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A kitchen remodel in progress as new cabinets are being installed throughout the entire kitchen.

Clearwater Kitchen Remodeling: Steer Clear of These Planning Mistakes

For many people, the kitchen is the best part of the house. You don't even necessarily have to be a great cook to love hanging out in the kitchen. It's often the gathering place for the whole family and the room where guests end up congregating at a party, which is understandable—that's where the food is located, after all. But if your kitchen is not functioning properly, not optimized for your needs or just plain ugly and outdated, you may not want guests in there at all—instead, it's just a room that you have to use and can't wait to leave. When that happens, it is definitely time to consider planning a Clearwater kitchen remodeling project.

You may not have the time, budget or inclination to undergo a massive renovation in which everything is torn out and your kitchen remodeling experts start from scratch. That's okay! You can still improve function and appeal with minor kitchen remodels that focus on a few key areas such as cabinets or tile. But before you call in the pros, you need to get through the planning process. That can feel intimidating at first, but it's also a lot of fun and well worth it in the end. This guide covers some of the biggest mistakes people often make when planning a kitchen remodel in Clearwater, FL so you can avoid them and plan a stress-free project.

When you've got a pretty good idea of what you want, turn to your local Clearwater handyman to get the job done effectively and efficiently. The team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman serving Palm Harbor, Clearwater and Largo have decades of combined experience in improvement and repair trades, including specializations in fields such as carpentry and drywall. Your dream kitchen is a lot closer than you think with our expert Clearwater remodeling services!

1. Prioritizing Form Over Function

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make while planning kitchen remodeling in Clearwater, FL is also one of the most common. The first thing most people do is search online or browse through magazines looking for some ideas and inspiration on what they might want to include in their own home. While you're paging through all those glossy, air-brushed, beautiful kitchen design photos, it's very easy to get distracted by trends and forget to focus on tailoring your space to perfectly suit the needs of your household.

You may love the look of a big, single-basin farmhouse sink, for example, but if you're used to using a double-basin sink in the kitchen, you'll soon get frustrated with only one basin for all the food prep and cleaning that needs to be done. (It's worth noting that you can get farmhouse sink options that do have two basins.) Or, maybe your kitchen is on the small side and a large, exposed sink will make it feel more cramped. Consider your cooking style and how you like to use your kitchen first, along with the limitations of the available space, before you indulge in a trend or style choice that you'll end up regretting because it doesn't meet your needs.

2. Not Planning a Clear Budget

We all know that it's important to consider expenses versus how much money we're willing to spend for any Clearwater kitchen remodeling project, but some people take a more casual approach to budgeting than others. Here are a few tips to help navigate the process of making a basic budget for kitchen remodeling:

  • Make a list of everything you want or need to include in your newly remodeled room, including elements such as tile, drywall, cabinets, and more.

  • Think carefully about how much you can realistically spend, and compare it with a rough cost estimate of materials and labor to make sure they are in the same ballpark.

  • Renovations often involve unexpected expenses. For example, your handyman may remove floor tile and find that the subfloor and joists have water damage and need to be replaced. The best way to deal with surprise costs is to include an emergency fund in your budget of about 20% more than you expect to pay, so they can be handled without breaking your budget.

If you're planning a full Clearwater kitchen remodeling project, it can be helpful to break the costs down into categories by percent of budget, as shown in the table below.

Expense

Percent of Budget

Total

Cabinets

30%

$________

Labor

25%

$________

Appliances

20%

$________

Windows

10%

$________

Fixtures

5%

$________

Fittings

3%

$________

Other

7%

$________

Pro Tip: Refacing Instead of Replacing

Homeowners in Clearwater are often surprised to learn that cabinets may be the most expensive category in their whole kitchen remodel project. If your current cabinetry is in decent condition and you're happy with your layout, cabinet refacing could save you some money. Sometimes refacing is as simple as applying a coat of paint or solid stain to your cabinets. But if your cabinet doors and drawer fronts are in rough shape or just don't match the design aesthetic you're going for, just your doors and drawer fronts can be changed out, leaving your cabinet boxes intact. You can also make a surprisingly noticeable change just by swapping out your old cabinet handles and drawer pulls for new ones.

3. Choosing Appliances Last

When it comes to kitchen appliances like ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers, the size, shape and configuration will vary depending on the brand and model. While they will typically be among the last things to be placed in the room near the end of your Clearwater kitchen remodel, that doesn't mean you can wait until the last minute to choose and purchase them. You need to know the exact measurements before your handyman puts in the cabinets, or they may end up having to be altered after the fact to fit appliances that were larger or smaller than you thought they'd be.

