Top 10 NYC Apartment Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, a lot of mistakes can be made in the process mainly due to a lack of knowledge or unforeseen circumstances. These mistakes can cost time, money, and frustration on both parties. So, when it comes to doing your New York City kitchen remodel, make sure you avoid these top ten mistakes throughout the planning, design, and construction of your kitchen renovation project.
Do not make it a Do It Yourself Project
Unless your project is nothing more than a fresh coat of paint or changing out knobs on drawers and cabinets, do not attempt a kitchen remodel by yourself. With projects like these, there is a lot of heavy lifting and utilities that should not be touched without a professional. A kitchen remodeling contractor often has a team on hand to help, as many parts of a kitchen require multiple hands.
Underestimating Storage Requirements
If you are performing a full kitchen renovation as opposed to a remodel, it is important during your design phase that you do not overlook storage requirements for your space. While modern kitchens like to focus more on open areas and tiling, you do not want to downsize your cabinet and drawer space. A kitchen from a functional perspective is designed to hold all your tools, and when storage is insufficient, a kitchen becomes a room of clutter, defeating the purpose of making it nice in the first place.
Giving Up Counters
Most people who are big on cooking always say the biggest issue with a kitchen is a lack of counter-top space, especially in moderate-sized kitchens. NYC is no stranger to this phenomenon, as most Manhattan apartment kitchens tend to have gully kitchens or even kitchenettes. Counter space must be prioritized, and if it must be reduced, it should be as minimal as possible.
No Concern About Workflow
The Aesthetic of a Kitchen only goes so far, a NYC kitchen must consider function, especially in tighter quarters. A kitchen should always use what is called the triangle approach, in which the placement of your refrigerator, stove, and kitchen make a triangle if drawn out on paper. Make sure if you work with a design-build firm to design your new workspace, that this approach is considered. Otherwise, a kitchen without function is an aesthetic waste of money.
Forgetting About Your Budget
One of the most common mishaps people make when they prepare for an apartment renovation is saying they have a budget set up and then easily exceeding it for things they want. It is important that you stick to your budget and be reasonable with what you can expect. Kitchen remodels and renovations can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000, so be mindful that expenses can get way out of hand fast. You also need to set aside ten percent of whatever you expect to invest that can cover any incidentals or unforeseen cost overruns.
Choosing Appliances Last
Make sure that if you are working with a kitchen renovation contractor that you let him know before construction what appliances you intend to pick out for your kitchen. Appliances although somewhat standard in terms of dimensions can have tolerance up to a few inches, and not knowing these dimensions ahead of time will cause complications or awkward gaps when they go to install them around existing cabinetry. You will know you have a superior remodeling contractor if he demands to know the appliances ahead of time.
Undervaluing Your Back-splash
One of the most overlooked parts of a New York City kitchen is the investment made into tiling back-splash. Although this is not the most significant in terms of visible square footage or function, if this space is underappreciated, then it is the equivalent of leaving a piece art ten percent incomplete. It connects your raised cabinets to your counter-tops and drawers and creates a nice aurora around your stove. Make sure when you work with your design-build to ensure that you have selected a nice back-splash. This is one area you can splurge a little bit if you like.
As is common in many Manhattan apartments, space is at a premium, which means all efforts should be made to fully utilize every square foot of a kitchen. Do not create awkward or large counter-tops where storing items are out of reach. Make sure you get creative with drawer designs like serve-ware or a concealed sliding drawer for trash.
Don’t be Original
One of the most discouraged behaviors is to take a model kitchen and say I want that one. When you see a model kitchen, it may look good in one place, but odds are if you take it inch by inch and try to fit it into your apartment, it just will not look right. A good kitchen renovation contractor should be able to look at your existing space and let you know right away what parts of your dream kitchen are feasible, and parts that create challenges. Avoid a remodeling contractor who says right away that he can fit every part of your dream kitchen into your space. That realistically just does not happen.
Not Keeping in Mind the Big Picture
At the end of the day, you are not creating a masterpiece, rather you are creating a functional space. Always think function first and aesthetic second. But do not create a kitchen that ignores either. A good kitchen remodeling contractor should be able to work with you to ensure every square inch is designed appropriately and leave you overall happy.