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beachem

Week 151 - What do you regret in your remodel?

6 years ago

Remodeling a kitchen is hard. - So many decisions and the costs that multiply like ants over unexpected details.

To help others who will go thru the same struggles, tell us what you regret or hard lessons from your experience? What would you not do again?

I have many regrets and they almost all lead to huge wastes of money.

1). Being influenced by others against my own instinct. My brother was very vocal in what he considered to be good design. I ignored most of what he pushed since they were outrageously expensive such as $10K pendants. He did influenced me to put in stainless steel fridge when I prefer integrated.

2) Rushing to buy things without a detailed plan and lots of planning and research. In my effort to DIY, I bought things like a Rockler jig to install drawer slides. A piece of wood would have work just as well vs costing $60. That jig was never used. I have lots of mistakes like this.

3). Rushing to buy without thinking about how else can I achieve the same function without spending a lot of money.

I wanted a utensil drawer and spent $500 on this Rev a Shelf after taxes and shopping.

I could have achieve the same function with a piece of wood and utilized the space in my cabinet more efficiently. My total cost for everything including slides would have been $30.

4) Trusting GCs and contractors without double checking. One of my GCs told me I had plastic pipes for the waste lines. He contracted a plumber sub and it turns out I had cast iron already. I ended up having to pay $500 for the plumber and his two assistants despite no work was done. I grit my teeth and paid them since I was firing the GC. I didn't want a lien on my house because of his mistake.

5). Measure and check your plans 5x. 3x just doesn't cut it when you're tired and have looked at the same stuff for days/weeks. Take a break and check everything including your logic. Measurement mistakes cost me about $2000 in replacement drawer fronts and materials.

At the end of the day, my regrets come from not enough research and planning when I made certain decisions.

My advice would be to research a lot and play devil's advocate to yourself. Ask why and what should or could you do differently all the time.

Comments (46)

  • 6 years ago

    My biggest regret with my new kitchen (so far) is that I chose the
    wrong cabinetmaker. I won't go into why, but suffice it to say the work
    was good, but the experience was the worst.

    I also found out that if I don't research it, the result won't be the best.

    What I
    learned from previous renovations was don't let someone talk you into
    something that you don't want. At the end of the day it may look nice,
    but if it doesn't make your heart sing, it's the wrong choice. The
    other thing that I learned was a delay is just a delay and once
    everything is finished you won't remember those extra days/weeks. The
    compromise that you make is something that you will need to live with
    for years, not weeks. Make sure that you can.

    beachem thanked sherri1058
  • 6 years ago

    For the most part we were lucky with our kitchen renovation. Two things I would do differently

    Put in a microwave drawer rather than a regular microwave under the counter. It is a pain to use and as a result we never ever use it. The cost differential, given the entire cost of the renovations (we did a whole house reno) was nothing in the giant scheme of things.

    I love colour but I fell into the trap of going neutral and using texture to bring interest into the room. What a pile of cr@p. If you like colour make sure you put it in. I wish I had gone with my first granite choice.

    beachem thanked blfenton
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  • 6 years ago

    I feel pretty fortunate - I don't have any significant regrets, and don't feel like I made any major mistakes.

    DH wishes we would have put in 2 pull-out cutting boards instead of 1. We put one between the sink and range (the primary prep space in our U-shaped kitchen). It wasn't a matter of deciding not to do it - it never occurred to me to put one on the opposite side of the kitchen, closer to the fridge. He said he would use it when making sandwiches. This isn't a huge deal - there are cutting boards in a drawer 2 feet away - but it is a small regret.

    I think I attribute my success to spending over 10 years thinking about what I wanted in a new kitchen, and waiting to start the project until I had mentally solved all the problems with the old kitchen, and made the best use of our space.

