Lessons Learned--What To Expect For Your Kitchen Remodel

You’ve heard the saying: “A wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others' mistakes” (John C. Maxwell). This is especially true when embarking on a kitchen remodel. With all that money, time, and temporary inconvenience on the line, it’s imperative to do your due diligence before making your dream kitchen a reality. To help, we’ve pulled together the top five lessons others have learned from their kitchen renovations. 

It will cost more than you think it will 

In general, a kitchen renovation budget breaks down as follows:


  • Cabinets 35%
  • Labor 20%
  • Appliances 20%
  • Windows 10%
  • Fixtures 5%
  • Other (plumbing, electrical, gas) 7%


But what about all the unexpected expenses nobody thinks to plan for but everyone always encounters? That’s a great question! To prepare for those expenses, set aside an extra 20%. Common issues include unseen mold, structural issues, termite damage, old water pipes, and outdated electrical wiring. For a full breakdown of kitchen remodeling costs, you can read the blog we wrote about it here

Yes, a kitchen designer really is worth it 

While there’s nothing wrong with using online tools to design your own kitchen, a kitchen designer lives, eats, and breathes kitchen design. They’ve thought of everything. An expert will take all your hopes and dreams and turn them into the best and most efficient layout for you. It’s a relatively small expense that will give you peace of mind and help eliminate any regrets later on down the road. 

Research surface materials before you take the plunge

Did you know that spills will stain concrete flooring if they’re not cleaned up right away? Or that lemon can cause irreversible damage to marble countertops? You might want to rethink tile floors unless you plan to wear sneakers in the kitchen to protect your joints. And never place hot pans on linoleum unless you want to scorch your countertops! In other words, before deciding on the surface materials you want, research the pros and cons to make sure what you want fits in with your lifestyle. 

Plan, plan, plan, and plan some more

The more you plan the less trouble you’ll run into later on down the line. As much as you can, figure out what you want before reaching out to contractors. This will help you get appropriate bids and find a contractor who understands and respects your vision, budget, and needs. Having trouble narrowing down what’s most important to you? Rank your projects on a scale from one to five. For instance, if new flooring, a farmhouse sink, and a kitchen island all rank at five, you know those are your non-negotiables. So, maybe you can compromise on the backsplash and cabinet lighting.

Save on items you can upgrade later

Most people only do one or two kitchen renovations in their lifetime. To make it worthwhile, invest in the things you can’t easily change in the future. The overall workflow and layout of your kitchen, the flooring, and the cabinets are great examples of things you might only get the chance to overhaul once. Not only will they set you up with a kitchen you’ll love for years to come but they’ll also improve the overall value of your home should you choose to sell someday. Things like light fixtures, appliances, and statement pieces can easily be swapped out at any time. 

Final thoughts

A renovation is a big job. Your patience will be stretched; your home will be a mess; your kids will never want to eat fast food again; BUT, it will all be worth it the moment you step into your dream kitchen for the first time. The future family mealtimes and game nights will make you forget all about the three to six months you microwaved food in your bedroom. You’re about to embark on a very worthwhile adventure!


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