with a new installation, then ask help from a professional.

Myth 4:

Old cabinets just need refinishing.

Refinishing old cabinets may seem to be the cheaper alternative to actually removing them and installing new cabinetry, but that’s not always the case. Look at your cabinets and open them. See if the insides are still intact. Worn down cabinets don’t need refinishing. They need to thrown away and replaced. Repainting very old cabinets may serve them little to no good. Chances are, you will have to replace them soon, and you just doubled your expenses.

Myth 5:

The renovator can do everything.

kitchen-lighting-basicsApparently, that’s not the case. There are plenty of kitchen problems that renovators, no matter how skilled they are, couldn’t fix. This is why it is common for renovation contractors to subcontract plumbing work and electrical systems to plumbers and electricians respectively. Renovators may also work together with interior designers in planning the best theme, colors, and lighting for the kitchen. Some builders have in-house designers, renovation experts, plumbers, electrical engineers, and technicians who may work together on a renovation project.

Myth 6:

I’m selling the house anyway. I don’t have to worry about kitchen renovation.

Apparently, you should. Any renovation you do can increase the value of your home, but you should be careful about how much work to do. Avoid investing in lavish kitchen updates that don’t add as much value to your home. Just because you did a $50,000 kitchen makeover doesn’t mean you can raise your property’s value by the same amount.

How to Budget Your Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovation ImageSetting the right budget for kitchen renovations can be difficult for the average person. Underestimating the cost of labor and materials can break your bank. The cost of a renovation depends on the size of project, the choice of materials, and labor cost. It can range anywhere from three thousand dollars to as much as fifty.

Homeowners renovate their kitchens chiefly to update it. The need arises when a significant part of it has become too old and defective that it needs restoration. The main purpose is to restore the kitchen to its former functionality. Aesthetics comes as a second priority in this case. People also do a kitchen makeover to intentionally increase the home’s value. In any case, you have to pay attention to how much money you spend for it.

Proper Budget Partitioning

You will be spending for labor, materials, and new appliances and furniture. Set a quarter of the budget for labor. Then allocate 60% of the budget for materials and furniture. The rest should be kept for emergency expenses, such as fixing plumbing problems or mold remediation in case of long-standing water damage. You can tweak this breakdown depending on your own needs and requirements.

Setting Priorities

kitchen-remodel-planningUpdating your kitchen on tight budget is challenging. You will have to decide which need is more pressing at the moment. You may have to choose between new cabinets or replacing your counter tops. You may put replacing your floor tiles on hold to give way to updating your kitchen sink and back-splash. No one ever said you have to do a one-off overhaul.

Determining Your Funding Options

So you have come up with a decent estimate. The question is, can you come up with the desired budget? Renovations are usually not as expensive as remodeling or a complete restoration project. Depending on how much the project entails, you may need to take out a loan if your savings can’t cover all the expenses. Some builders offer services for an installment payment basis. See if your builder offers this payment plan to their customers.

Checking Your Expenses

budget-partitioningWhat good is a planned budget if you don’t follow it? You may get lost along the way because of changes in decision and preferences. You may realize that a granite bench top seems worth the splurge. Such fickleness can hurt your finances. Stick to what you have planned originally.

Avoid decisions done out of whim. Decisions without forethought destroy your budget and turn your pockets inside out. Sometimes you don’t notice it, like when you make seemingly small additions to fixtures, furniture, and appliances. You may suddenly think a chandelier seems fitting or adding window blinds improves the indoor ambiance. Control your whims.

Saving on Labor

While installing new cabinets and counter tops may be left for professionals, you can lessen the task for laborers by doing the small tasks, such as removing furniture and appliances from the kitchen.

Planning Your Meals

It’s hard to cook in the kitchen when someone is working there. You can schedule cooking early in the morning before the renovating team arrives and at night. You may also just buy your food. Eating out is costly, but you may have no choice during some occasions.

