Hopefully nothing but if there is anything that you wish you had done differently when going though the kitchen renovation or after it was completed please tell.
Drawers instead of pullouts!
I wish I hadn't skimped on the labor. The guys I hired to do our kitchen were great and for the price I think I did well, but I can't help noticing the little things that are driving me crazy--the molding isn't quite right, some of the pulls are a little off, the electrical outlets are in odd places, etc. I love our kitchen so far, but I know these "little" things will always bug me. I've already told my husband that for our next kitchen we are hiring the real deal. Hopefully we'll be able to afford it then. :)
I wish I had made the refrigerator compartment deep enough for a regular fridge rather than counter-depth.
If we had pulled out the lower cabs and made the counter two or three inches deeper, we'd have been able to have deeper uppers as well. That wouldn't have cost a lot extra, and then we'd have saved hundreds on the fridge -- and gotten more space to boot.
I wish I had gone with a 42" wide hood rather than a 36" over a 36" Wolf AG.
I also replaced a 4 foot skylight in the kitchen and I wish that I had put in one that would open in order to let some heat out once the cooking is done.
I wish I had picked a cooktop more for function than for looks.
Though I love my granite but don't like it for some reasons, I'm beginning to think I should have stuck with my initial thought of getting Silestone instead of granite.
I wish I had gotten a deeper range hood and mounted it at 30" above the range instead of 36".
I should have gone to my granite templating. I knew it at the time but I was just kind of burned out on the reno and sick of dragging my kids to dusty granite yards. The prettiest pieces of granite are on the perimeter and the more boring part on my peninsula -- I would have preferred the reverse. Then again, everyone I've pointed it out to looks at me like I've gone over the edge and says I'm being too picky. :-)
Also, I should have run my lighting plan by this forum or the lighting forum. I didn't realize we had a working scanner at the time :-( and couldn't find my digital camera, so I couldn't figure out how to get the design into the computer and online. The poorly-placed lights really bug me!
Good luck with your project!
Wish we had prepared the wall behind the fridge before installing the cabinets. The large French Door Fridge really sticks out quite a bit. It is not so much a visual problem but it makes acces to the pull-out pantry next to it very difficult. So now we will have to pull out the fridge and then cut a hole into the drywall behind so that the fridge can be pushed back into this recess. It would have been so much easier to do it early on.
I am building a new house and am just starting the framing stage.
I wish I would've had more time to design my kitchen with the info I've found on this wonderful site. We have a very open floorplan, and I feel I could've done more at the design and layout stage to make the kitchen more efficient. Including the zones in the work triangle and out of the triangle!
More drawers instead of pullouts. Also, not sure if I would have put in the divided lights, even though I love the way they look. I think I am losing space because I have to line those shelves up with the pane dividers.(are those called mullions?) I would have added another pull-out cutting board next to my stove. I had to fight for the one I got, but I use it all of the time, and my kitchen is so small, I wish I had another on that side of my kitchen. I wish I had every detail worked out in advance because I made changes to my electrical plan, my cabinet plan and my venting plan mid-stream. My bills haven't started rolling in yet, but I assume those changes are going to cost me big.
I wish I had spent even more time looking over my cabinet drawings/specs. I wish I had three deeper drawers instead of four shallow ones in my drawer stacks. I wish I had specified a plastic super lazy susan instead of the wood one (easier to clean). I wish I had known to ask (or specify) the depth of the upper cabs as mine are a bit shallow. I wish I had tried harder to find a way to include an appliance garage (I miss mine). I wish I had done a shallow cab with doors instead of simple panelling on the end of my built-in refrigerator. I emphasize that you cannot spend too much time going over the cabinet details before you sign off on the plans! I thought I had beaten it to death and still forgot to specify/ascertain certain things.
I wish I had chosen a single-door fridge rather than a side-by-side. Although my fridge has plenty of vertical space, and is 25 cu. ft. capacity, the narrowness is a PITA.
Yaknaterry - like you, I had glass cabinet doors with mullions (I had just 4). The mullions, and the Lining-Up-With-The-Shelves Issue drove me so crazy that I ended up switching them out for clear glass cabinet doors. It actually was not so expensive. Usually with kitchen cabinetry, it's the boxes that make up the bulk of the cost, not the doors. So I went back to my cabinet company, and they made 4 new doors with no mullions. BUT I got the glass at a neighborhood glass/mirror shop. The glass shop also installed the glass in the cabinet doors that I provided them. It would have been quite inexpensive, but then I chose the option of having the glass bevelled, which I absolutely love, but which almost doubled the cost of the glass. But bevelling the glass added a high-end luxury look which I wanted, and now, I don't have to deal with the mullions. I am very glad I made this change.
1. Drawers everywhere! Including under the sink for trash and recycling.
2. IKEA cabinets which include Blum full extension and soft close drawers.
3. Recessed standard depth fridge so it looks like a counter depth but cost less and has more space.
4. Large single bowl sink.
5. Every shelf in my pantry is a pullout.
6. Removed wall to family room
7. Office area Â room for 2 computers and storage for "office" stuff.
Things I will do in my next kitchen:
1. Induction cook top
2. Advantium oven
4. alcove behind cook top
5. granite slab with lots of movement
6. Deeper counter tops
7. wood floors
I wish I took down the walls with the demo. It's an old house so all my time is spent stripping wallpaper, sanding, filling holes, sanding, covering the bottom half with beadboard, sanding and priming and the walls still look bad.
I wish I'd used a different GC or had done it myself. At this point, I'm putting up with a lot of little things just to get it done.
Without this GC, I'd have done different cabs. These are fine, but we'll see how they hold up.
I may be re-doing the kitchen in 5 years.
I really hate my microhood - I didn't really have a choice due to space issues and I really, really did not want it on the counter but I don't like it and don't think it vents well. I did a flush reveal on the undermount sink and wish I had done a slight negative reveal to hide the rim. Otherwise I am very happy.
I think it's too early for me to answer this question, but I have figured one thing we sort of screwed up on. We spoke with the KD who ordered our cabinets (my design, she tweeked) and she said that there was a great under cabinet (the uppers) microwave that would fit in a little cupboard we designed for it in the island. We "assumed" (which always gets you in trouble) that this meant the microwave was 12" deep since most upper cabinets (99%) are 12" deep. Well the danged thing is 15" deep. And to find one wide enough, but not too deep is turning out to be a big problem. I'm going to end up mounting it under an upper cabinet in a different place and using that shelf as a bookshelf. No one will notice but me, but sheesh what a stupid place for me to stop my researching!
Done all of my own measurements and cabinet ordering and floorplan. I have been on hold since March, but the cabinets have been in since last July and I still have no new kitchen. The KD had all of the appliance manuals and he came out three times and measured. Also measured before ordering and guess what? There are a least 12 things that won't fit/work. Fridge is too deep, drawer under cooktop cannot be used. All pantry cabinets are too tall. They want to Jimmyrig stuff, but I know I won't be satisfied, so we are not taking delivery and not paying for the rest at this point. Just do your own measurements and do not count on the KD and contractor(who also measured three times) to be on target.
Debi- I'm with you. In theory I love my granite, but in practice I find it hard to keep the smudges from showing in the sunlight, and the amount of movement made the seaming problematic. At least I wish I had gone with my gut and honed it.
2. I am so bummed that now good U.S. options for induction are being released. I hate my gas cooktop. I never had gas before and I find it a PIA to clean. I wanted induction but DH and builder were both apprehensive about the Euro imports. I may change it out in the end.
DH talked me into a 30" SZ and I find it narrow. It's ok, but the 36" would have been better.
I am also just so- so about my Miele Excella DW. I don't love the way it loads.
Otherwise, I love all my drawers, my pull-outs in my pantry, my Orca sink, my instant hot/cold dispenser,my SZ refrigerator drawers, my Thermador 18" Freedom Tower with ice and water in the door(love, love, love this)my Dacor oven and so on.
Research, research and then do more research. Don't let anyone calling you TKO or other slurs stop you.
There are just a few things that I regret, and they're all unique to my particular kitchen:
1. We should have moved the hot water heater. If you look at my floorplan linked below, you'll see in the upper corner by the pantry that there's a weird bump in? That's where our hot water heater sits in the adjacent garage. Seeing as when it dies, we're replacing it with a tankless model, we should have just moved it now to avoid having the odd corner that we have in out kitchen. Especially if we could have worked in a corner pantry there...
2. I regret shortening our oil/vinegar pullout to 6" when we needed to expand our microwave cabinet. We should have shortened a drawer bank instead.
3. We should have insisted on a penalty clause in our contract if we weren't finished by the proposed date. As it stands now, we are coming up on month 10 of a 3-month project.
Here is a link that might be useful:
don't scare me!!! We are in month 6 of a 3 month reno. For the first 5 months or so I could see it all with a good sense of humour, however I'm getting to the point where my nerves are getting thinner and thinner.
