Six Top Mistakes … Homeowners Make When Remodeling Kitchens or Baths

Designer Lists Six Top Mistakes

Debra Shababy, kitchen & bath designer for over 20 years, has seen just about everything. To simplify the process and assure that each remodeling project gets off to the right start, Shababy has boiled down a potentially endless list of potential mistakes, into what she considers the top six that homeowners make when planning a remodeling project for the kitchen or bathroom.

Ignoring Traffic Patterns
“Homeowners are quick to buy the latest and greatest in products and forget about the chaotic times of the day….like getting ready in the AM sharing a bathroom or grabbing breakfast in a kitchen with an inefficient layout,” Shababy explained.
She recommends that the existing layout be viewed by a professional designer with renovation plannin experience and get some possible options on how to improve each room area.

Not Updating Lighting
Beautiful stone surfaces as well as task areas need to be properly lit in order to function well for the homeowner. Shababy said that investigating LED lighting is worth the time, money and effort since they are so energy efficient. Different “hues” are available, but working with a qualified lighting designer with knowledge of the latest LED forms can make a big difference in a kitchen or bath.

Not Venting Properly
In the kitchen, gas cook tops can be problematic if overhead venting is not addressed. Water, humidity and moisture issues are enemies of new cabinetry in bathrooms if there is little or no ventilation. “Also, venting in the kitchen can actually be a design feature!” Shababy remarked.

New Countertops on Old Cabinets
“I actually think when A potential buyer comes into a home, they actually are disappointed when seeing brand new granite or marble on outdated cabinetry”, Shababy said. Gorgeous stone tops should warrant a homeowner’s attention towards replacing the cabinets with current style and color at the same time.

Remodeling in the Wrong Order
“There are many people who want to remodel in phases because they know that remodeling a kitchen or bath is going to be expensive,” said Shababy. “Replacing a refrigerator because the old one finally broke down is understandable…but it may make sense to consult with a kitchen designer before making this expensive purchase to see how a new one may impact a future makeover. Since many homeowners are likely to make quick decisions on granite for their kitchen, other areas get attention much later, when in fact, countertops should be the last phase of a remodel…not the first.” Shababy went on to indicate that the best way to approach a project is to look at it as a “total package”…even if the purchases are in the future.

Unrealistic Budget
“As a kitchen and bath designer, I always need to let my clients know that I respect their budget limits, and that there are ways to save money and time in every area. However, unless homeowners are willing to do much of the labor themselves, good budget numbers should reflect qualified trade labor wages. As far as choices of products, this is the best area to control one’s budget. Stone counter surfaces, cabinetry, and appliances differ widely in costs…so every purchase decision becomes really important”, Shababy explained.
Work with a professional who can guide you through the plethora of choices! Those customers who are proficient at researching online should still go over what they have found with their designer, to assure them of their final decisions. Shababy says that if remodeling plans are in your future, the kitchen and baths will give you some of the best returns on your investment…it may just make your house memorable and outstanding to a potential buyer, but for now she advises home owners to pursue the project and enjoy the results!

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