    And I had the world's greatest cabinet maker! Every time we met, he repeated two things: "I don't want you to have any surprises", and "I just want you to be happy!"

    beachem thanked AnnKH
  • 6 years ago

    I also regret being talked out of a bold colour choice that I wanted......I do love my "camoflage" colour (whereas I hated my previous beige), but I still feel like there's a need for more boldness in there somewhere. Maybe I'll add dramatically coloured prints on the wall, or cushions or something. All in all, a pretty minor gripe......of course, it's been less than 3 months.

    beachem thanked Toronto Veterinarian
  • 6 years ago

    Wish I had chosen a 30-inch drawer cabinet instead of a standard lower cabinet with shelves and completely forgot to design a place to hide the broom! Would have been so easy to do up front but needed extraordinary efforts to remedy afterward.

    beachem thanked probookie
  • 6 years ago

    Among the dozens of real time decisions we were making during our whirlwind install, I let the installer talk me into putting a fake drawer handle on the panel under the sink. A clothing catching no function doesn't look good mistake. With the sink installed, I have no clearance to unscrew it.

    beachem thanked dovetonsils
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    In kitchen itself-I was so after drawers as many and as deep as possible we made a tiny mistake in measurements, and the microwave now is couple inches higher that I'd prefer it to be..:)

    (and DH is kinda mad with the countertop fabricator since he thinks the overhang is a bit shorter than it should be. I'm not sure about that.)

    Otherwise the only real thing I regret about remodel is remodel itself lol.

    We're in love with the house, no question, with all its shortcomings..whatever I wanted and could afford move in ready doesn't even start to impress me today..

    (whatever we couldn't afford -a tad different story .or we could afford it but we wouldn't fit there LOL. especially as I tend to like smaller houses..)

    but these were still couple of years that kinda umm..sucked. very draining. and other stuff happened too of course because life doesn't stop happening to you just because you're remodeling

    we could save ourselves most of that I guess had we picked another house, and I wouldn't know what a grand experience I've missed too..:)

    and maybe now I'd be a bit..you know, what I'd like to be. Maybe that was a tad too much, these two(and a half) years..in this period of our lives

    well now I know the experience, and yes, experience it was for sure. it changes you too..you learn so much..you start looking at things differently..you swear "never again" yet that's it, you're hooked..:)

    so I can't even be sure whether we were right or we were wrong. It is what it is.

    the house itself is non, je ne regrette rien )) (besides the crooked ffireplace and the war with the roof rats, and the fact that we still have to do the backyard..)

    the time of our lives..could we spend it better? I think yes. on the other hand. who knows. We have this saying, "had I knew the cards, I would live in Sochi"..))

    (it's next to the Black Sea..Sochi. beautiful. Actually reminds a bit of California..)

    beachem thanked aprilneverends
  • 6 years ago

    New kitchen in a new house, now 2 years in. We have no regrets on design, but I made two minor boo-boos I'd like to have back. 1) I didn't plan for the handle on the DW (our old one didn't have one that stuck out) so I had to modify the drawer adjacent, and you have to make sure the DW is shut tight. 2) I was sent one sheet of Formica that is thinner than the others, so you can feel a tiny mismatch at one of the joints. The material comes in two different thicknesses, so they probably sent me one piece of the wrong stuff, and I didn't catch it until it was too late.

    beachem thanked mushcreek
  • 6 years ago

    We are in the middle of a remodel, and the only regret so far is that we didn't plan out the location of the HVAC vents, returns, etc. Now we have this huge mechanical venting duct in our new basement that can't be moved, and which is taking up precious space we want to use for a playroom and media room. Had we planned better, we could have relocated it elsewhere for minimal cost. Hoping it won't boo too awful when all is said and done.

    beachem thanked Julie B
  • 6 years ago

    No regrets on design, layout or materials, fortunately. But I would love to have a proper range hood. That wasn't possible in this house, so we have recirculating ventilation.

    beachem thanked DIY2Much2Do
  • 6 years ago

    EXHAUST fan, oh, I wish I had spent a few more $$$ and have it done better!

    beachem thanked Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We've been using the remodeled kitchen for about a year, and, while there are no big, thematic regrets, there are a few "I wish I had" thoughts. I think we dodged the big, thematic regrets by finding this website, reading, making notes, reading more, adding to lists, and then doing all that again, and, as a result, heeding the GW mantra that you shouldn't let an architect design your kitchen. Even before finding GW, I looked at an early design and thought "but where does the trash go?"