No GC in this city would do a job for you if you'd insisted on a penalty clause. Because nobody finishes on time.
After this weekend - NO REGRETS, nothing done differently (except in a different kitchen). There are things I wish I could have done, but we have a small kitchen. But, my husband said to me he liked the granite (lots of movement - Gold and Silver) out of the blue and I asked about the cabients (since I mainly picked everything - he did want granite) and he said yes.. so no regrets.
We did DIY and saved a bundle on labor but cheated by getting help hanging the cabinets which was money worth spending. In some ways it would have been nice to move the basement stairs, but it was cost prohibitive at the time and there was no where to move them right now so if we move them at a remodel we'll make it into a pantry and worry about it at the next remodel in 15-20 years. But, we have several free cabinets so we don't need a pantry given we have more space than our old apartment/don't own much and a decent basement for storage.
I can't fuss about the GC - I am the GC. I can't fuss about the measurements - my husband did them and did a great job. My husband and I did all the work (with some help along the way) and it's slowly coming together but we've moved on to other projects like windows.
We did a very middle ground remodel - we choose to wait on the cabinets and starting as we didn't want to go cheap with the white laminate - I think if I had done that I would have had regrets later on. Or, if we hadn't done Marvin windows (we started with the can we do it in the kitchen) vs. cheap Home Depot or Lowes. Good tools/materials make DIY much easier (and practice and books).
Only one real dang-I-should've-done-that: All four corners of my kitchen are passageways to other rooms, and only two of the corners have a light switch for the kitchen. The thought crossed my mind during construction, but I decided, "No big deal, two corners is enough." It's not a major problem; actually, what irritates me more than not having switches at the other two corners is my faulty decision-making process!
I wish I had been able to see the live (plugged in and functional) wall oven we purchased. It was a Jenn-Air wall oven ($1155) that we purchased for the sole reason to be installed below a Jenn-Air cooktop. When we plugged in the wall oven and tested it, it sounded like a range hood with an audible fan that could be heard in other rooms of the house. Loud, very loud oven fan. Needless to say, the oven was returned and we have purchased a free standing range to replace the wall oven/cooktop configuration. This change was made after months of planning for the cooktop/wall oven setup. The range setup will not be as dramatic as I planned because of the aweful fan on that wall oven. I don't think I will ever buy a "special" appliance unless I can see it demonstrated and manipulate it myself. Live and learn.
These are all very helpful. Keep em coming! I will print the thread out for future use as I get closer to making big decisions.
The main reason I would have preferred Silestone is because I keep finding new fissures/pits in my granite that weren't there before. I only use hot water and microfiber to clean so that's not it. I hate finding more each day and they are not from acids because we are extremely careful (with Silestone I wouldn't have to be so careful about everything).
Another thing I would have done differently is knock down a wall where we put a shallow pantry opening it up to the dining area.
I would have put in a bay window in the kitchen when we got new windows many years ago.
The silestone messages hit home w/me. I wish I had not wasted so much time slogging through granite yards and showrooms trying to find a granite I liked. I had granite in my old house, and found it too busy. I wanted a more monochromatic look. I finally gave up and went w/a solid surface. Love it.
I made a couple of conscious budget cutting decisions that I sometimes wish I gone ahead and splurged on. Undercabinet lighting and a separate ice machine. Neither is a big deal but in a perfect world I would've left those in the plan.
I am about a month or so away from an addition and major remodel which includes the kitchen. This thread has been very helpful.
Just wanted to add that there is a penalty clause in my contract if the GC is not done by the proposed date.
Glossy, did you try just replacing your oven? I only ask b/c I have a jenn-air range and the convection fan is so very quiet I didn't think it was running at all -- I kept opening the oven door very fast to "catch" it (it stops when the door opens). It was indeed running, but is very quiet...
Granite with more movement and installing lights AFTER cabinet installation instead of before.
Just yesterday there was yet another decision to be made. Maybe # 986? The cabinet installation guy was asking me where he should place the handle on the pull-out pantry. hmmm, hadn't thought about it and just said to place it like all the other handles on the cabinets on that wall: vertically on the side.
In hindsight I realized that it was a mistake. The pantry doesn't really open smoothly that way. It should have been a horizontal handle in the middle. So what now?
The pantry is the largest visible cabinet between the still white open spaces (to the right will be oven and microwave, to the left a small desk)
I wish I had ordered a larger hood for my 48" range (I have a 48" hood) and not had the standard upper cabinets on either side of the hood. I also wish I hadn't let my husband talk me into a s.s. hood and had kept up the plans for the custom hood to match the cabinets.
I also wish I had ordered two 28" sinks instead of one 28" & 1 24".
We are still aways from completion. On month 5 here on a project that should have been completed by June 25 at the latest; started March 5.
I thought of one other thing last night! And this one applies to all kitchens, not just mine:
I wish I had planned out where the light switches would go when we planned our layout. We didn't do this and had to pick places on the fly when they were doing the electrical. Because we didn't leave room in the layout (tall cabinets at the ends of the runs) and the limitations of our particular house, we have kitchen light switches in THREE different places.
So plan where those light switches will go from the very beginning!
Beatrix, can the cabinet guy reposition the handle horizontally? He might/should be able to fill the holes with some kind of woodfill so they won't be visible unless you look closely.
I'll ask him when he shows up again - no idea when that will be: he went looking for different screws as the ones that came with the handles don't quite work. That was yesterday at noon. Haven't seen him since.
However, these aren't solid doors but MDF with a cherry veneer, very well done. I'm just not sure how you can repair holes in veneer.
Two things, both minor irritants that we had to think about: single dishdrawers on either side of the sink, mounted high, instead of the two-drawer stack we have now; and a sink with a bottom not as flat as our Kohler Cape Dory. Damn thing almost needs a pressure washer to get things into the disposal.
Beatix, you could also do another handle on the left hand side so that it becomes a two handle pull out verses one (if the patching won't work). It wouldn't be hard on the eye, and would make pulling it out smooth. Yes I know it wouldn't be as nice as that handle in the middle :) But better than just one on one side for sure!
beatrix -- looking at the pantry door, maybe mount a second handle on the other side of the door, symmetrical? It is a pullout, so maybe having the two handles would be useful. I'd rather have that than repaired veneer.
beatrix - another vote here for a second handle on the other side. Not only does it seem functional to me - but it mimics the "two vertical handle" feeling you have on other doors and on the fridge.
Another thought (and I have NO idea if this would work) could you install one of the pedal type drawer openers? Do those have a max weight limit of the door they will open?
I wish I would have used my KD for actual shop drawings of cabinets, so that I could have better planned the cabinets. An old-style fourth generation cabinetmaker is site-building my cabinets. While the craftmanship is superb, I'm disappointed in the dimensions of the cabinets. I'm really to blame for this. When I asked the cabinetmaker for "drawings" of the cabinets before he began, he simply drew on the wall: a bank of drawers will go here; your range will go here; a bank of drawers, lazy susan, dishwasher, sink cabinet, trash pullout, fridge, and pantry pullout. He said he didn't build from CAD drawings, so having my KD put those together was a waste of money. The KD designed the overall layout, but not specific cabinet uses. In hindsight I needed her help. For example, the bank of drawers where I thought I'd keep my pots and pans won't fit my pots and pans. It's more narrow and shallow than I expected it to be. She would have warned me about that. I had planned to use the top drawer next to the range for spice jars standing up in the drawer in matching bottels with label on the tops of the lids. Well, that drawer is way to shallow for any spice jar. It's only 2 inches deep.
Part of this, too, is that I've never had inset cabinets until now. They certainly eat up space. But, they'll be beautiful.
I'm not in my kitchen yet. This is new construction, and the cabinetmaker is still on-site. He was putting on the drawer fronts this morning when I stopped by. Very fun to see the daily progress of how cabinets are built on site.
I also would have spent more time on the plan and cabinet drawings. I was so burned out that I just "didn't care" anymore. My KD kept telling me she had done this a million times... We had a couple of very expensive mistakes because we didn't pay attention to details. I kept saying - are you sure that fridge handle is going to clear the island? Uh - no it didn't, but thankfully I insisted on checking that out before the concrete countertops were templated (that would have been another very costly mistake). Check your measurements twice and three times.
I also would have wanted to do more research on the noise level of different wall ovens (I honestly don't know why that didn't occur to me). Our Thermador is very noisy. Apparently, there are others that are quieter. Oh well.
Measure how you will use cabinet space! My oversized dinner plates do not fit in the wall cabinets, I have to use one of the drawers for them. also, we have some higher decorative cabinets and they are too large for some things, but they are too small to have a shelf in them, so we are ending up wasting some vertical space. Plan for what you will put where instead of just thinking, yippee, all new cabinets!
I think juliers comment is really good for the ones who haven't finished yet. You get so burned out towards the end that you start saying, "fine, go ahead and do what you think" to subs and GC. You just want it to end and don't want to put anymore time and energy into it. BUT, you need to find that second wind (or 938th wind) and stay with it or you may regret some of your decisions.
