biggest regret

mjher1October 24, 2012

For those of you who have finished your kitchen reno, what is your biggest regret? What do you wish you had spent the money on, but didn't? What did you find out about after completing your kitchen that you wish you knew about before? I did a search of this topic and nothing appeared in the kitchen forum.

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Have you read the "Read Me" thread? If you scroll down to the "Miscellaneous" topic and look at the links, you will see a wealth of these types of threads.


To start this thread off...

My biggest regret is the location of my trash pullout. I thought it would be best in the Cleanup Zone next to my cleanup sink (DW on the other side of the sink). However, in reality, I have found that I generate far, far more trash and recyclables while prepping and cooking than I do while cleaning up - and for a much longer expanse of time!

My Prep and Cooking Zones are across a 6' aisle from my Cleanup Zone, so when I have trash during prepping and cooking, I have two options:

(1) Pile up all my trash & recyclables in one place and then make one or two trips to dispose of them at the end (or when the piles get too big!)

(2) Carry my trash or recyclables across the 6' aisle over & over again - often dripping while I cross the aisle!

What should I have done?

  • Located my 18" double-bin trash pullout in my Prep Zone

  • If needed, put in a 15" single-bin trash pullout in the Cleanup Zone

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:03AM
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I have two regrets that are just about tied for biggest.

1. I wish I had put a small bar sink in on the DR beverage service area. I would use it to refill water glasses during dinner, get little DD's wash cloth ready for her cleanup at meal's end, guests to fill water glasses during parties, dump drinks, etc. DH and I talked about it early on, but it fell from my planning during all the hub-bub. Then, when I mentioned to DH at right about the last possible minute to include it, he quickly shook me off.

2. My other (modified) regret is not including a second DW. I would have had to make a large change on the cleanp sink wall in order to include it though so I settled for one, hence the "modified" regret. I do, however, kick myself almost everyday when I'm waiting for the DW to run so I can unload and load it again. I average 10-12 DW loads a week and hate waiting up late for the first load of the night to finish.

My other regret, non-kitchen related, is the door swing on the coat closet at the front door. I would bet a bundle that I told my door guy I wanted it to swing out with the handle on the left. Instead, the handle is on the right.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:39AM
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Biggest regret (and I've only had my new kitchen for about a week now) is the splashy faucet(s). I bought the same faucet for both sinks (Rohl, arched, country collection, pull-down sprayer) and while it has a very good aerator, for some reason it's still very, very splashy. I will be living in an apron when I'm dressed nice!

(and had I not gotten 2 dishwashers, that would have been my biggest regret. I LOVE having 2!)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:10AM
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thanks for pointing me to the threads. I really did do a search!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:25AM
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2 tied also:

1) My prep sink is too small (only 13" wide). If I'd been thinking, I could easily have made an adjacent cabinet a few inches narrower, thus allowing a wider sink base and sink.

2) I had my microwave installed WAY too high. I thought this would work well but it just doesn't. Happily, it doesn't bother me often since I don't microwave often.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:47AM
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My biggest regret would have to be not thinking enough about where my light switches were for which lights. I relied on the electrician and he put the switch to the light over the sink and prep area across the room instead of putting it on the side of the island where I most need it. My own fault having never done a remodel before and not knowing to check, double check and triple check.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:08AM
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I guess this isn't really a regret, but an oops...when we had the ceiling raised a foot, I completely forgot to have the contractor center the light fixture above the island, instead of centered in the room. Not a huge deal, but now I need to swag.

Also, I should have made our large window bank slightly longer and taller...although this was a budget issue and I had to do a lot of convincing of DH to even get it this way to begin with (of course he loves it now!). I had to scale back the length to bump down the price and it messed a bit with where the range hood sat in front of it...not how I pictured it, although it's fine.

I also didn't love the way two casements in the middle of the window bank came out...they are too narrow...I could have had it replaced with a single casement for about $400 but I didn't want to hold anything up and just wanted to move forward. I should have done it, in hindsight. I just don't love how it looks now...again, not that it's horrible.

Things I don't regret....putting in laminate countertops instead of a higher end material. The saved money enabled us to do so much more with the space and it can always be changed out later on. And, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually love the laminate!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:19AM
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I didn't run low-voltage wire so I could finish the UC lighting at a later date. The price where I did get it kinda floored me, therefore I limited its use to the "dark corner", so now to retrofit it in the two other spots is very problematic.
Wire is cheap, run it even if you don't put in the x-formers and fixtures.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:20AM
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I have a hard time with the search function on GW too. For some reason it works better if you just Google "gardenweb [topic]" such as "gardenweb biggest regrets."

I have a few nitpicky regrets about decisions I made. I regret the location of the receptacle near my coffee maker. It should have been lower and horizontal. I also wish I had known my husband was going to get me a little stereo, because I would have put in a receptacle for it so the wire wouldn't have to snake up the backsplash. I wish I had put in a small pullout lapboard under the microwave to serve as a landing space. I wish I had thought to put the compost keeper in the trash pullout instead of under the sink.

