The 5 Biggest Money Mistakes People Make When Renovating, According to Kitchen Designers

The 5 Biggest Money Mistakes People Make When Renovating, According to Kitchen Designers

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Lauren Masur
Oct 4, 2018
(Image credit: Melanie Rieders )

When taking on a home improvement project as major, time-consuming, and expensive (!!!) as a kitchen renovation, the last thing that you want to do is make a few choices now that you end up regretting later — especially if that ends up meaning you wasted money.

To help identify the biggest money-wasting no-nos to avoid, we consulted a few kitchen design experts. Having been around plenty of renovations, they had some good live-and-learn lessons and what-not-to-dos to share.

1. Neglecting to plan for storage space.

"The biggest mistake in kitchen design is not enough storage. We had one client who wanted a unique statement wall which led to limited storage. It would have been a disaster — where would all the cooking supplies go?" — Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill of Mitchell Hill Inc., Charleston, SC

2. Buying into trends.

"Kitchens are one of the most expensive rooms in the home. If you buy that fun candy apple red stove or unlacquered brass faucet, chances are you will get tired of it within a few years. If you choose classic, timeless design — such as polished chrome on large appliances — the features will likely last you longer than five to seven years. If you love trendy colors or metals, consider using them on smaller fixtures or paint your walls." — Chad James of Chad James Group, Nashville, TN

3. Choosing the wrong countertop material.

"Many people neglect to consider their lifestyle when designing a kitchen. If you are an adventurous chef, or have young children, you should probably go with a durable countertop, like stone quartz. If you want something more elevated, and design-focused, perhaps Calcutta or Carrara marble. Countertops vary greatly in price, so it is best to think long-term. " — Cynthia Spence of Cynthia Spence Design Inc., San Francisco Bay Area

4. Cheaping out on cabinetry installation.

"One of the biggest money mistakes people can make is skimping on cabinet installation. A bad installer can make even the best cabinetry look terrible and turn a dream project into a nightmare. A great installer, on the other hand, can make IKEA look like a million bucks (well, almost!)." — Courtney McLeod of Right Meets Left Interior Design, NYC

5. Playing it safe with backsplash.

"Since the backsplash is typically at eye level, it's high-impact kitchen real estate. The price between ordinary and more unique tile won't typically break the bank for such a small area — and the cost of labor is the same. I recommend spending a little more on backsplash to create a bespoke kitchen." — Cynthia Spence of Cynthia Spence Design Inc., San Francisco Bay Area

Did you renovate your own kitchen only to regret something later? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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