I just had the always dreaded backsplash put in today. My tile guy and GC kept saying I needed accent tiles (I wasn't so sure) so I went and found some samples that were good enough. Then, I attached cardboard cut-outs of where they should go. When the tile guys got here and I said I want the accent pieces where I have marked them BUT if it is too much trouble just put them so it is close. (Just too tired to walk through how the layout would go.)
So, I still haven't decided if the accent tiles are a good thing and I definitely know that their spacing was not as good as my layout. Oh well, it is staying. I don't care...I am burnt out. lol.
I go back and forth on this, but I'm not sure I would have spent all that extra money on inset cabinets. Some of the doors stick. But they are pretty.
"I wish I had ordered a larger hood for my 48" range (I have a 48" hood) and not had the standard upper cabinets on either side of the hood"
ctkathy, could you explain why you feel this way, thanks a lot!
Great info everyone, thanks.
Vicnsb, I have a 36 in stove, and 36 in hood. Whenever we use oil, it always manages to get onto the sides of the upper cabs by the hood. Actually, it also splatters onto my backsplash. I bought a stainless steel trifold screen, like a little surround for the frying pan, but it's not perfect. Can't really balance on the grates, and besides, it looks funny. Sigh. I only fry in the front center of the 6 burners, but oil still splatters.
In my next house, I'm getting a LARGE hood, and the stainless steel attachment/backsplash for the stove. HTHs
Wish we'd gone with the contractor who was a more expensive, but was honest and had great subs. Wish we'd never met the dishonest brother team that did terrible work and lied to us.
I wish I would've at least found out how much it would have cost to have the plumber move the gas valve for the range over behind the neighboring cabinet. My slide-in range won't slide back quite far enough to suit me and it does bug me a little. Changing it now would mean having to cut the gap-covering granite strip too. I'll probably never do that, I'll just continue being a little bugged about it sticking out a bit too far. Lately though, I have gotten to the point where I don't even care what's wrong anymore! I'm tired of dealing with it! Just be done already!!
I wish we had gotten long strips of lighting for under the cabs--we have round halogen lights. (Forgive me for not knowing the correct terms.) The long strips light the entire counter, whereas the halogens are spaced a few feet apart and don't give off the same light. I'm hoping to change them down the road, if we ever finish this dang kitchen...
Lily, I'm glad/sad to hear your story about the plumbing outlet. I just had mine done and the range does not slide in fully. I didn't know what to think. I was assuming that's just how it is done and I just couldn't figure out how to get the range all the way back. I wonder about moving the outlet. Oh my. what we don't know until it's too late!
I'm bumping this to keep it an active thread.
This particular thread is VERY helpful for those of us who have not yet finalized our designs. It will also be helpful for future Kitchen Forum participants (and lurkers!)
I wish I had left a space between the sink and the dishwasher just for the dishtowel. A year after finishing, I still can't find a good place for the towels.
I would have asked about the actual depth of my drawers I was planning on using for kitchen tools/silverware. I did not realize how much space was taken away by the framing of the cabinets and the thickness of the drawer sides. It was significant. I had to get rid of a LOT of my gadgets that I didn't really NEED, but was nice to have "just in case". I also had to get "tools" that were more streamlined so they took up less space.
There are things in my kitchen that are minor "irritants' but I can't think of how I might have done them differently. There are very few perfect situations--we have to make trade-offs. In terms of construction details, I must say that in every case of something that wasn't done quite properly it was because I WASN"T HOME TO SUPERVISE MY CARPENTER! Let's face it--we sit looking at kitchen magazines, devouring every word on this forum and then allow good-hearted and well-meaning tradespeople to make decisions without us. If you want it done exactly as you'd like, you've got to stick around and supervise.
This thread makes me feel good about insisting on a 42" hood for our 36" range, after reading up on them on the America's Test Kitchen forums.
And not that we're close to being done, I can tell right now that I'm going to regret getting pull-out trays behind double doors on a base cabinet for my pots and pans. I say that because the doors are not on yet, and I like being able to pull out either the top tray or the bottom tray. I'm not going to like having to open two doors all the way to pull out those trays. Should've gotten two deep drawers instead. Probably not too late to change, but would be expensive. All our others are drawers.
Lily and Second45, I came home to find my range not fully back to the wall. I called the appliance guy asap and he came out and told me the electrician had put his plug (dual fuel) next to the plumbers gas valve and therefore the leg didn't have enough room to go back. I had the electrician come back and move the wire, they just had to drop another from the ceiling. Look under there and see, maybe it is electrical if you have a duel fuel, if not, call the plumber, I would think they could move that valve over? Not sure about that one. Or maybe the valve has to be raised or lowered to fit into the stove? So sorry to hear this because that one stressed me out for 2 days!
Funny you should mention it... I am mostly so happy with the new kit but JUST today, while working on cab organization , I realized that I should have had full length drawers (the entire 30") at the top of my 30" base cabs instead of two smaller drawers. The full extention drawers cause a big waste of space between the two and now I have four approx 10" wide drawers and I am not sure how to utilize them. Two of them are already "junk" drawers, one is used for flatware, but really would have liked wider drawers at those places.
Also, and I have mentioned this before, the "built-in", pull-out cutting board was a total waste of $. I would rather have a deeper top drawer in the bank of three in that cab.
dmlove-- if you had space between your sink and dw, where would you put your towel? On the counter or hanging from a cab?
I wish we'd chosen a different contractor. The two brother contractors we ended up with were dishonest and lied about the subs they used; used cheap materials,etc. We should have gone with the contractor we really liked. He was a good man, but came in a bit too high. We've now had to redo SO many things that we could have easily afforded our favorite, and with money left over!
We are in the north Texas area. Anyone out there considering two heavy set brothers, RUN, don't walk away!
My dish/hand towels are going in a 6-8" wide open front base cabinet with a pull-out towel bar. I saw quite a few in mag photos and liked the look.
Now that we have a Wolf AG, I wish it had been our first choice (though might have missed out on the new door with the hydraulic hinges, so maybe it worked out better for us after all!).
Some days I kind of wish we had either tried to have our KD configure our island so DH and I could sit next to each other along the long side of the island (facing our kitchen window) or had moved the island closer to the range wall by a few inches (or made the island a few inches shorter) so the table top could have a larger overhang. We didn't want to extend into the DR too much when we had them set the leg and tabletop at the end of the (already installed) island, so it's a little cramped when DH and sit at the tabletop for dinner (sometimes we're like two little kids in the backseat of the family car; "you're on my side" "stop putting your things over here" LOL!).
Ack I've only had mine since February and I have the old doors! When did they come out?!
My regret on this thread back in July was trying to repair all my walls to look like new. Well a week later I hired a painting company and one guy came in and prepped for a day and painted the next and now they look like perfect! Geez, I should of hired a professional from day one and saved myself a lot of work.
no more regrets............
Functionality: perfect for us
Appliances: perfect for us
The only regret (for me):
Color scheme: it went from "hers" to "his" so, I get to now have the walls re-painted after only 2 years!
seascrapper--I don't know. I believe the 2007 models introduced the new door, so maybe it depends on when yours was built? We didn't consider the Wolf initially (no self-clean), so I wasn't even aware of anything re: the doors 'til we looked to make a switch. Sorry I don't have more info for you.
I wish that I had a close, hard, fast, nailed down delivery date on my cabinets before I started demo. (If cabinets aren't your longest lead time item, then make it your special order range, or whatever.)
My beautiful KWC square-corner sink doesn't drain as well as I hoped. (It leave food particles behind as the water drains, requiring some clean-up.) Franke Orca, while not as contemporary (my style), might have worked better. Loved my old Franke sink (from a functional point of view).
Also, a 10" sink under 3cm granite is pretty low. An inch or two higher would have been nice for scrubbing pots.
1. I would have asked more questions and insisted that the GC explain all the options there were for me to choose from instead of asking for his recommendations. In retrospect, I think his recommendations might not have been MY best choice among the options.
2. I would have been more assertive when I was not 100% happy with a deicion the GC made.
3. Remember, it is your house where YOU will live and you only want to do this once.
3-drawer cabinets instead of 4-drawers. I just about had a fit when I saw how shallow the drawers were. For some reason there is a really wide piece of wood between each drawer, which cuts out some height, but we also got the full-extension self-closing drawers which cut out still more height. So I was stuck with nine drawers (the bottom drawers were OK) that were so shallow I couldn't even put a one-cup pyrex measuring cup in them.
Fortunately, my husband thought to combine the two middle drawers on two of the cabinets, and the fabulous GC was able to do it so that you can't tell frm the outside. So it worked out OK. Otherwise I was fully ready to put the whole kitchen on hold for another four weeks while I waited for replacement cabinets. They were that bad.
