Risk (Noun) – A situation involving exposure to danger.

Nothing in life comes risk-free.

Hitting the snooze button to start the day chances you snoozing to work late.

Going to bed with your favorite football team down two touchdowns and out of timeouts with five minutes to play risks the chance of missing a highly improbable, but surely unforgettable comeback victory.

Not buying a Mega Millions ticket when the jackpot hits $1 billion chances, however unlikely, that you missed your one chance in life to become a mega millionaire. 

Not asking someone to dance chances not meeting your potential soulmate.

When it comes to diving in headfirst on your family’s dream kitchen remodel, trust us folks, it’s worth the risk. But it is also essential you know the risks you can’t afford to take when reimagining the heart and soul and most important room of your home.

Sure, life and kitchen remodels are games of risk by nature. But don’t chance it by making these planning mistakes that risk crippling your kitchen remodel. 

DIYing Your Remodel: Unless you host your own show on HGTV, this is almost never a good idea. For the kitchen is the most complex room of the home and the most expensive room to remodel. 

Wasting Space: For open, unused cabinet or storage space is a terrible thing to waste. While it’s essential to keep a kitchen roomy and airy, it’s also vital to make efficient use of space by squeezing every inch of storage or utility out of the design. Be sure to take inventory of your current storage and make sure your design has at least as much discrete and usable space available, if not more. 

Packing Contents Too Tight: On the flip side, be sure not too squeeze so much into your kitchen that it’s too crowded to be safe and comfortable. Prioritize your appliances and other features and decide which ones you really need and which ones can be sacrificed in the name of freeing up working space.

“(A kitchen) is a place for creating meals, not Versailles,” New York architect Kevin Lichten tells the Wall Street Journal. 

Bad Positioning of Furniture & Fittings: Usability should be the starting point of every kitchen remodel and style should come next. Make sure the layout of your kitchen makes logistic sense. For example, if your stove is at the opposite end of the kitchen from your sink, you are going to get more steps transporting hot pans around than you’d like to. This is not how you want to train for your upcoming 5K.

Poor Clearance Planning: Smart kitchen geometry is everything. If opening the dishwasher blocks access to your lower cabinets, a minor inconvenience will quickly grow into a daily irritation. From the very start of your design, think of how the various doors, drawers and openings of your kitchen can work in harmony with each other.

The Monster Island: Sure, a kitchen island is the multi-purpose wonder and Grand Central Station of every kitchen, but it should never look like Grant Central Station or have a guest saying, “Dang! That kitchen island is the size of Texas!” If your kitchen island is so big you have to climb on top of it to clean the center, your kitchen island is too massive.

“And don’t even think about putting a cooktop in the island,” the Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Wolfe jokes. 

Out-of-Character Design: Remember, you want your kitchen to have its own style, but not look like it’s a kitchen from another planet compared to the rest of the style, look and feel of your home. A kitchen remodel needs to fit in with the rest of your home’s décor. A pleasingly rustic kitchen set in a sleek modern house for example will be out of place.

Poor Choice of Materials: Don’t just rely on a huge, well-lit kitchen showroom to decide what materials to use for your remodel, always take samples home and see how they work and feel in your own home. It’s always better to discover materials that don’t work before you’ve committed to a purchase.

Incomplete Planning: Consider this the First Commandment of Every Kitchen Remodel, Never Redesign On The Fly. There’s no winging it in kitchen remodels. Don’t go the Homer Simpson Remodel Way. Make sure you’ve drawn up a solid plan and double-checked every detail before beginning your remodel. Making changes and fixing errors when work has already started is a surefire map to soaring costs and increased disruption. 

And don’t put yourself or your crew on a tight, unrealistic deadline. 

“Kitchens aren’t remodeled in a day; it takes longer than what you see on TV,” writes Jennifer Gilmer, co-author of The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space. “Make sure your time frame is realistic; add another week or two, even a month if it’s a complicated job.”

Risk is a fun family board game, but one game you never want to plan when redesigning your kitchen. For Kitchen Remodel Risk, by simple term definition, is the possibility of something bad, sometimes very bad, happening to your dream kitchen.

“Good planning, realistic objectives and working with seasoned professionals are surefire ways to avoid these challenges,” HV Magazine’s Barbara Ballinger writes. 

Leave a Reply