One regret is not directly related to the kitchen. I didn't realize that the GC had mistakenly disabled the electrical outlet in my daughter's room until it was too late for him to correct it without major repairs in the kitchen. Now, because I don't want to fight anymore, I'm paying someone else to fix the problem for me.,

My biggest regret, though, is general. I wish I had realized that my GC was absentminded, not a very good project manager, and not a very good listener, because I would have taken more pains to make everything clear in writing and avoided some of the problems and inconveniences that arose. That's the suggestion you should take to heart: make sure every little detail is in writing, even if it's notes you leave the GC each day. And don't let the GC rush you about making any decisions. I finally had to ask for 24 hour notice for any decision he needed.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:29AM
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My biggest regret is not realizing how much more I would enjoy cooking/baking in my new kitchen. Had I know that I would have bought a 36" range instead of going with the standard 30" one. We were already moving a wall and could have easily moved it another 6" to accommodate the bigger range. Definitely can't fix it now. This is kind of a spoiled little brat complaint but there it is.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:56PM
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For us, 5 years post huge renovation, it's the quality of the paint on our cabs. We chose to go with a local custom cabinet builder, rather than full custom factory cabs. He was delightful, and did wonderful work. The actual cabs are rock solid and truly fitted to our space, superior to what even the best custom factory could have done.

The downside--paint, specifically, paint durability. He used spray lacquer, air dried, which looked great. But when compared to the typical "14 layer, oven cured, clear coated" kinds of finishes you get from a factory, it's no contest. We already have extensive chipping, mainly on high wear areas like the corners of base cabs and top edges of cabinet doors. We will have to do some kind of repainting in the near future. I would have thought we'd get more than 5 years out of it.

It's possible that if we'd gone with factory cabs, we might be griping now about gaps and poor fitment, but I can't speak to that.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:23PM
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The few I have can all have the same cause; Not really thinking things through before starting the project. Originally, we were "just going to update things a bit", stain the cabinets and replace the countertops. It morphed into something a little bit more, and by the time I realized that there were more things I would like to change, materials were paid for and partially manufactured, so we didn't make the additional changes.

The main regret is that we converted door cabinets on each side of the range to drawers, which turned out wonderful. I wish we had done most of the rest of the cabinets that way, and now every time I have to get down and dig something out of the lower cabinets, I'm irritated about it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:38PM
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thanks! There are sooooo many decisions to make and I don't want to mess things up by making a wrong choice. I'm grateful for your input.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Not sticking to my guns about ALL DRAWERS on bottom cabs. Was all set based on GW advice and my cab maker talked me out of it for under cooktop, pantry-type storage, and corner cabs. He persuaded me that I needed some cabs w/ roll outs to balance the look. I have the Hafele kidney shaped things in my corners with the hinged doors and don't love them. You can stuff drawers and nothing will fall out. I'd rather I abandoned the blind corner.

Also, not demanding my gc move the island four inches to where it was supposed to be. (now crowds family room.)

Basically, I'm a pushover...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:04PM
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The only flat-out regret I have is not picking an absolutely flat tile for my backsplash. I have lippage. :( The thing is, it doesn't show at all until you turn on the UCLs. I loved the UCL before my BS went in, used them all the time. When I first saw the irregular corners of the tile, I went nuts. The tile boss came out and very gently and sweetly showed me how it was in the tile. He offered to replace offending tiles, but it was everywhere. He was right, and I could have prevented this if I'd thought about anything other than color and price, so word to the wise. It looks great without the UCL so it means I can live with it.

If I got to do this all over again, I'd spend more and get cabs replaced. I'd probably do stain instead of paint. Light counters instead of dark. Not that I don't like what I chose. These were decisions that were right for exactly where I was at the time, and my kitchen is still cute and I like it. Dark gray counters really look good with creamy white cabs. But I like pristinely clean counters. I don't mind wiping often to get crumbs and little drips up. On dark, I can't see a thing and have to run my hand over it constantly to find stuck on things that shouldn't be there.

Next time... :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:24PM
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You're at the very beginning of the Big Adventure, MJ? I'm with Anna, don't rush the planning stages. Take all the time you need to consider what sort of cabinetry suits you, including style, color, and configuration. Be sure your layout makes the best use of your space. There are some great layout people here who can help you think the layout through and suggest things you may not have considered. How about lighting? It turns out to be really important to how you kitchen functions at the end. In my case, I originally thought I didn't care about the sink - it's a sink. Wrong, I love my new sink pretty much more than anything else. There are so many details, don't get caught up store X's sale (or KD's really good deal) and you have to make a decision right now!!! if you're just not quite ready. Don't figure it has to be done by New Year's or St. Patrick's Day or Easter or Jr.'s birthday. You'll be so much happier if you let the process take all the time it needs in the planning stages.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:42PM
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I would have put in a 36 inch sink rather than a 30. The 30 is big enough and fine but there is room enough in the cabinet to have had a 36 and it would have been nice to have had that extra width.

I might have invested in a remote blower for the vent. The one I have works very well-- it is 1200 cfm. But it is loud.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:50PM
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My biggest regret is my Proline range hood. Poor quality and horrible customer service.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I too have several regrets. We also started the kitchen project as a "face-lift". It morphed into new plumbing, new cabinets, new flooring, new window, etc etc

I did not have enough time to think things through and plan.

First I would change the layout from a peninsula to an island. I'm actually in the process of making that change. (DH is fed up with me!)

I would have made the window bigger, and made it counter height. It never crossed my mind when we had the space down to the studs and replaced the window exactly where the old one was.

I would pay more attention to the outlets, I left it up to the electrician and some are in less than convenient places.

This is our first home and our first renovation and although my list of regrets is long, I try not to beat myself up about what I could have done differently.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:00AM
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