These Kitchen Design Mistakes Could Cost You $1500 or More

by Joanna Stewart

Thu, Nov 22, 2018

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country kitchen with stained cabinets

It was an honest mistake. Just a slight change here and a different cabinet over there - that’s all. But, it ended in an abrupt shouting and crying mess.

Not the best way to finish an amazing project.

What happened? During my last kitchen remodeling project there were a few last minute changes made by the homeowners that seemed innocent enough.

Apparently the contractor did not see it the same way.

They never do.

These small design changes ended up costing my clients over $2,200 in labor and materials beyond their initial budget, after the dust had settled.

To make things worse, they were already stretched to their financial limit and this put them over the edge. Hence the anger.

If you think this won’t happen during your next kitchen remodelling project, you’d be mistaken.

According to a study by Consumer Reports the most expensive kitchen design mistake was making changes after work had started. On average, late changes cost homeowners an additional $1,500!

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

What Contractors Don’t Want You to Know About Kitchen Remodeling

The key to DIY kitchen design projects is to understand how contractors think.

I’ve fought battles on the contractors side, trying to take advantage every change order that came across our desk. From here I saw how a low-bid project can make millions in profit appear from out of thin air.

This happened all in the face of professional construction management companies, corporate owners, architects and legal teams. If this can happen to well-educated teams, imagine what contractors are pulling over on unsuspecting homeowners.

The problem is that once construction has started on your kitchen remodeling project any changes will beyond your original contractor bid. Good news for the contractor, bad news for your budget.

To you it may seem like an easy way to make changes along the way. The contractor is there working already, why would it cost so much to make a minor change?

To the contractor these SMALL changes mean BIG profit.

When work must be completed that varies from the original bid a contractor will require a change order.

Any changes to the project during construction put you in a position of weakness and the contractor has all of the leverage. How are you going to dispute how much it will cost to make a small change after they have already tore apart your kitchen?

This is not the best place for you to practice your negotiation skills.

The contractor already has your deposit and is in the middle of demolishing your kitchen cabinets. There’s no turning back now.

What most homeowners fail to realize until it’s too late is the hidden complexity of a kitchen remodel.

All elements in a kitchen are connected.

The flooring, cabinets, countertops, and appliances must live together as a happy family. Changes to one means changes to others as well. A change of cabinets means changes to countertops. These changes take time and cost money, lots of money.

Afraid you’ll get scammed by a remodeling contractor? Get insider information on how to tackle your next project and save thousands with our complete remodeling playbook. We show you how to beat contractors at their own game!

How Do You Avoid These Costly Kitchen Design Mistakes?

The solution is in detailed preparation. A successful kitchen remodeling project always begins with careful planning.

If you’re the type of person that likes to improvise as you go, that’s fine. Hey, you only live once! But, if you want to make the most of your kitchen remodeling budget (which is probably smaller than you’d like) and avoid costly mistakes, then there’s a proven system already available to you. I’ll show you the way.

Planning the perfect kitchen can take weeks, if not months. From choosing materials, appliances, cabinets, color palettes, drawing kitchen floor plans and getting permits, it can all be overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn in a short amount of time and the financial consequences are often significant. The average kitchen remodeling project costs about $30,000!

Before starting your kitchen remodel, begin by creating an inspiration notebook. Collect photos, brochures and all of your favorite kitchen design ideas in one place. Use this as a starting point.

Most DIY homeowners love to ride this wave of inspiration all the way through the design phase, doing it all on their own. But without a professional to help interpret and translate your design ideas into a gourmet kitchen, you will be a lost ball in high weeds. Trust me, I’ve seen some well-meaning design disasters.

As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Sure, you could stop by your favorite cabinet maker and get your kitchen designed for “free” by the staff designer. But, you’ll end up with their dream kitchen, not yours. In fact, the cabinet designers dream kitchen is the one where they sell you the most cabinets at the highest price.

I passionately believe that professional designers offer incredible value to homeowners, but it is far more fun to design your own kitchen and get your hands dirty. That’s why I’m here.

Let me show you the road map that will help you design your dream kitchen and save money along the way.

Think of me as your design tutor. When you need help, stop by. Otherwise continue on your own.

The best part is that you can tell all of your friends that you designed your kitchen all by yourself. You could even offer to design their kitchen with everything you learned.

How do you get this personalized kitchen design advice?

Well, the good news is that you’re in the right place at the right time. I’m opening up my Kitchen Design Academy to a select group of students that want to design their own kitchen. But, it will be open for a limited time only.

If you’re interested in learning more I would encourage you to hop on the waiting list: click here to sign up for free.

Do you have any kitchen remodeling advice to share with our community?

If so, please leave a comment below to join in on the conversation with other homeowners just like you!


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