I got the 4-drawer units because I wanted shallow drawers in one place for spices (I have a lot of spices), and I wanted a unified look. Normally I'm a function over form gal, so I don't know what I was thinking. Should have gotten the other cabs as 3-drawer units.
On a brighter note, I thought I would regret not getting the pots-and-pans drawers instead of the pullout shelves, but I don't actually mind the pullouts. I can fit a lot into the 27" pullout unit, and opening the cabinet drawers first isn't that big of a deal.
Igloo, GE makes a 12" deep microwave. I think it's 24" wide. That's what we have and it fits perfectly in its little spot between the appliance garage and a short upper cabinet. The stainless shows fingerprints like crazy though.
I also regret the French-door fridge. I like the idea, but the doors not closing easily drives me nuts. And the cabinet depth is just too small. We have changed our milk-buying habits which made things better, but my husband dies a little inside every time he has to pass on the twoforthepriceofone gallons of milk.
This will be the second custom kitchen in this house . . . the first was when we built it 14 years ago. As I planned for this new (total gut) redo, these were the things I most wanted to change . . . the things I've been regretting for the past 14 years:
~ should have done drawers instead of so many cabs with pull out shelves. It's been a PIA to open the doors and then pull out the shelves. The shelves are always getting caught on the doors when pushing them back in. With this new redo I'm getting lots of drawers.
~ wish I would have thought about where I would be doing most of my prep work and put in a bank of drawers right there to hold all my prep tools, ziploc bags, aluminum foil, etc so that I wasn't running all over our kitchen getting the things I need.
~ Planned for other work stations in our kitchen. We're a family of cooks and at present we're always running into each other.
~ wider walkways
~ wish we'd have not blindly trusted our builder's choice for a custom cabinet maker. Wish we would have done our research first and talked to many of his other clients . . . we'd NEVER have hired him! We have a gorgeous, totally custom home with horrible cabs that have been falling apart for the past 13 years.
~ wish we would have thought more about the view from our family room into the kitchen. For the past 14 years we've had a lousy view of our refrigerator!
~ a bigger pantry
~ a big drawer to store my Tupperware.
I wish I hadn't listened to friends when I was choosing my countertop. I might not have chosen granite, and I certainly wouldn't have picked the stone that is now installed in my kitchen. It is nothing like I had envisioned and I'm so mad at myself.
Lesson: trust your own instinct, vision and taste.
Pull out trash and recycling bins
Hot water dispenser
Upgraded to granite for countertop
Under cabinet lights, though we opted to leave a short space lightless and it is noticeable
Wide plank hickory flooring-it is beautiful
KD did not know enough to reduce depth of upper cabinets that had staggered height-this caused crown molding to stick out and bump on upper cabinet doors upon opening
A couple of outlets are lower than others, GC apprently did not have the attention to detail I thought he should
To Lily1342: We had the same problem with our slide-in range gas valve and our plumber simply moved the shut off into the basement-this also let us have easier access to it in an emergency.
Hope you can get to the pictures...
Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchen Pictures
I wish I'd gone with fully custom cabinets, instead of getting "made-to-order" semi-custom from a dealer (Huggy Bear's Cupboards, Inc., which I do not recommend at all!!). In fact, I'd extend that to wishing that I'd gone to a "real" kitchen designer (certified) rather than just a cabinet dealer. I might as well have gone to a used car dealer, for all the help I got. Buyer beware...your cabinet warantee is only as good as your dealer, and dealers are just about anybody who hangs out a shingle. This cabinet company is just hanging their dealer out to dry, now that there is a problem, and the dealer says it's not his fault...it's the cabinet company's. I had a plywood, veneered panel split and de-laminate after it was installed in my kitchen island. It's fully integrated with the granite counter, the stone floor is run up to it rather than under it, with a baseboard running across the bottom. The counter is cut so that the panel is behind part of it -- so it looks like the counter cuts into it. Replacement is going to be complicated. The dealer expected me to let him do it himself (!), but he has no liability insurance. My contractor does not want to take on the liability of possibly damaging the granite. This is likely to end up in court. Save yourself the trouble and avoid all cabinet dealers! Go custom, with a local craftsman. It's not that much more expensive than middle-grade semi-custom, and you will have fewer people to ditch the blame if something goes wrong. You will also avoid the following mistakes that I made by hiring this loser cabinet dealer: having the farm sink installed wrong because he ordered the wrong cabinet for it and then claimed ignorance about that particular kind of kind of farm sink (Shaw's); be stuck with a refrigerator that won't open fully because he put a cabinet on the hinge side that obstructs the door, have an unusable counter overhang because the counter is too low (because the floor is run up to the island instead of under it, a fact he did not discuss with the contractor) and too shallow (I used the cabinet dealer's recommendation for depth). If anyone else has had to deal wtih this kind of runaround, I'd love to hear about it. It seems to be a common thing -- cabinet companies and dealers each claiming that the other is at fault.
hazmom, thanks for the suggestion. It's maddening because our partial basement is directly beneath the kitchen and the valve could've been moved down there had I been thinking. That's also a good point about easy access in case of emergency. Maybe one day I can have that done - after I've recovered and the remodel ordeal is a distant memory,lol.
Great thread. Wish I had found the kitchen forum before I remodeled. My kitchen is really nice and I am proud about how it turned out. But for the regrets....argh!
My 1948 kitchen had 33" wall cabs. So I went with 30". Duh, I could easily have gone with 36" which I did in my laundry room. Only when the laundry room ones were put in did I realize my mistake.
Wish I didn't order a 24" sink base surrounded by tons of filler. Someone as Home Depot later mentioned that installing the sink would be hard. So I went larger which meant reordering other cabs to accomodate. (This costs $) I didn't plan the change well, and could have done better with the domino effect of having to change cabinet sizes mid-stream.
Wish I hadn't listened to the KD at Home Depot. He told me that I shouldn't butt the wall cabinets up to the window trim which was in my "plan" and had been done in my 1948 kitchen. So I now have a 9" wall cabinet for my glasses, 2 1/2" of filler, and 1 1/2 inches of space between the window trim and the cabinet run. I could have easily had a 12" cab for my glasses (and 12" vertical tray storage base cab instead of 9") and regret this almost every time I see it. Why did he have advice about not butting up to a window in a small kitchen, but NO advice about the 30" wall cabs, the 24" sink base, and the ton of filler strips!
I now know to question the predominance of filler pieces in a kitchen remodel. Too much filler means wasting precious cabinet space.
Wish I had stipulated that the bit-of-a-con-artist GC could NOT use a hack saw to accomodate the water valve in the laundry room, the gas line in a base cabinet, the water outtake pipe which runs through two cabinets, and the plumbing which comes behind the sink base. Literally a hack saw! Later on I watched a plumber use a special drill bit cutter to make perfect holes in a bathroom vanity.
Wish I had researched the size of my fridge better...it's on the small side as is the panel box which was built to contain it.
Wish I had included venting the stove hood in my contract. Not in contract means that GC didn't do it.
Fortunately, the good far outweighs the bad. I have a nice kitchen where most everything comes together well.
This is a great thread!
OK, WE ARE GETTING OUR KITCHEN INSTALLED NEXT WEEK..... DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY THOUGHT ON GRANITE. WE HAVE A TWO TONE KITCHEN AND MY HUSBAND DOES NOT WANT TWO DIFFERANT GRANITES. WE ARE THINKING ABOUT BLACK ABSOLUTE,BUT I THINK IT MIGHT BE TO HEAVY FOR THE PARIMETER CABINETS(YELLOW)THE ISLAND IS IN A CHERRY (RUSTIC) AND THE FLOOR IS AUSTRAILAN CYPRESS. REFRIDGE AND PANTRY ARE ALSO IN THE YELLOW. I INITIALLY SAW COLONIAL CREAM AND DECIDED TO USE THAT....BUT WE CANNOT FIND IT. SOOOOOOOOO..... ANY SUGGESTIONS
Everything! There are days when I think I want to rip the whole d**n thing out and do it all over again. The problem with kitchen remodels is you don't know how you will like something until it is done and you use it for awhile.
horsegalzmom - Just an FYI. Typing in all capitals is considered shouting and it is hard to read. Please turn off your 'Caps Lock' button. Thanks.
Horsegalzmom: Have you looked at the "softer" blacks? Right now, I can't think of their names. But, I was at a stoneyard yesterday and there were some blacks that were probably closer to a dark gray and some that were black but with a lot of dark gray to medium gray in them as well. I'm looking for Black Galaxy myself, or something similar.
Clare Â Would you please elaborate? IÂd like to hear what you are not happy with and what you would do different. :-)
I have a 30" countertop on my island(prep side) and would like to have done the same thing on the perimeter. I would have put a lazy susan in my top corner cabinet. Also (dodging tomatoes and eggs here) the tapmaster has been pretty useless. The faucet (Kohler Vinnata with the handle mounted on the front) is so easy to turn on it is actually easier than the tapmaster. DH hates the tapmaster so it sits until the grandkids come. They love it!