    On two mistakes we bit the bullet and corrected them after the fact: (1) despite reading about and planning for drawers, drawers, drawers, for some reason I put a cabinet right by the back door where we keep the dog leash, treats, food, etc.--i.e. the one thing I open fifteen times a day. After a few months of bending, pushing things around, digging and muttering, I asked the GC if the cabinetmaker could retrofit drawers. They could, did, and I'm much happier. (2) I believed the marketing literature and appliance salesman that the Zephyr hood insert would be quiet, so I saved a few bucks and didn't opt for a liner, silencer and exterior fan. The noise turned out to be oppressive, so we switched it for what we should've done in the first place, and the new setup is quieter on full blast than the original was on low.

    A few things I still wish for: a rectangular prep sink. Architect specced a round one, and, with the never ending flurry of things to pay attention to and decide, I didn't think about it until it was too late. The round one looks kind of silly and is a terrible use of space. SS fridge. DH didn't want the fridge trying to look like something it isn't, so we got SS instead of paneled, and it's a pain to keep clean. Miele claims to have easy-care stainless, and the dishwasher seems to bear that out, but the Thermador fridge isn't so forgiving. On-demand hot water. I still think a small electric on demand heater (not a little insta-hot) would work under the sink, but GC and plumber talked me out of it. Many times during the day I want a few seconds of HOT water, and, even with a (wasteful) recirculation loop from the main water heater, it takes some time to get hot. More linoleum information. I love the vintage look and colors we have, but something has stained/bleached it in spots in front of the fridge. Very discouraging, as I don't know what it is or if it'll keep happening.

    beachem thanked AvatarWalt
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I wish I had known more when ex-DH and I were putting outlets and switches in. No, they weren't wired until the last 3 years, but they were in. No consideration for molding and trim, so slowly, as I actually wire the house, I'm having them moved. I also wish Arlington Industries had invented the recessed outlets when we set this up. They're expensive, but well worth it if you want furniture against the wall!

    I wish I had known I wanted beaded inset cabinets. For a long time, I was trying to make myself like the cabinets I was picking up all over. When I had my Ah HA moment about the cabinets, I had put a lot of time, money (doors), paint (didn't know windows had a coating on them) and energy into accumulation, installation and mind changes. I have still picked up beaded inset cabinets when I can find them at my reuse centers, but at least I am soooo in love with them!

    I have had the luxury of changing my mind about things more than a few times. Sure, this costs me, but I'm innovative and have generally found uses for the items or materials I've decided I no longer loved. Or never loved.

    I learned early on to resist outside influences and to BOOT anyone who Little Ladys me. That's helped with my satisfaction with my projects.

    Most recently? Two pergolas with raised garden beds, 2 windows + a French door on the back porch, glassing in one of the 2 sides, and in 2 weeks? A brick facing on the 1st side of the house. Yeah!

    beachem thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • 6 years ago

    I honestly only have one very minor thing, I think because we started planning in November and didn't start construction until April, we had several months to think about things. Our contractor suggested coming to the houzz site to help with ideas. I'm sure that he came to regret it, as it gave me so many ideas to make his life difficult :-) We got frameless cabinets, and our old ones were also frameless. The new ones have a little wood around the inside making a little ledge at the bottom inside and the sides and top. So I can't just slide things in, I have to put them over the ledge. But that is super minor, and I love everything else about it.

    beachem thanked Sue 430
  • 6 years ago

    Our last major kitchen renovation was almost 8 years ago. It was a positive experience, but there is always the odd regret. I wanted no pulls/handles on the drawers, but rather recessed openings. DH wanted something more conventional, so went with chrome pulls that I found boring. I also didn't want so many pot lights! We went overboard.

    I agree with blfenton, if your instinct pulls you to colour, do it. You'll be disappointed with neutrals. I still keep questioning my choice for deep blue cabinets for this kitchen, but I'm going for it. Hopefully that doesn't become a regret next year. :)




    beachem thanked sochi
  • 6 years ago

    Sochi, it won't.

    We sold our condo last year. A few things were "regrets".

    The biggest one is I should have put the wine cooler next to the fridge and the microwave nearer the cooktop. While most people use the MW for things out of the fridge, I found I used the MW to melt butter, or heat up things that then got used in cooking.

    Actually we found we didn't use the wine cooler so more drawers would have been better.

