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Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Northern Virginia Kitchen

Remodeling your kitchen in Northern Virginia is packed with the potential to upgrade how the space functions, its overall aesthetic appeal, or the type of appliances you have access to. If you’re not in love with the kitchen in your new home, or you’re simply ready for a change after several years, a kitchen renovation gives you the ability to transform the space to meet your current—and future—lifestyle needs.

Keep in mind, however, that the process doesn’t happen overnight. There is plenty of planning involved in a kitchen makeover, even if you want minor upgrades. You want to make sure your kitchen has the specific style you want to bring to your home. As you design your project, there will be certain steps to take along the way for an effective process and satisfying results. However, it’s equally important to be aware of the common pitfalls that homeowners in Northern Virginia and the D.C. metro area encounter during residential remodeling.

Saxon kitchen remodel

What Are Typical Kitchen Remodel Mistakes?

The goal of planning and preparation as you prepare to renovate your kitchen in Arlington or the surrounding area is to ensure you make the most of your investment while also having a rewarding experience. While it’s normal for small hiccups or unexpected issues to arise during the course of a kitchen remodel, there are some kitchen design mistakes you can avoid with a bit of awareness and preemptive action.

Here are a few ways to plan ahead and avoid the stress, extra costs, and wasted time associated with a bad kitchen remodel:


1. Not Establishing Your Project Priorities

Before you can determine the “what,” or each small detail included in your kitchen remodeling scope of work, you have to consider the “why,” or the overarching purpose of the doing the project. Carefully evaluate what aspects of your kitchen are less than optimal at the moment. Are you feeling cramped with extra cooks in the kitchen? Is your kitchen style no longer appealing? Is your workflow dysfunctional because of a poor layout or lack of a “work triangle”? Pinpointing your frustrations, make a list of questions to ask, and then establishing project priorities to address them will help keep your project focused and on budget.


2. Remodeling Without a Permit

Not every kitchen tune-up requires a building permit, but certain projects do. It depends on your scope of work and your specific municipality. For example, in Arlington, VA, you must acquire a permit if your kitchen remodel involves adding, removing or relocating walls or fixtures. Attempting a renovation without a permit is a costly mistake. Fortunately, your home remodeler should know when and how to pull the appropriate permits for different types of kitchen renovations.


3. Not Including Enough Storage Space

Storage is one of the most important factors to consider for kitchen remodeling. That means thinking about what you need stored on a regular basis and planning accordingly. You may want to expand and add storage where you can, or simply explore creative solutions to maximize the space you already have available. For example, internal accessories and small add-ons, such as pantry pullouts, Lazy Susans and drawer dividers, can optimize your storage system. Doing so will enable you to keep your kitchen less cluttered and functioning properly.


4. Giving Up Important Counter Space

As you’re redesigning your kitchen in Northern Virginia, make sure you don’t sacrifice essential counter space with new appliances or the new configuration of your cabinetry. Having adequate surface area for food prep or other projects should be a top priority. If you have the square footage, consider building an extra island or extending your counter work space to enhance what you’re able to accomplish in your new kitchen.


5. Overlooking Your Kitchen Backsplash

Your kitchen backsplash serves a practical purpose, but it also provides a focal point in your kitchen. Don’t neglect to give it the attention it deserves when designing your renovation. Choose a material that is durable and fits into your kitchen design style. However, another common backsplash mistake is to get too trendy with your selection. Tastes change and your backsplash isn't the easiest element to replace. While you should have fun with your color and design, don’t choose something so eclectic that it will quickly become outdated.


6. Selecting Your Appliances Last

Appliances are another major kitchen component. You should pick out units based on their quality, performance and appearance. All too often, homeowners wait to make these decisions until late in the design phase, which can pose a problem. It’s easier to customize your cabinetry and countertops to fit around your selected kitchen appliances than vice versa.


7. Getting Trapped in a Box Creatively

Homeowners sometimes make design decisions because they think they should. For example, including top cabinets or going with an all-white palette are design choices that are made frequently, but that doesn’t mean they have to be. Feel free to explore your options in terms of colors, appliances, floor plans and other kitchen components. You can install open shelving instead of upper cabinetry, or forgo them altogether to visually open up your kitchen. A unique standalone hutch can be just as useful—and potentially more attractive—than extra cabinets.


Designing Your Kitchen Remodel in Northern Virginia

There is a lot to keep track of when you’re planning and designing a kitchen a makeover in Northern Virginia or Washington D.C. It can be difficult to know what options are available and what details to focus on. That’s why it’s important to select a kitchen remodeling company that has experience and expertise to guide you through the process. Our team at Denny + Gardner At Denny + Gardner can meet you exactly where you’re at in your renovation and help you navigate each aspect of the project so you avoid mistakes and get the most from your investment.


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