One big benefit of replacing old units with new, energy-efficient appliances is that you can save money on your energy costs over time. Manufacturers are constantly working to out-do each other with new energy-saving innovations on their products, while at the same time your old machines are slowly accruing wear and tear damage and losing their ability to function efficiently. That means new Energy Star-rated models will use considerably less energy and you won't have to pay so much on your monthly utility bill.

4. Undermining Workflow With the Wrong Layout

You may decide to keep your layout as-is, and that's fair—it's always going to be more costly to relocate fixtures and appliance hook-ups than it is to just put a new fixture or appliance in the same place as the old one, so you can save by not changing the floor plan.

If you do decide your kitchen layout needs a change, you'll be somewhat limited by the size and shape of the room. A long, narrow rectangle, for example, is likely going to need a galley-style layout with rows of counters and appliances running down one or both sides. But if you have a square or wider rectangle to work with, there are more possibilities. It's really important to have ample space to move around. Imagine you're walking in with a huge armful of grocery bags—you should be able to navigate the room easily, even when you're awkwardly carrying a large bundle of items.

Pro Tip: Position Your Key Appliances in a Triangle

The workspace triangle is a good rule of thumb to keep in mind: basically, the refrigerator, stove and sink should be situated roughly in a triangle with one of them at each point. That makes your workflow feel more natural when you're rushing around the kitchen preparing a large meal.

5. Keeping the Kitchen Closed Off

Open or semi-open floor plans have been popular for quite a while now and they're showing no signs of slowing down. Many modern homes in Clearwater are built with rooms such as the living room, dining room and kitchen combined in one large, open space. But if you have an older style of home, your kitchen may be closed off in its own room, completely separated from the rest of your house. Some people prefer that set-up, but if it's not working for you, you don't have to keep it that way.

Depending on the configuration and design of your house, your handyman may be able to remove a non-load-bearing wall to combine your kitchen with your dining room or living room. If it's not possible to remove an entire wall, you could still get more of an open feeling by creating a pass-through window in the wall. It'll make it much easier to keep an eye on children in your family room or socialize with guests in your dining room while you're cooking, and it makes setting and clearing the dinner table easier as well.

6. Getting Rid of Storage Space

A huge amount of kitchen space is taken up by kitchen cabinets and other storage facilities, which makes a lot of sense. From pots, pans, and utensils to kitchen gadgets and of course all that food, there is so much that has to be kept in the kitchen so it is available at your fingertips while you're cooking. You may not be able to add additional storage space during your Clearwater kitchen remodeling project, but at least don't reduce the amount of storage you have available in that room. Here are a few ideas for ways to add storage and streamline its use:

  • Consider adding a pantry to keep dry goods all in one place. It doesn't have to be a walk-in pantry if you don't have the space—it could be as simple as a refrigerator-sized cabinet.

  • Hang a rack above the stovetop or kitchen island for pots and pans.

  • Install blind corner pull-outs or rotating shelves in corner cabinets that make it easier to utilize the space and reach all the way to the back.

  • No room for a kitchen island? A rolling cart or portable island that can be tucked out of the way when it is not in use is a potential solution.

  • Use lower cabinets or large drawers for smaller appliances that you don't use all the time and want to keep off the countertop, like a crockpot or blender.

7. Cutting Corners in the Home Stretch

When the end of the project is in sight, homeowners are understandably ready for it to be over and done with so they can enjoy their new kitchen. Sometimes that leads people to want to cut corners and get their handyman to skip stuff like installing a glass tile backsplash or adding a pull-out pantry shelf. But those smaller projects are worth the extra time it takes to get them right. You'll be glad you stayed the course when you're cooking up a storm in your brand-new, perfectly appointed, beautifully tailored kitchen.

8. Forgetting to Include Your Personal Style

Finally, after all that Clearwater kitchen remodeling planning, don't forget to include some finishing touches that infuse your home with your own personal sense of taste and style. That could be something like a special tile or a new appliance you've always wanted, or even something small like quirky cabinet handles and drawer pulls or a new piece of artwork that complements the new design aesthetic in your kitchen.

Ready to Get Started on Clearwater Kitchen Remodeling? So Are We!

Whether you're in Clearwater, Florida or a nearby part of the west Tampa Bay area such as Indian Shores, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, the team of professionals at Mr. Handyman serving Palm Harbor, Clearwater and Largo can take care of your kitchen remodel from start to finish.

Pick up the phone and give us a call today at 727-888-2742 to schedule an appointment for service or to chat with our friendly customer service representatives and find out more about why we're considered Clearwater's best choice for expert kitchen remodeling services—and many other handyman services, such as patio door repair or gutter cleaning.

A kitchen remodeling project with new flooring before and after the flooring has been installed by Mr. Handyman.