    Also I was concerned with symmetry so made matching doors and drawers on both sides of the cooktop and on both sides of the fridge. This time I don't give a hoot about symmetry so my drawers will be larger and fall where they may.

    Wished I had put more lights in the last kitchen. Hopefully with the new one, I'll have enough light.

    Lastly, I didn't like having to wash my prep stuff and then carry it to the counter near the cooktop. I didn't have enough room where the sink was for prepping with only 24" of space.

    beachem thanked cpartist
  • 6 years ago

    We are nearing the end of our kitchen remodel. I'm super happy with our wood stained cabinets and new layout. I don't love the relatively plain white quartz we picked, wished we had picked something with more movement and color. We are still selecting a backsplash and it seems that the kitchen needs some color, but there is no color in the counter top to pull from and complement if that makes sense. The quartz also seems like its going to be high-maintenance with my kids. Probably should have picked granite. We picked the counters from a 2" sample and no photos, and in hindsight wish we had made the time to drive a few hours to view slabs (we do not have any local stone shops). Second regret is our new deep single basin sink- its too deep with not enough slope, and I feel like I'm leaning over too far to do dishes.

    beachem thanked mtnmom9
  • 6 years ago

    Mtnmom - re colour for backsplash - can you pull colour from window treatments, your dishes, upholstery on your kitchen chairs, nearby artwork, view outside your window, your garden. Think outside the box.

    beachem thanked blfenton
  • 6 years ago

    I'm already having regrets and I'm only at the planning stage! ;-)


    beachem thanked chispa
  • 6 years ago

    davetonsils- a lot of those sink base false drawer fronts are attached to the cabinet through a plastic T on both ends. Rotating it will allow the front to come out. usually you can sneak a hand up to rotate them and pull the front off, then you can remove your handle. You'll have to fill the holes or order a new false front. But that might work for you!

    beachem thanked doc5md
  • 6 years ago

    1. Not finding GW until about a year post-renovation. I sometimes wonder how my final design would be different. If I had known about GW I likely would not have made these decisions, that I now regret:

    2. Did a two level island. (Seemed like a good idea at the time.)

    3. Didn't pick out my granite slabs in person, and didn't ask about how much it would cost to get another stone. (We stuck with an allowance, which was mid-range. We brought home samples, did scratch and stain tests and picked a stone. When the builder said they found the same stone at a different place for less, we said OK. It was not the same.)

    4. Bought most of my appliances from the same brand because I wanted them to match. Now I know mixing is OK, and I've since replaced my good looking but under-performing DW.

    beachem thanked chicagoans
  • 6 years ago

    I wish I'd have inquired about how much more it would have cost to have toe kick drawers. When things were all said and done, my partner asked me why we didn't have them which shocked me., I didn't bring it up because I was certain he'd veto the idea. Wrong. I never should have assumed I knew where he stood on the issue.

    I'm not thrilled with our bland wall color. I'm glad that it is something one can easily change. We have an art wall that doesn't have art on it yet. I am waiting to see what it looks like once we get something hung before making a decision about repainting the room.

    beachem thanked Cheryl Hewitt
  • 6 years ago

    It isn't exactly a regret, but if I ever have to remodel again, I hope to gut the entire house and start from scratch rather than doing projects piecemeal. We replaced all the floors and baseboards in the house and added crown molding ~8 years ago. At the time, we didn't do anything to the kitchen because it looked and functioned fine (it was 17 years old at the time).

    We are now in the midst of a kitchen remodel necessitated by a leaky dishwasher. We wanted to keep the floors since they are practically new (it is all relative), but it would have been much easier (and the end result would have looked better) if we had just started from scratch. Having a similar problem with paint color. Do we want to change the paint or even just the trim color in the whole house? Or just find something that works with what we have.

    beachem thanked dmpsd
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We've been on our new kitchen about a month. So far, I'm pretty happy with it. A couple of regrets: I don't think the backsplash goes with the countertop as well as I thought it would from looking at samples together on the showroom. It's okay, but not great. I also wish our house plan had allowed for a true exhaust fan. By the time I realized how nice one would be (I'd never really had one before so I didn't know) our plans were already settled and construction had begun. I also wish I had triple checked the final kitchen design. For some reason, despite my saying over and over that I wanted a silverware divider in a specific drawer, my KD left it out of the final quote. I had no reason to think she would take it out of the quote/design and didn't catch it. I could have ordered it later but my dad ended up making one for me. He used beautiful wood but made each piece too thick (about 2x as thick as I'd told him) and the spaces are a little small to fit all my silverware comfortably. It was frustrating: he worked so hard but was so dazzled by the curly maple he found that he ignored the fact that in using it he was taking up inches of space. So what does one tell one's dear old dad when he works hard on something that you then aren't happy about? So, use it I will. You may have to click on the picture to make the proportions correct.