I had the builders put a Harry Potter cabinet under the stairs for cases of drinks and bulk packages from Costco. That was a great idea!!
I don't usually post questions, but this forum has helped me tremendously just by doing searches and reading new posts.
What I am glad I did: researching everything in person and online until I was comfortable (including reading contractor forums on occasion), hiring my own subs, asking questions about everything -during the estimate stage-, getting several estimates for each thing, watching the subs while they worked (sorry guys, this is a must), and going with mid-range appliances.
Something I overlooked: always seeing everything -in person- I didn't make any big mistakes but I may have reconsidered a couple items if I had seen them in person and not just a catalog.
I learned a valuable lesson about ordering cabinets (one that is also very expensive and time consuming). I trusted a KD (ok she's a cabinet gal...I don't think she's certified) to use my design and fill in the blanks. I gave specific directions (no mdf, finished wood sides, etc) and I did review the order throughly but she didn't include things like the finished sides (which were in fact MDF skins) on the sheet for me to review. As it turns out I received a great deal of MDF, cabinets not prepared for toe kick drawers, and cabinets not up to spec for the company. I didn't know that the company sold after the display I saw was set up and has changed their manufacturing procedures. How would I have???? Heck I don't know, but now I do and those cabinets went back, delaying the job by a few months.
So while I thought I had it all figured out cabinet wise, I didn't. I am meeting with two KD's (real ones LOL) and getting bids from both on cabinets that meet my specifications for quality. After the bad experience I researched brand names very carefully, including here of course, but also by reading the nitty gritty on the web for each.
And frankly, I wish we'd have purchased another home early in the game and just moved there during remodel. We knew we wanted a rental, so we should have just done it. This temporary housing in the hood thing sucks! (And that could also be read as I wish I'd have spent more time finding good temporary housing from the get go instead of looking for it in Alaska in the summer when NOTHING is available!) Dang tourists :oP
Other than that, any issue I had was in regards to trusting the stupid cabinet girl. She told me the sink would fit and it won't. She gave the electrician specs for the island lighting, but they were wrong so I had to pay to have them moved....Fork out the big bucks and go with a pro! Even if you have your own design!
I wish that I'd given more thought to how my cabinet hardware would look on my cabinets! If I had it to do all over again, I'd have selected a plain drawer front, which would have allowed plenty of space on which to feature the vintage bin pulls I'd long coveted. As it is, my cabinets have a beaded detail that is too narrow, if that makes any sense, and won't "show" the hardware in as appealling a way! I'll need to use knobs, instead.
What I am delighted with is the choice we made to extend our stacked cabinets to the ceiling (10') and line the perimeter of the room with matching crown moulding. It is a pretty dramatic & elegant look.
niineta, what's a Harry Potter cabinet?
More accurately called "the cupboard under the stairs", it is where poor Harry was forced to live at his aunt's house.
We added a staircase to the upstairs and enclosed the area underneath the stairs. It is very deep and quite large. We put plenty of shelves and good lighting in and it really adds to the kitchen storage capability. In addition, we have a pantry closet that is part of the old hallway entrance to the kitchen. The bad part is that all the cabinets and pantries are full and the movers haven't brought our stuff back yet. I guess most of us buy a few new things for the new kitchen!!LOL!
If I had to do it again I think I might have knocked down the bearing wall between the formal dinning room and kitchen. Not that I want a mega kitchen, just a totally different layout. We hardly ever use the formal dinning room, because we have an equally sized breakfast room. But it was going to cost so much in time, materials, labor and permits that we didn't do it. That is the big one.
Minor things I would change are, I have come to hate the faucet I choose. I picked it when we were going with a farmers sink but for the undermount SS sink it sits too tall and splashes the person using it. I have had to change my shirt 3 times in one day. I like the looks but I should have got something more practical and utilitarian.
Other things would be, to get a built-in electric oven instead of the Wolf range. I do love the gas burners, but I hate my gas oven. I was so use to an electric oven and I am too old to change. And I hate bending over. I have a serious back problem and it is killing me. I don't know why I didn't think of that. I should have got a Wolf range top instead of the whole range. Though I think Wolf appliances are way over priced for the quality you get.
I would have built the microwave into the lower cabinet. I got a upper microwave cabinet but I am short and can't reach it very well so use it to store cookbooks. I could see me removing something that had hot liquid and spilling it all over myself. Now it sits on the conter taking of valuable counter space. I wish the KD that designed the layout would have caught that one.
I should have got a 3 drawer not a 4-drawer cabinet by the sink. With 4 drawers they are too shallow to hold anything. Speaking of cabinets, I wish I had got all drawers and not any door cabinets. Even with the pull out shelves you can't store or stack that much. And just today I had lids fall behind the pull out so had to get down on my hands and knees and try to reach them. Hate them!
And I find corner cabinets next to useless. I have tried to organize things well but even with the lazy Susan in the bottom cabinet it is still a pain to get things. Like before I still have things go flying. The upper ones are just used for storage of things I rarely use. And corner counter space is just dead space. There has got to be a better use for that space.
I am ambiguous about granite both the choice I made and if I should have got it at all. I kind of wish I would have gone with something more exciting and daring. The Verde Butterfly is nice and it doesnÂt seem to stain, but it does seem to be very common. I also do a lot of cleaning and sealing. Maybe should have gone with man-made quartz just for the low maintenance.
And donÂt get me started on the cabinets themselves and all the problems we had with the quality of Kraftmaid. We got them during the boom time when everyone was doing remodeling so they were letting things out the door they shouldnÂt have. There was a lot of defects and had...
This is a wonderful topic!
Definitely another vote for more drawers, less pullouts. Everytime I unload the dishwasher I think of this one.
I also ended up thinking the divided pane cabinet doors were confining because of lining the shelves up. I ended up replacing my glass with mirror -- this cabinet faces out into my garden, and I really love having the green reflected in the doors, and I'm just not tidy enough to have people looking into my cabinets!
I wouldn't have gone with a wall oven/micro combo, but have gone with a double wall oven and a tiny micro in a cabinet somewhere. I only use the mic for popcorn and reheating coffee, and I'd really use a double oven.
Best decision I made: getting a really, really kick-a ventilation system. I have a *very* open floor plan, with the kitchen completely open to the house, and having proper ventilation is very important. It makes me happy everytime I cook -- and every morning after.
I would have sprung for the built-in instead of cabinet depth fridge. Actually, a non-panelled cab depth would have been ok too. And I don't hate the cab depth with panel, it just makes me think *her prom dress is just too tight*.
I keep coming back to this thread, reading and rereading as our own kitchen reno draws closer (three more days and counting!). The Kitchen Forum in general has saved me so much time, money and potential headaches and this specific thread is probably the best, most useful thread of all. A huge thank you, Robynpa, for starting this and a big thanks to all of you who've bumped this thread to keep it "up front".
Latest 'What I would have done differently' :
Since the footprint of our kitchen is changing, I wish that I would have consulted a plumber BEFORE we had our KP draw up his first few sets of plans. We have in-floor hot water radiant heat and forgot that the valve access panels were in the walls we'd planned on moving. The plumber nixed that idea (big chance of causing a leak somewhere and we'd either be forced to jackhammer the whole section of cement underfloor and relay new line or put in forced air and heat). That oversight caused a few weeks delay while our KP totally replanned the entire kitchen.
There's so much I love about our new kitchen but I encourage everyone to check, check again and recheck the cabinet drawings. If you make any changes to the floorplan, there will be an impact on the cabinets. Check the drawings carefully. We widened the aisle between the end of the peninsula and the pantry wall which was a good idea EXCEPT it then shortened the double bank of drawers in the peninsula so they are only 15 inches wide. Bleah. I should have made one wider bank of drawers. So, check the drawings until you think that you are being obsessive. Did I say to recheck the drawings? VBG
Offseting base cabinets (on KD's advice) by 3 inches off two walls in a U-shaped kitchen with an idea of creating a deeper countertop, which, in turn, lead to having smaller lazy susan cabinets (33 x 33 instead of 36 x 36 inches - huge difference). The extra countertop area exceeded by a couple of square feet a standard size of one slab, which meant that I had to buy two granite slabs instead of one.
Getting easy-reach corner wall cabinets, which is creating a problem with cabinet hardware. I can use pulls only on one dominant door of the cabinet because with two pulls the doors would not open/close.
Not going with a gas stove (we do not have gas line but probably could have installed a propane tank).
Letting DH and DS choose a plain vanilla granite instead of one with lots of movement due to resale considerations.
No having the interior of glass front wall cabinets finished to match the dark stain of the cabinet exterior.
Not placing undercabinet lights along the front edge (instead of center) of the wall cabinets to illuminate greater counter area.
