The Most Common Kitchen Remodel Mistakes to Avoid

Kitchens, the center of the home for many, are also one of the most requested remodeling projects. Whether you consider your cooking style to be basic or a bit more gourmet, there are design features that are useful for everyone. In the excitement of redesigning your space, it’s easy to make kitchen remodel mistakes that will cause headaches later.

A little bit of preparation has a big pay-off while you relax in your dream kitchen!

Keep the following tips in mind, and you’ll be able to avoid the most common kitchen remodel mistakes.

The 7 most common kitchen remodel mistakes 

When remodeling your kitchen, there are some design choices that you should always keep in mind.

These kitchen remodel mistakes aren’t always huge issues, but something that should be considered.

The most common mistakes include:

  1. Not enough electrical outlets
  2. Not enough counter space
  3. Poor placement of appliances
  4. Poor lighting
  5. Doors and drawers opening incorrectly
  6. Not enough storage
  7. Under-budgeting

Below, we explain how to avoid these common kitchen remodel mistakes.

1. Electrical outlets are essential in a modern kitchen.

Think about your busiest times in the kitchen, whether it be the big family holiday meals or a dinner party.

How many appliances are in use? Is your food processor always in rotation? Do you charge your phone? Is your coffee maker a non-negotiable? Now is the time to set up a well-placed electrical outlet for each item.

It’s a fact that modern families can use a charging station in every room, and they’re an easy item to add to your remodel. The next time you’re reading a recipe off your tablet, you’ll be glad you did!

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2. You can’t go wrong with more counter space.

One of the most infuriating kitchen remodel mistakes includes unintentionally limiting your counter space.

This is one area where more is always better!

Really think about how your kitchen is used. Today’s kitchens are more of a gathering spot than ever, and adding a home office area is always popular.

Whether it’s an additional place to pull up a stool, a spot to put a cookie sheet, or simply an area to have some elbow room while you chop vegetables, you’ll use any space you can add to your new kitchen plan.

You’ll also want to include “landing zones” – room to sit down pots or pans or ingredients as you work.

If you think about how every item you carry from the refrigerator needs a place to go, you’ll realize how quickly valuable counter space gets filled up.

Review carefully with your contractor, and always add, don’t subtract.

3. Keep in mind the way you work.

The kitchen triangle, consisting of the sink, stove, and refrigerator, is essential to a kitchen you’ll love to work in.

One of the most common kitchen remodel mistakes is not thinking about the layout of all appliances and construction.

If you’re walking around a kitchen island every time you move from the refrigerator to the sink, it’s extra, awkward steps and frustration.

This time-honored design concept is efficient, practical and just makes sense.

The general idea is to allow for between 4-9 feet in each leg of the triangle. If your current kitchen layout always has you bumping into each other, now is the time to plan the perfect work zone.

If you’ve been working without a kitchen island, this could be the time to add one.

Providing both additional seating and storage space, a well-placed island can also be a nice place to hang out – because guests always gravitate to the kitchen.

4. Keep an eye on your task lighting.

With your kitchen redesign, there is likely to be a change in work areas – and you’ll want them to be well-lit.

This is also the perfect time to install under-counter or specific lighting that was previously lacking.

Think through any frustrations you encounter frequently: Is it hard to see in the back of your appliance garage? Do you have to use a flashlight to read your cookbook?

Another nice addition can be adding dimmer switches to overhead lighting, or making your interior pop with fresh pendant lamps that add form and function to the workspace.

Talk with your contractor about how some new lighting additions can make every task simpler in your remodeled kitchen.

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5. Do a reality check on doors and drawers.

You don’t have to use virtual reality to try out your kitchen design, but take a moment to consider which way cabinet doors open, and where the open drawers will extend to.

Imagine opening every door at the same time. Make sure that appliance doors aren’t blocked, and that open cabinets don’t interrupt the traffic flow in the kitchen.

Even considering the direction your refrigerator door swings open can be important during kitchen remodeling.

Sketch it out, walk through the space, and you’ll be glad you did, the next time you’re in the middle of busy meal prep.

6. Always plan for more storage.

Even though downsizing and simplifying have become popular, it’s impossible to have too much storage.

This is another area where more is absolutely better!

You’ll love it, and so will any future buyers of your home.

Innovative storage solutions are everywhere, from revolving corner units to pull-out bins to drawer organizers.

Consider adding deeper drawers, extra shelves, and appliance garages, and you’ll find that keeping your new kitchen looking tidy and presentable is now a simpler task.

This may also be the perfect time to carve out the space for a pantry. With the capability of tucking away larger items and bulk goods beyond a door, pantries are one item that buyers and remodelers both covet.

7. It’s better to over-budget, than under-budget.

Nothing is more stressful than stopping short on the journey to your dream kitchen.

With remodeling, it’s a universal rule that it’s better to leave some padding in your budget, rather than encounter any surprises that will stop you short of your goal.

This is one of the biggest kitchen remodel mistakes.

Generally, you will recoup most of your remodeling costs at resale. Until then, once you’ve come up with a budget number, put away 20 percent of that amount and keep it for any unexpected expenses.


Every kitchen remodel is an opportunity to not only refresh the look of your home, but also to make your life easier.

By addressing the everyday uses and features universal to every kitchen, you can avoid common kitchen remodel mistakes and make life easier for you and your family.

Successful kitchen renovations should address the current needs of your cooking styles, entertaining plans, and even your changing lifestyle.

Updated, focused lighting, well-placed cabinets and storage, attention to traffic flow and counter use, and planning for power needs will make your new kitchen a pleasure to work in, host in, and just plain live in.

Create your dream kitchen by avoiding these kitchen remodel mistakes.