    Not all my silverware is there, since the dinner dishes are in the dishwasher right now.

    beachem thanked housequester
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I regret not stepping in earlier and insisting on having project supervisor or contractor owner more involved. Workers were either gone for days or rushing through things. It was a whole different experience working with another contractor on bathroom remodel and other projects after the kitchen - opened my eyes to what good communication was really like. Design-wise, I think I would prefer a large single bowl sink vs. double sink. Got an induction range but wish I had better investigated running a gas line before assuming cost would be too much. Not sure if choice to accommodate DH's love of symmetry cost us in terms of more functional use of larger drawers and option to put microwave in upper cabinets. Kitchen does look pretty and we like our round corner countertop microwave enough to not begrudge it the counter space so maybe I wouldn't change it. I would say, however, that 15" drawers are really a bit too narrow to be totally functional. The symmetry choice left us with 5 banks of 15" drawers. Despite its limitations and annoyances, I *love* everything about my IKEA kitchen cabinets/drawers. And I love my 3 color Marmoleum floor pattern. Worst problem with my kitchen was discovering that our dog could open the drawers and losing my planned use of a breakfast/snack/lunch packing station for the kids.

    beachem thanked m_gabriel
  • 6 years ago

    Hiring a "GC" from Craigslist instead of a design/build team and paying time and materials instead of a job total. We're five months past the original timeline with no end in sight, 300K over budget, and I'm having a baby in six weeks.

    beachem thanked Elizabeth Nothanks
  • 6 years ago

    @housequester - aww. keep your dad, get new cutlery. :)


    beachem thanked taranator N
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    housequester - make your dad AND yourself happy.

    The Maple burl insert is way to pretty to waste on a drawer. Remove and hang it on the wall horizontally, fill with various small and two taller keepsakes and knick-knacks.

    In your drawer, use Lee-Valley or generic drawer dividers .

    Two of my daughter's (very inexpensive) drawer inserts turned display boxes:

    beachem thanked User
  • 6 years ago

    Elizabeth Nothanks - Oh my god! For real? 5 months past timeline and 300K over budget??? And not anywhere near finished? Is this due to $$$ upgrades or due to contractor screwing up / overcharging?

    beachem thanked User
  • 6 years ago

    housequester: we bought a bamboo silverware drawer organizer for $20 off Amazon and its seriously so nice. Not sure why anyone would need to purchase a much more expensive one through their cabinet company?

    beachem thanked mtnmom9
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    When we had our new kitchen done, I did not order silverware inserts made by the cabinet company. I bought an expandable bamboo silverware insert (I think it was actually a set of 2) at Costco. I only needed one and sold the other at a garage sale. Ended up costing me $15-$20 and fits the drawer perfectly.

    beachem thanked tackykat
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @pippabean: Well, that's for more than just the kitchen, but I'm not sure how it breaks out. We've had some unexpected stuff come up because it's an old house and the prior owners made some bad decisions during their remodel. Mostly it's due to a combination of our GC's inability to hire and keep a competent team together (I think we're on our fourth or fifth group of workers and there has been a call to the police because of a fight) and my husband's overestimation of the time he would have available to oversee the project. We tried to save money by going with the cheap guy from CL and it has cost us hugely more than just hiring an "expensive" but competent team.