Read This Before You Do DIY Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen-Remodel-GuideSome people think that kitchen renovations are a no-brain and so they fold up their sleeves and get on with it. This sometimes end up in a fiasco that’s expensive to fix. Before you even think of doing a kitchen renovation project yourself, keep in mind that the project could be more complicated or difficult that it seems. Don’t underestimate the difficulty of the task. Don’t overestimate your handyman prowess.

Just because you’re too familiar with your kitchen doesn’t mean you can actually handle the renovation job. In many cases, even something as simple as repainting should be better left off for professionals to do.

This is similar to having a computer, for instance. You know how it works. You’re familiar with it. But when it starts coming down with glitches, you don’t know how to fix it. When you need to update its parts, you probably have to call a computer technician.

The same is true for kitchens or any part of the house. You know the kitchen needs updating. Some parts need to be replaced. But you probably are unsure whether you are up for the job. If you’re torn between doing the renovation or calling a professional renovator, you probably should consider the latter.

Too many homeowners have wrecked their kitchens trying to change the tiles or update cabinets or replace their sinks. The mistake is underestimating the task too often. It may seem like you can just pull the tiles out of the flooring, and you probably have managed to do that, but you ended up with uneven, rough surface with some broken tiles remaining here and there. Voila! You can’t figure out how to fix the mess, because you realize it’s impossible to lay down your newly bought tiles on messed up flooring.

kitchen-renovation Or maybe you have managed to finish the job on your own. At first glance, the newly installed kitchen floor tiles look dainty. The room looks neat and perfect until you started walking around. Something doesn’t feel right underneath your feet. The floor seems loose. It’s creaking too. Then a few days later, the kids run in the kitchen, and a tile broke away. All right, it’s time to call for help.

 Such DIY renovation disasters are common. Renovators fix a lot of kitchen or bathroom updates that went wrong. Instead of saving money, the homeowners got into more trouble.

 

Signs of DIY Kitchen Renovation Fiasco

 

  • Kitchen door doesn’t close.
  • Cabinets are misaligned.
  • Drawers don’t open and close smoothly.
  • Flooring doesn’t look neat.
  • Water pipe leaks.
  • Water seeps under the sink.
  • Wall paint looks uneven.
  • Tiles start to peel off.
  • Kitchen looks odd for some reason.
  • Furniture and appliances are stained with paint splotches.

 

The list goes on. While this article does not say you should forgo simple repainting or decorating tasks, it advocates caution. Any major renovation work entails spending money, which should be wisely spent. Mistakes can be costly.

 

Choosing Among Countless Kitchen Benchtops

kitchen-bench-topsWhen looking to update your kitchen bench tops, it’s best to stick to durable materials that withstand impacts and friction. There is no other place in the kitchen that endures harsh forces on a daily basis apart from the bench top. However, you still have a number of options based on your needs. Don’t worry too much about the budget, because there is always the right choice based on how much you’re willing to cash out.

Generally, the choices for bench tops come down to the material. Here are the top choices that look stylish but keep the function at best.

Natural Stone

Everyone wants the classiness of granite, marble, slate, limestone, or travertine. But it’s for people who have money to burn. Don’t worry if you cannot afford it. You still have other options down below. Natural stone is not just pretty. It has other advantages. One of its useful properties that makes it a good material for kitchen bench tops is heat engineered-stoneresistance. The downside is that granite, marble, or limestone tend to absorb stain. Regular application of a sealant should keep your natural stone counters pristine.

Engineered Stone

This is cheaper alternative to natural stone. It looks the same and is just as strong. Engineered stone is a product of innovation. Unlike natural stone, it does not need sealing, as it is not porous, hence very much stain resistant. It’s easier to maintain. Although it’s cheaper than the real thing, it’s still more expensive than laminates.

Wood

People who prefer earth tones may look at wood bench tops. Wood gives a natural, warm tone to an indoor environment. Wooden materials for bench tops come in different shades and tones of roughly similar hues–red, brown, and beige. Wood is easily damaged by water and stains. Thus, coating the surface with a sealant is needed.

stainless-steel-benchtopStainless Steel

If you’re more concerned with function than aesthetics, you may choose stainless steel over other materials. Why not? It’s sleek and smooth. It’s long-lasting. It doesn’t get distorted when exposed to heat. You can wash it if it gets stained. The bad aspects include vulnerability to denting and dullness after some time.

