September 19, 2018

5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid in a Kitchen or Bath Remodel

Sawhill Custom Kitchen and Design

The adage that you can never be too prepared is especially true when it comes to kitchen and bath remodel projects.  With so many moving components, it’s hard to guarantee an entirely stress-free experience, but there are certain guidelines you can follow to help ensure a positive remodeling experience.  Here are 5 common kitchen and bath remodel pitfalls to avoid.

Pitfall #1: Going Way Over Budget

There are three ways to go awry concerning the budget.  The first way is not being transparent about your budget with your contractor.  Your budget should be the first detail you discuss as it drives almost every decision, from layout to appliances.  Here at Sawhill, we work with our clients during their consultation to define their options including a preliminary ‘good’, ‘better’, ‘best’ investment analysis.

The second way is not sticking to your budget.  It can be easy to get stars in your eyes when looking at various upgrades but ending up with a project that is way over budget can leave you with bad feelings.

The third way is not having actual selections (product choices) in place before proceeding. Many contractors include “allowances” for products such as tile, etc but these are often minimal allowances.  Once the project is underway, should you choose a selection that doesn’t fall within the designated range, this will result in a dreaded ‘change order’ to increase the project cost.

No matter what, we advise leaving a little buffer in your budget for unexpected expenses that arise due to unforeseen circumstances.

Pitfall #2: Getting in Over Your Head

The do-it-yourself approach looks amazingly simple on those home improvement shows. But in real life, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  Be realistic about your abilities and your time when considering doing a remodel yourself. Also, don’t underestimate the knowledge professionals bring to the table regarding design, knowing what can work within your space, or what are the best materials for your project/budget.

Pitfall #3: Choosing Style at the Expense of Functionality

Ever bought a piece of clothing because it was cute, but the fit was terrible?  We’re guessing you never wear it.  The same is true when you choose style at the expense of functionality in a kitchen or bath design.  A stylish design that doesn’t fit the space or your needs will leave you with a bad case of buyer remorse.  A good design/build/remodel firm will be able to help you navigate these decisions, helping you integrate style in a way that doesn’t compromise function.

Pitfall #4: Changing Your Mind Mid-Project

Changing your mind mid-way through the project will result in costly delays and heartaches.   To decrease the likelihood of last-minute changes, we recommend two things.  First, do some research ahead of time to determine your likes, dislikes, must-have features and more.  A wish list of features will help convey a more complete scope of your project at the start and decrease the likelihood of last-minute changes. Second, whether you are doing the project yourself or using a professional, once you’ve settled on a design, don’t look back.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep the original vision in mind when your kitchen is torn up, but have faith and know that it will all work out beautifully.

Pitfall #5: Not Arranging a Temporary Space

Depending on the size and extent of the remodel, this can be a huge factor if not thought through ahead of time.  The most significant factor in a kitchen remodel is the loss of running water and a functional cooking space.  If you’re planning a bathroom remodeling project, you hopefully have a second shower that can be used during the remodeling.  If not, it’s time to make other arrangements.  In either case, keep in mind the duration of the project.  It may sound easy to cook off an electric burner for 2 months while your kitchen is torn up, but it can get old quick.  Know your limits and plan accordingly!

Looking for More Remodel Advice?

Download our free ‘Guide to Remodeling.’  We’ve created this guide to be a complete resource to homeowners in the beginning stages of a kitchen or bath remodeling project. With advice on everything from where and how to collect ideas to what to look for in a contractor to tips on preparing for construction, it serves as a helpful overview for anyone considering a kitchen or bath remodel or design project!

Get Inspired! Visit Our Twin Cities Kitchen and Bath Showroom

Ready to move onto the next step? Come visit our kitchen showroom and be inspired.  Located at International Market Square in Minneapolis, our showroom features multiple kitchen displays, cabinet displays and, most importantly, a knowledgeable, approachable and creative team of kitchen designers.

Sawhill Custom Kitchens & Design, established in 1971, is a premier provider of kitchen and bath design, custom cabinetry & design/build services for clients in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.  What does over 40 years in this business mean for our clients? It means our team brings a combined 100+ years of experience in the kitchen and bath design industry.  We use this cumulative experience to design kitchen and bath spaces that not only look beautiful but function beautifully as well.  Contact us or visit us to start a conversation about your project.

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Sawhill Custom Kitchen and Design

September 19, 2018