    Also I wish we hadn't taken out the warming drawer, but so be it.

    beachem thanked Elizabeth Nothanks
  • 6 years ago

    Elizabeth - What a horribly expensive lesson...I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hope this nightmare will be over soon and you get to enjoy your remodeled house.

    beachem thanked User
  • PRO
    6 years ago

    I was suprised that "Buyers Remorse" was near the top of a poll I read about kitchen remodeling, or selecting the items that may satisfy a special need you have. Before you call that first contractor, you should know the difference between full & standard overlay door styles. Why not look around your current kitchen and list what would have been useful to you, and list items you don't want, even if you will get a 500.00 gift card. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Your due diligence to have a list of "must haves" or where roll out trays will benefit your aching back, read up on granite, quartz, as I have never met a sales rep who didn't believe they represented the greatest tops ever made. NEVER commit a deposit of your hard earned money until you have the design done with a designer who will listen, and incorporate or suggest ideas you may have overlooked. I typically spend my first 2 hour visit talking to the clients, finding out their needs, and yes I do ask them what their budget is. That 1 question can save you hours of needlessly designing a Rolls Royce for a FORD guy and his wife.

    beachem thanked Kitchen Designs by Jeffrey F. Krider
  • 6 years ago

    Up until Hurricane Harvey we had no regrets. Last winter we bought a condo in Rockport, TX and remodeled it all spring. It became available to rent exactly 45 days ago.

    Thankfully we got it boarded up before Harvey hit. That worked beautifully. The only damage inside was a light coat of sand on everything. Apparently the force of the wind was enough to create cracks in the doors and windows and the sand entered. Unfortunately for us, nobody else in the condo complex boarded up, so we are going to be totaled by the insurance company along with the other 77 units.

    So regrets: Since everything we is in perfect shape we will be able to remove the appliances and furniture to donate to those who really need it right away. What we regret is spending so much effort selecting granite, quartz, and backsplash tile. We can't reuse or donate that stuff.

    Here are some thoughts we had so we would not have any regrets.

    • We changed all the dual electric outlets into quad outlets. The previous owner had installed simple plug-in things to multiply the number of outlets. We doubled the number of outlets and made them all quads.

    • We installed one quad set of outlets to include USB outlets so people could recharge four electronic devices without the chargers each taking up a plug.

    • We used a simple quartz surface in the kitchen with a more elaborate back splash. The simplicity of the quartz opened up a world of back splash possibilities.

    • Ceramic sink instead of stainless. Stainless sinks are a megaphone amplifying the noise from the garbage disposal.

    • All white appliances. Easy to clean, don't show dust, easy to match colors.

    beachem thanked dchall_san_antonio
  • 6 years ago

    Oh dchall - I am so sorry. That really stinks. I am in the middle of our project, so I am not sure yet what I regret, but I do know that I would regret a lot more if I hadn't found these forums.

    beachem thanked Laura
  • 6 years ago

    dchall I'm so sorry..I hope it resolves fast for you guys. it's just so absurd. well things often are but still. wishing you the best of luck

    Elizabeth to you too..and take heart..we had a good GC(actually the more I read here the more I appreciate him..)).of course never we went so much over budget(it wasn't fixed too..but not time and materials, was cost plus)..but unexpected stuff is kinda normal when one opens one's walls..unfortunately..also delays..the construction is booming, everybody's busy so they can hardly breathe. Not easy to find good people (many also left the field when it was crisis)..so delays and all..the bigger the job the bumpier the road is.

    Ah and of course some men do tend to have this understanding about themselves they'd be able to be alert for 27 hours within 24 hour day..:) My DH is exactly like that..I hardly convinced him to take one GC at all since he wanted to divide jobs and oversee it all..crazy.

    You describe something extremely bad of course..but your GC still sounds like somebody who's not just walking out on you in the middle of the job (and there are such people..some take your money walk out in the bedinning..so you're right.. very important to vet)..I wish it starts getting better for you soon, and in the end you have the house you love.

    beachem thanked aprilneverends
  • 6 years ago

    Ah just to add-I also wish I'd find these forums sooner..I found GardenWeb when the house was almost ready..:)

    beachem thanked aprilneverends
  • 6 years ago

    @Elizabeth, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I went thru three GCs and ended up being my own GC after it cost me too much money from their stupidity.

    For what it's worth, my GCs all came highly recommended by neighbors and trusted vendors. I interviewed each in detail and they were the best of the bunches. Craigslist isn't bad. It's the luck of the draw and my GCs weren't the cheapest either. They were all at market price or middle of the road.