Concrete

Concrete cracks rather easily, and thus requires regular maintenance. However, it still passes as one of the top options for kitchen bench tops because it’s heat resistant. There are also different finishes available for concrete, but finishing must be done by a professional.

Ceramic

There are plenty of reasons to choose ceramic over any other type of material. It’s cheap but looks pretty on the counters. Ceramic tiles on the counters don’t need lots of maintenance. Hence, they are suitable for people who have little time to devote to kitchen upkeep. Cracking can still be a problem.

Laminate-BenchtopLaminate

Low-cost bench tops can be achieved through installing laminates. One of the most popular choices, laminates are nothing more than synthetic materials coated with sleek plastic. They are available in different colors and styles, and they mimic the appearance of expensive counterparts, such as natural stone. Laminates are the economical alternative to engineered or natural stone. They are waterproof, low maintenance, scratch resistant, and fairly durable.

Kitchen Renovation Mistakes: Know What to Avoid

Don’t let a kitchen renovation be a dreadful experience. Know the common mistakes that people do when trying to give their kitchens a new look.

hire-a-contractorChoosing the Wrong Contractor

Unless you’re going the do-it-yourself approach, who you choose to work on your kitchen is a crucial decision to make. You can’t just choose anyone you see on the internet. A lot of newbies whose skills are mediocre and whose experience are not worth boasting online advertise themselves and their services like pros in the industry. Of course, it takes your first-hand experience with their so-called expertise to know you made the wrong decision.

The wrong contractor overcharges you, causes damage to property and doesn’t even pay for it, procures substandard materials, makes decisions without consulting you, spends a lot of idle time, takes quite a long time to finish the project, and comes up with a lot of excuses.

Not Shopping Around for Quotes

The price you pay for not doing your homework could be high. And this is true when you’re looking for kitchen renovation service at a reasonable price. It seems “the reasonable price” is hard to come by these days, not when every service provider wants the biggest return. It’s business after all.

Another mistake is to settle right away with the cheapest renovation in town. The cheapest may actually be the cheapest–yes, with dirty finishes and defective fixtures.

Making Big Upfront Payment

upfront-paymentUsually, renovators only ask for a deposit to jump start the project. The deposit should be priced reasonably. This is another reason why you need to shop around for quotes. Find out how much deposit contractors in town require from clients. On the average, the deposit is 30% of the total estimate.

Also, don’t be too complacent about handing over big cash at the onset of the deal. It may be hard to retrieve your deposit in case of dissatisfaction and early termination of the contract.

Imitating Styles on Magazines

Indoor designers entice you with their portfolio of glimmering posh kitchen designs. The next thing you know you’re calling them to have your counters changed or do a kitchen makeover.

First, is this kitchen makeover necessary? Renovations are done for purposes more important than aesthetics. You replace floor tiles because they’re old and chipped. You replace bench tops because they’re damaged beyond repair. You don’t do a renovation simply because you suddenly want to make your kitchen look like a million dollars.

Second, just because a design looks gorgeous on a magazine or a web page doesn’t mean it will look the same in your kitchen. Keep other factors (e.g. kitchen size, budget, design of the entire house, traffic, etc.) in mind.

Ignoring Your Preferences

Unless you completely trust your renovator’s artistic taste, then you have to make sure they know your requirements. You will be spending much of your time at home in the kitchen, and you want it to be as inviting as possible. However, it may be unrealistic to follow all your design choices. Renovators may have to balance your aesthetic choices with what is realistically, symmetrically, and reasonably possible.

Making Unnecessary Changes

Once you and the renovator has talked about the design and made a detailed plan, stick to it. Unnecessary changes should be avoided, as they will only add cost to the project and add extra workload. Also, too many changes to a project can ruin it.