Not closely supervising subs who made various judgement errors such as bad placement of recessed lights (too close to the cabinet fronts, poor dishwasher installation (leaving huge gap between the top of the dishwasher and counter)
Not relocating the dishwasher to the other side of the sink. Its current location is right next to the corner cabinet which creates major problem when the dishwasher door is open to unload the dishes and I can't reach the cabinets where the dishes are stored.
Not double checking KD's measurements and design and not insisting that one of her installers do the installation.
And finally, not trusting my instincts and, consequently, overanalyzing my choices and decisions.
I agree, re-check the cabinet drawings. Even though I mentioned 3 key points about my cabinets, the KD designed them differently. I caught 2 of those 'errors' but the third got by me and although not a huge problem, it could have been 'better'.
So re-check your drawings, and ask for measurements if things seem 'off'.
Going with function over form. This is the only regret in my kitchen so far. We did not want to see the sink from the front door so put the dishwasher in that cabinet instead. Now you have to walk around the peninsula to put pots and utensils in the dishwasher. But, hey, it's only 4 extra steps and we can all do with the exercise. LOL
Why so many against pullouts and preferring drawers? Just curious. To me, with a tiny kitchen, the pullouts look like a godsend to enable me to use small areas more effectively (I'm particularly slobbering over that Revashelf 12" cabinet pullout with the pegboard inside it that lets you hang pots and pans).
Anybody care to share? Thanks! We're getting reallly close to finalising this plan, so this is a fantastic thread to see right now!
there are two kinds of pull-outs.
a) The ones where you first open cabinet doors and THEN pull out the shelves. I had those in my old kitchen and hated them as they always hit the cabinet doors which looked very scratched very quickly. This is the type of pull-outs most people in the forum do not recommend.
b) Pull-outs that are attached to the cabinet door so that the shelves come out as soon as you open the cabinet in ONE step compared to the two-step process described above. This type of pull-outs I love as much as drawers.
Here is my pull-out pantry in this style (it is a very large pull-out, most would be smaller and can easily be done for a 12" cabinet):
My kitchen has a combination of quite a large number of drawers and pull-outs of the b) type.
divamum - I have a mix of pull outs and drawers. The good thing about drawers is that you can stack so much more in them. With the pull outs, things fall out in the back and sides when pulling it out (like I said with the pan lids). I feel you really can't put in as many items. Drawers are a better utilization of the space. IMHO I wish I had got all drawers.
I'm glad I put in some pullouts. Drawers are great, but not for everything. Don't put all drawers based on the "all drawers" crowd. I listened to a poster who mentioned having some shallow drawers, some deeper ones, and some pullouts and couldn't be happier.
I love my pullouts!! In my own unique situation, I found that they gave me more flexibility than drawers in two of my base cabinets. I have two cabinets with two pullouts each and one shelf each -- three storage levels below the top drawer (so four altogether). The top pullout is for "flat storage", where I have placemats in one cabinet and dishtowels and microfiber cloths in the other. The next level down is a shelf which holds my heavier roasting pan(s) and the other holds my most used handled pots for quick grabbing. The bottom rollouts store my other pots and pans. If I had gotten drawers, I would lost the upper flat storage pullout, which I love having. But again, this works for my unique kitchen and the way I operate in it.
I got lower only pullout trays in my 45", 3 drawer cabinet in my island. I wish I hadn't gotten those pullouts. There is a fixed shelf on top and each door has a small pullout. the pullouts are so narrow there isn't much that can fit in them except maybe my toaster...which I pretty much keep out all the time anyway. I suppose I could use them for dish towels and placemats but it drives me nuts that I've lost all that potential storage space and paid more for it to boot! I wonder if I can rip them out?! On the ends of the island I have full height angled cabinets (no drawers) and those are great. Even with the angled shelf I can fit my KA mixer and lots of tall pitchers on those shelves.
Can you please tell me the brand name of your pull-out pantry? Did you buy it, or did your cabinetmaker (or cabinet manufacturer) provide it? TIA
it's a Haefele pull-out. The cabinet itself is custom made, the pull-out insert comes in a set, ordered through a Haefele distributer. It get's installed into the cabinet on-site.
Here is a link that might be useful: Haefele
I wish I had gone to law school instead of music school so I could afford to have someone else do all the work. :)
Hmm... spielbass - do I detect a singer? :)
I wish I had put in another pull out trash in my island.
I wish I had not installed under cab lights, I never use them and they get way too hot. After being on for a few hours, the butter which I had stored in a glass butter dish in the upper cab was totally melted. And I have Xenon low voltage that are supposed have have less heat. Maybe I will use them this winter but I doubt it.
I wish I had a outlet on each end of my island instead of just 1 end.
I wish I had put in another small farm sink in my island instead of the deep copper sink. I like my copper sink but I love my farm sink and because it is under counter the lower depth is so much easier to use.
I wish I did not have the small open shelves in my Butler Pantry. Although they look good in the over all design, they are just dust catchers and a pain to keep clean.
Aptosca, I'm sorry to hear that you are unhappy with so many aspects of your kitchen. I recall the struggle you went through to get your cabinets and granite done right.
For us, I wish we had thought more about how the hood would hang over our rangetop before it was installed. We had a joist in the way of where it needed to hang for best position and thought it would be close enough. I assumed that getting a custom piece made would be to expensive. It turned out that getting just a custom duct cover wasn't that expensive and we were able to fix it by doing that but it would have been cheaper to do it the first time.
I sometimes wish that I had made the baking drawer stack wider - it is 18" but the drawers next to it are also pretty full so I didn't have room.
For the most part, I'm extremely happy with the kitchen.
Still in the midst of my reno, so I may have more, but right now I wish I put more thought into how long it would take to have appliances ordered and delivered. The fridge came too soon, and has been sitting in my living room for a few weeks. We haven't gotten the range yet - so now we're getting anxious. The appliances should be installed next week, but we don't know if the range will be here any day or in a couple of weeks (it's a special order), and we're getting a bit antsy. (We'd prefer to have it in before the granite is installed - as it would be easier to move around the small kitchen.
On the positive side, so far, so good! I'm thrilled with my KD and contractor!
"Hmm... spielbass - do I detect a singer? :)"
No, I'm a bass player. Are you a diva or a mum to one?
My biggest regret is cancelling the BIG remodel I had planned for the smaller affordable one. I was going to add 200 sq. ft. to my kitchen but bids were outrageous (specifically the GC fees) so I opted to gut and remodel the room as is without a contractor. A few thou wasted on plans, engineering and permits but overall this will keep me out of the poorhouse. To date I have gutted, wired and plumbed and am almost ready for rough inspection.
Please keep adding to this string! I am in the cabinet layout and planning stage of my remodel and am so unsure of my choices that I'm afraid to place my order....all of your thoughts are really appreciated.
Spielbass: both (although the Littl'un is still only a Diva In Training, but I see the signs, gawd help us all. Two in one family?!?!)
And yeah, hear you on the musical income. It's who I am and what I love, but there are times when more reliable bucks would come in handy!!! :)
Good luck with your reno!
I have a couple regrets that could have been avoided with more diligence:
1) The granite guys put all my faucets/handles/hot water too close together---and I DID "for see" this prob but after I left, he decided I'd made a "mistake" and HE MOVED THEM CLOSER! Every time I wipe up, my hands don't quite fit between the fixtures--small thing, but irritating.
2) I wish I'd gone with a bigger tub. I am glad I chose a narrow--1 person tub (for less water per fill) and it IS very comfortable, but when I want to relax & lay back, it is just 6" short for MY comfort. Wish I'd spent the extra$.
What I DID do right---and I think it has saved me a lot of money AND helped a ton with problem-solving is documenting EACH stage of building with my little digital camera!!
~~I probably have over 2000 pics!! I took pics of every inch--all filed appropiately: Walls as framed (then filed by each room), Plumbing (each room--EACH wall), Electrical (which shows plumbing again) for each room/EACH wall, Walls AFTER drywall....you get the idea.
**I can't tell you how many times my pics solved problems; like "I thought I put a plug there.." "NO mam, I can't feel it, so you didn't." "But I thought I did." No lady, you didn't." (I just showed pics and the contractors fixed stuff.) It helped as I was building and even now, a yr later, I've referred to the pics with electricians & especially the security/speaker guy AND even my plumber...)
Actually, I did this for the first one we built (15 yrs ago) and gave a disk of pics to the new owners. They added surround sound so the pics, of inside the walls, were helpful to the new GC.
Seems like SUCH a hassle... but it really doesn't take that much time once you start. And at first I started trying to label each pic but you don't need to--amazing how you can recognize each area--but you do need to create files for each room (within each stage of building).
I'm rambling on...LOVE this site--I lurked for a yr BEFORE we built, then thru the building process. It helped more than ANYTHING else I did!!
Tks to all, CB
Posting again to bump and to clarify:
Yes, my pull-out regrets are for the 2-step kind: first you open the cabinet doors and then you pull out the shelf. And yes, they frequently bang the inside of the doors and are just generally a pain.