    @ dchall you can donate the building materials to Habitat Restore. They'll come out to demo and transport. The granite, cabinets and Quartz will be used. I see these in our Restore all the time.

  • 6 years ago

    We've had 4 contractors...no GC. 1 plumber to move the gas line, but they didn't seem to care about building codes when they drilled though the ceiling joists and didn't listen very well when I told them where to put the gas for the range. The actual gas supply is where it needs to be but the shut off valve is *barely* not behind the adjacent cabinet. We did our own water supply. 2 drywall contractors, the first of which was recommended by neighbors and were HORRIBLE, the second were reasonably good where it counts but still haven't come back out to sand in corners near the floor so we can have straight baseboards. Good thing we're nowhere near ready for baseboards. And to be fair to them, we did have a hurricane get in the way of everything. The 4th is a very expensive electrician, who my dad has known for 20 years and does all his electric. They've been pretty good too but a lot of junction boxes are still set back to far for proper seating of covers, and we haven't even tiled the backsplash yet, which will make it even worse.

    Long story short, there are many out there who won't do the job you would do in your own home if you were able to.

    So now my regrets...we're not finished, so they haven't all come to light yet...I only have 1. I wish we had better quality cabinets. They're not terrible. They were already assembled RTA we bought off Craigslist and they saved us about $6000. The thing is, if we gotten the ones we were planning to buy (Shenandoah from Lowes) we would probably have run out of money by now. So there's that.

    beachem thanked townlakecakes
  • PRO
    6 years ago

    I have only one slight regret. I wish I had done a blind corner cabinet for my kitchen sink cabinet. I was talked out of it - can't even remember who. I previously used the space for extra rolls of paper towels. It would have been nice to have this as there is no room for a pantry in my kitchen. They live in the basement. Very minor but an annoyance none the less. I spent a LOT of time planning this reno and I got just what I wanted.

    Beacham, I got a similar Rev-a-Shelf pullout - mine us 9" wide and does not include the knife box. I found mine, new-in-box for under $250 on eBay. My KD said he couldn't have bought it for what I paid! I adore it - SO useful!

    beachem thanked Anglophilia
  • 6 years ago

    i would have taken off work when the kitchen cabinets were installed. my retired husband was there , enough said.

    beachem thanked g1991
  • 6 years ago

    Thankfully I avoided most of the mistakes because I discovered this forum many years ago. In fact, I have been lurking around this forum even before we bought our house :) I worked with my friend who is a very detail oriented contractor. He proactively would think (sometimes overthink) every little detail and talk about options before they became issues. So no regrets on that front.

    The only minor regret I have is that we replaced all the windows in the house before we did the kitchen remodel. At that time I had a design in mind and so I committed to windows that confirmed to that design. Later, I spent a lot of time designing the kitchen around this constraint. After getting design help here, it became clear that the windows have to go. It was somewhat heart wrenching to let go of windows that were installed less than a year ago. Eventually I did, and am happy about that decision.

    beachem thanked vishketan
  • 6 years ago

    My kitchen is two weeks old and I have one tiny regret :

    I wish I had a foot extra width in the newly added mudroom, I could have done that without compromising on kitchen space but I was tired of making changes (eek, that seems like a stupid reason in retrospect). It would have allowed me to have a 15" sink in the mudroom which I dont have space for in the current remodel.

    I wish I had offset the entrance from the garage to the mudroom by 2 feet. The way it is now, soon as someone opens the garage door, we get a whoosh of cold air in the kitchen right where we apparently all like to sit at the island !

    I followed GW wisdom and did almost all drawers which I love BUT i wish I had added 1-2 short height drawers to house my silverware and knives in the island rather than on the far side of the perimeter. I seem to be constantly walking the length of the kitchen to get a missing spoon or ladle AFTER we sit down for dinner. I guess I just need to train my kids to do that :)

    Well, that was more than one regret but none are big regrets in the scheme of things....


  • 6 years ago

    I had difficulty coming to an agreement with my husband over the cabinet doors. I had wanted some glass cabinets but unfortunately he didn't like the look so I caved in the end. Now it is a very modern looking kitchen with high flat kitchen cabinets but little visual interest, which is okay but some glass would have been nice. I still like the kitchen but may in a few years add a glass cabinet or two.

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