But, I did put in the other kind of pullout when I did the laundry room -- the tall, narrow kind, like Beatrix. I still don't like that one, because on mine the shelf height is fixed, and all the shelves but one are too short for normal-sized laundry products. The only one tall enough is the bottom one, so I end up having unused space, or things lying on their sides (and they inevitably leak, etc.). I would only get another such pullout if I could adjust at least some of the shelves.
I didn't find this site until after we did most of the work on our house, I'm sorry to say. I love nearly everything about my kitchen, but I think it might have been even better if I'd had all this great advice to help with the planning.
Hope this is helpful!
My kitchen isn't completed as yet, but my disappointment is not realising that when I chose the color of my melamine shelves and interior cabinet color, I hadn't given thought to the exterior color!
When the cherry wood was stained and glazed I found that some of the end cabinet interiors were melamine and some were cherry wood. Therefore, sides were not uniformly colored.
Only I noticed this... but it bugs me. Sooooooo... when choosing cabs be specific on what parts will be melamine (sp?).
Someone else mentioned this above and it more important for those choosing glass fronts.
I'll be posting my pics in the next month. I THAT close!
Rereading this thread (what a GREAT thread - so many things to add to my "think about" list) I am slightly amused to note the "cupboard under the stairs" references.
Do American houses not have these? Come to think of it, I can't remember seeing one here, but I guess I just assumed it was the housese in my area rather than a "universal" thing. They're a standard feature in most two-story houses in the UK :)
Sorry - back to fully on topic. Thanks for clarification on the pullouts!
divamum, my inlaws have a cupboard under the stairs. It's so cool with a little door and everything. They used to store toys for my kids in there but now they keep bottled water, flashlights, candles, blankets, a radio and extra batteries. My mother inlaw is paranoid about tornadoes and they don't live in a tornado area. A lot of people I know with 2 story homes have either a slanted ceiling powder room or a coat closet under their stairs. We have the steps down to our basement under ours.
Sorry, OT but my kids are reading Harry Potter books now and I'm fascinated with the cupboard thing! I don't regret having a basement but I do regret not having that cool little cupboard!
bump...this is a great thread
I wish I would have paid closer attention to the cabinet placements. My KD gave me two blind corner cabinets that I HATE!! Of course, one is right next to the dishwasher.
What a fantastic subject. I am just starting my reno and I'm second guessing myself at every turn. Signed off on the cabinet plans this weekend and am afraid to look at them after reading this forum (yug!). Will be checking this discussion daily! Wish me luck.
I just realized that mine is very basic...I should have started this whole thing with an inspiration kitchen in mind. I was so focused on getting the right layout for my space that I never got an inspiration kitchen to help with the look of the finished product. I end up agonizing over every decision!
DH just commented that he wished we got a 27" deep vent hood vs the 24". I guess that translates into "It's better to error on the side of too much ventilation, rather than just enough".
Wish I got a farm sink instead of the stainless - I just prefer the look - GC told me not to get the farm sink b/c the front scratches. With soapstone and honed marble (i.e., not expecting or living with perfection) I don't think it would've mattered!
We'd go with the best contractor we interviewed and not the two brothers who lied to us about their "quality" subs and then proceed to under cut the best contractor by letting us believe that they could get the job done for a lot less money; etc. Bottom line: the brothers were liars.
If it is too good to be true, it's a bold face lie.
I wish we had gone with the next-to-the-lowest bid for all our subs. With only two exceptions, we lived to regret every one of those lowest bidders.
I would not have purchased a counter depth, 36 inch refrigerator. I would have splurged and purchased a 42-48 inch refrigerator. The counter depth Jenn-Air French model is much to small and I am sick about it.
42 inch sink base cabinet instead of 36 and 3 inch filler on each side
single handle faucet with pull down spray - high arc so it looks
full backsplash granite instead of standard 6 inch backsplash
counter depth refridgerator
getting all new stainless steel appliances
getting new garbage disposal instead of keeping old one
Wish I had done:
plan ahead first instead of rushing
replace the flooring for dining room and kitchen
watching closely when granite installer was here so I could have said "no" to a chip and requested a new backsplash be put in. Insted of the hassle, granite fabricator filled in with colored epoxy
I hope I can explain this adequately:
I wish I had put two of the lazy susan corner cabinets in my u-shaped kitchen instead of one lazy susan corner cab and one blind corner cab.
I had heard marvelous things about the Lee Valley unit for blind corner cabs so went forward. What a mistake! The Lee Valley unit was difficult to install and doesn't operate well.
I'm not finished yet but I do think it will look OK. If I could do things differently...
1. Gut the kitchen and start from scratch. Problems with matching colors of cabinets, flooring and granite have were worse than expected. I'm keeping cabinets which, although VERY GOOD solid cherry, are just old enough that standards have changed. The kitchen was updated wiht all custom everything. Now I'm having problems retro-fitting. If I'd planned this - another long story, I would have replace cabinets and chosen different appliances.
2. Not get granite. I'll have granite by mid January (hopefully) and will be very happy. I must have picked out something good because I'm starting to smile. However, I'm tired of looking at granite, and because of the retro-fit, I couldn't get what I wanted. The other choices were much more than the granite so I settled.
3. Have a KD. Decisions are more difficult when making them on your own and worse if you don't do this stuff for a living. I'm working it though!!
I'll be very happy by the end of January, so I'm not complaining. I've actually learned a lot through this experience and the GW Forums. But since you asked...
The only thing I can say since I haven't started yet is that I don't know that I would have redone the kitchen in this house. We plan to only stay here another 7 years. It is more money and stress than I thought it would be especially for this house.
I too am in North Texas, Lewisville to be exact. My remodel starts on January 14th. The contractor that we are using fits what you said. Are they originally from out of state? I emailed you too because now I am FREAKING out. I have heard to stay away from Armond and some of the "cheap" granite places around here.
I wouldn't have redone my kitchen. It was a perfectly fine kitchen, and I should have been strong enough not to get sucked into what HGTV says I need to have in my kitchen.
I also should have listened to my gut when I started "freaking out" The contractors weren't terrible, they weren't great either. They got sloppy at the end and I have puddy in my drawers, on my wood floor and some of the doors the glazing looks awful, like it was done so they could get out of here to get to the next job. Maybe my expectations were too high but they hardly cleaned up. My husband and I had to clean all of the excess dust, nails, wires and screws that were left all over our floor.
1) Gotten deeper upper cabinets
2) Let any professional make a decision for me without checking it over. Every time I threw up my hands in frustration over yet another item and just said to the professional "Just do what you think is best" they always ended up making the last choice I would have made.
We are not finished yet, but I thought I would put some things here while I am thinking of it.
I wish I had found this forum sooner so I could have gotten some input on the floorplan. We put in a pennisula area that just does not feel right...I can't put my finger on it...but DH & I had a LOT of problems trying to figure out how to do it...had no KD (never even occured to me at the time) the cabinet makers were no help. At least it is not an area that is attached to the rest of the kitchen so if we have a brainstorm (& some extra $$~ha ha) we can hopefully do it over.
I wish I had planned better for the demo. We thought we could DIY, but have you seen how deep they pour concrete under those 4" tile counters made in the 50's?! Holy cow it was soooo thick & heavy. At least we found a handy man to help us remove most of it after we realized it would take us much to long to DIY.
I wish we had not put in full granite backsplash on the side of the kitchen where the cooktop is. I had visions of making some kind of beautiful tile backsplash there & DH talked me out of it since the granite would be easier to care for. Maybe I just need to get used to it..but right now it just seems like too much...and now I can not do tile at all in the kitchen because it would just be much too 'busy' of a look if you kwim.
I wish I had talked DH into hiring an electrician to do the lighting & install the OTR microwave. Mr DIY has not finished the lighting because he has had multiple issues at his paying job that have required him to work longer then usual hrs...so I am working practically in the dark in there. I am trying to be patient, honest!
I wish I had not let the cabinet man get away with "oh, you will not be able to reach a pull-out above the fridge anyway" line. Now it is a vast empty space that I can not reach AT ALL. DH is debating putting a pull-out in there...eventually.
Things we did right:
Put in almost all drawers. Love those~~~It was funny, the guy who was installing the cabinets brought a regular base for the cooktop & I told him no...I wanted drawers...he argued with me! I am so glad I put my foot down & said NO...I WANT DRAWERS there, thank you very much! We made sure to measure the cooktop before we installed it & I am able to use the top drawer for my utensils! LOVE IT!
Put in a full granite backsplash behind the sink/under the window only with 2" on the remaining wall there. It is soooo easy to wipe up. What a nice change!
Undermount sink...I know it is common, but how nice it is!!!
Updating the DW. I thought it was going to be a ridiculous splurge (DH loved the look & wanted the top model, lol...we agreed that the Optima would work for us) It is so nice...I love being able to put plastic & pots & pans anywhere in the machine & have them all come out sparkling.
Allowing DH to talk me into a 42" counter depth fridge with a build around. It looks much cleaner (no clutter on top of...
I'd like to redact my earlier contribution to this thread: my GC showed us that the vintage hardware we loved would work beautifully, and it does!
What we really should have done differently was to not exclude a professional paint job from our contract. We DIYd to save $4000 (a massive, 2 story addition). Given the scope and cost of this project (around $165k+), this "savings" is THE illustration of the notion: "penny wise and pound foolish". While the project, now that it's done, is beautiful, if I look closely (which I do constantly, because I'm a freak) - the paint job looks amateurish. Shhh - don't tell DH I said that!
I have a small computer nook which is not exactly part of the kitchen but part of the whole renovation. I should have planned for a smaller window...instead I now have a window that is too low to run a desk in front of. ARRGGGGG I will run the desk infront of it anyway otherwise the computer nook is worthless....but I wish I had thought about that first.
hest88, how deep are your upper cabinets and how deep do you wish you had instead? Or anybody else who has advice or thoughts about this issue!
I wish I had spent more time researching, I think we rushed on our decision. We were so focused on keeping price reasonable we were pretty focused on keeping the same layout/cabinet layout etc.. I wish I had the cabinets go to the ceiling. Wish I had done more drawers/pullouts then cabinets.. again, back to the rushing part. Wish I had put in some glass front doors to break it up.. Maybe just 2. Overall I'm pretty happy but when I see other kitchens I see there are alot of details that I could have incorporated but didn't. Under the cabinet lights would have been nice.
But I do love my cabinets/granite and my DH did a great job on the tile. Still have to do tile backsplash. We finished this project 3 years ago but still haven't done that.
Fern, mine are 14" deep on the uppers and I could easily tolerate 15" (doors are inset/flush mount, so the thickness of the wood makes it a little shallower). Love them, however, even at 14".
I haven't posted to the kitchen forum since we did our kitchen in 2005 ... but ended up back here the other day and can't resist posting again, especially to this thread! (Curious how many of the questions/topics we had in early 2005 are exactly -- verbatim! -- the same questions/topics beople are still asking today! :)
Our biggest PRE-renovation error was NOT going to physically see the work our contractor had done for other clients before we chose him. We talked to his references on the phone, but I was uncomfortable asking to poke around in people's homes. But I SHOULD have! We would have known our guy couldn't do sheetrock worth a darn (what a sloppy job -- eventually it will all need several good skim coats or else a nice stucco effect. So don't just get references -- GO (if you can) and SEE the workmanship before you sign on the dotted line!
Like others, we also made a mistake in not paying a little more (we were on a tight budget) to have painting included. Figured we could DIY since we've done lots of painting. Never thought about how many nail holes there would be to fill (also didn't realize WE would be the ones filling them since that's "painter's work"!), nor that the taping and floating job would be so crappy! We will pay far more to get someone in to do it right than we would have had we just gone with the slightly higher bid that included this work. Penny wise, pound foolish!
One major regret: (1) we bumped out the Wolf range from the wall but didn't use a comparably deeper hood (because both hood manufacturer (Viking) and range manufacturer (Wolf) said we didn't need to!). Now, if we stir-fry (which we almost have to do on one of the front burners), we can see the fine oil mist being sucked straight up into the halogen lights along the front, not the baffles where it belongs.
Otherwise, the only mistakes came when we let subs or the contractor do something we didn't want or (in the case of the low voltage wiring, we KNEW was wrong!). We had to stand firm on a few things, which got everyone's dander up at times. For some issues, we just chose not to fight in the interest of keeping peace and keeping the job moving forward.
Biggest (annoying) mistake: letting the granite installer decide where the soap dispenser would go for the Franke Orca sink. I knew where I wanted it (next to the faucet), but he advised NOT putting it there (something about the width of the granite or the proximity to a seam or some such) and talked me into putting it in the far right corner instead. In retrospect, I suspect he just wanted to put it where it was easiest for him to drill, not where he COULD drill...it annoys me every time I use it!
I would say if something matters to you, insist on having it done the way you wanted (or redone, if need be). But choose your battles since you probably won't win them all!
The final thing I would say: if you don't mention the things that are wrong to your guests, they will never,...
We're not quite finished yet - finishing details, trim, baseboards etc - so I guess it's a little premature to post to this, but what the heck.
I can say that the ONLY things I'm not 100% happy with are the things I didn't decide 100% for myself and/or resesarch like crazy but chose without having explored all the options and educated myself enough to be able to choose based on the facts. Thankfully, there are VERY VERY few of those!
1. I originally wanted the floor tile laid diagonally. I got talked out of this because of the extra time and labour involved in layout and cutting, but I suggested we do a diagonal border at the entrance to the kitchen and the backdoor to further define the spaces. I pushed for it somewhat against my GC's recommendation, but it seemed a fairly easy way of adding a little bit of bling, and having SOMETHING in the space that wasn't on the square, since we have shaker doors, square pulls, square tile, brick backsplash etc etc.
It's ok, but because the border wasn't done in smaller tiles but used the same ones, there was no way to line up the points of the diagonals evenly across the row compared to the square tiles on the other side. It doesn't look "bad", it's just not what I had imagined - the ONLY thing I didn't draw in my software so I could "see" it, and the only one I look at and think "Darnit - that could have been better!"
2. The threshold between kitchen and diner. I didn't offer any input into this and my GC just did what he liked. I had anticipated that the hardwood would run directly into the pantry, with a threshold only across the line between tile and wood; he chose to run the threshold all the way across (having left a gap under the pantry door). It's a reasonable decision, just not the one I would have made if I had thought about that first.
3. Not a "regret" but something I only JUST thought of today... *after* they had finished the back of the peninsula! They stained a clean piece of veneer to cover the back of the peninsula and it looks great, but only NOW I thought, "We could have stained beadboard and used that!" which would have looked GREAT and added a little more texture.
4. Not a regret as much as a "I wish there had been another option": there really was NO appliance colour that would have worked. The budget dictated we stick with white (especially since our existing fridge - which we have kept - is white), but although classic, it does call a bit more attention to itself than I'd ideally like. Black would have been too much of a "hole", stainless doesn't entirely float my boat unless it's REALLY high end, and almond/biscuit/brown (all of which would actually have looked really good with my materials) are so out of favour that I could'nt even find any. So, white it is. I figure that as the appliances need replacing I can find a good colour and slowly upgrade them.
To be honest, overall everything has come out beyond my wildest...
ctlady--You have a lovely kitchen and I'm sure you're enjoying it tremendously. Did you use natural cherry for your cabinets? Also, is the table attached to your island? If so, do you have any more pictures of different angles? How is this working out for you? (I really like the looks of it!)
The cabinets are actually maple, with a VERY slight stain (one tone away from all natural). Would have loved cherry, but we were worried it would darken too much in this big room, and we were really focused on making things feel light and open (but still wood tone). We also started out wanting VERY contemporary slab front doors -- even considered doing them in lyptus at one point -- but finally went with a bit of a contemporary compromise (the rest of the house is a very traditional Dutch colonial).
That stained cathedral ceiling -- which was there when we bought the house -- kind of drove our material and color choices, because we wanted to keep the cabinetry lighter than the ceiling. Except for the table, which we hope will eventually more or less match the ceiling (it's already darkened some). It was made by a local cabinetmaker and is African mahogany (cheapest wood we could afford!) We wanted a seated eating area because we knew we'd be LIVING in this room (a combined family room/kitchen space) and wouldn't always want to eat dinner at a counter (plus we have some older family members who just can't DO barstools any more...) But the table is just bolted to the island, so a subsequent owner could, if they wanted to, remove it and get just the island top redone, ending up with a sweeping edge of bar seating (I would have done that had I still had young children at home).
The table layout is perfect for us -- we can seat (a bit crowded!) up to 6 people around it, though normally it's just two of us. We spread the Sunday paper all over it, and it's wonderful for parties. I didn't want to have to dedicate floor space to a regular table and chairs around it, so this (the architect's idea) has worked perfectly and just as the architect envisioned (a family "gathering spot").
Here are a couple of pictures of the table (pre-completion of project).
And here's one from another angle ("cozy" bar seating showing, along with a peek of the same wood in a counter on one side of the cleanup area, designed so I could make bread there but the wood is too gorgeous for that :) and another that shows the underside of the table and how it's mounted. The cabinetmaker did a beautiful job -- only wish I could have afforded his price to build ALL the cabinets!
Wow, ctlady thank you so much for your good explanation and the wonderful pics; I will definitely print them out. African mahagony is cheap?? It's a gorgeous table and looks to be in just the right spot in your kitchen to make it look especially friendly, as well as beautiful. I've not seen a table like yours before and I hope I might be able to do something similar, if we ever get started!