Easy Projects vs.
Project Nightmares

Many homeowners who are planning to start a remodeling project are so excited by the prospect of creating their dream space that they fail to do their due diligence. After all, they've been clipping photographs and window shopping for the perfect range and the most beautiful flooring for quite some time. When it's time to pull the trigger, they hire the first contractor that comes along because he's the cheapest, or he gave them a timeline that seems fast but is probably unrealistic. At CHW our team is here to help you in the construction process, and guide you through making these tough choices. Visit our website's Inspirations Gallery to see some great ideas you can do in your home. When you are ready, contact us to set up a free consultation to see how we can help you!
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A List of Avoidable Remodeling Mistakes
There's nothing worse as a homeowner than setting high expectations, spending tens of thousands of dollars (or more) and ending up with a kitchen that's anything less than perfect. Renovating your kitchen is a massive undertaking with many variables and critical details on the way to your dream kitchen. The finished product needs to fit your lifestyle, meet your needs, and look aesthetically beautiful.

The best course of action is working with a professional contractor who has experience and a process in place for your project. Educating yourself is the best way to make sure that your project exceeds your expectation. Let's take a look at these common kitchen remodeling mistakes so you can take the steps necessary to avoid them, so you're sure to end up with the kitchen of your dreams.
Remodeling Mistake #1: Placing Form Over Function
Of course, we all want an aesthetically beautiful kitchen that's the envy of all our neighbors; however, focusing on form over function is one of the biggest remodeling mistakes you can make. Your kitchen is the most complicated room in your home, and it's probably one of the most used rooms in the house. If the result creates more work for you when performing your everyday tasks, it's not a bargain.

Think about your lifestyle... what you love about your current kitchen and what's not working. A good designer will then work with you to create a design that focuses equally on form and function. A good design will focus on work zones and how you personally use them. For instance in your food prep zone your stove, refrigerator and prep area should be in close proximity to each other. You would not believe plans people bring in that has the refrigerator on the other side of the room where that person would get a workout just making a salad for dinner!

Another common “form over function” remodeling mistake you'll find with inexperienced designers is not taking into account how cabinets, your range, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher open. For example, when you open the dishwasher, does the door prevent you from opening the cabinet where you keep your pots and pans? Nothing is more frustrating than adding the step of emptying the dishwasher onto the counter because the cabinet door is blocked when the dishwasher door is open. While it might seem like a far-fetched design slip, it happens more often than you might think!
Remodeling Mistake #2: Doing it Yourself
Today we all are familiar with those HGTV shows that portray enterprising homeowners undertaking kitchen remodeling projects themselves. While there are plenty of projects around the home that a resourceful homeowner can easily do yourself, taking on a kitchen remodel is one of the biggest home improvement mistakes that you can make.

A kitchen remodel is a complicated process that involves several subcontractor tasks, including plumbing, electrical work, drywall, plastering, tile work, flooring, cabinet, and appliance installation. You may need to update wiring or plumbing to meet new building codes. In even older homes, you may also come across hazards like asbestos that can be dangerous to your health if not professionally mitigated. You may have to deal with structural issues, mold issues, and permitting items that will need to be addressed early in the design stage.

A kitchen remodel is a complicated dance where one task must be completed before another can begin. Make a mistake, and it can cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Unless you're qualified to do the work, it's much cheaper, by far, to pay a professional who has the experience, knowledge, expertise, and subcontractors to get the job done right the first time, on time and on budget.
Remodeling Mistake #3: Inadequate Cabinet and Counter Space
Kitchen design is as much science as it is art. You can't have a functional kitchen without adequate prep space and a proper working triangle (the relationship between the stove, sink, and refrigerator), A professional designer will have tricks up their sleeve to maximize both storage and workspace in your new kitchen. Whether it's configuring your design to incorporate a peninsula, or island or adding decorative elements like corbels to the ends of your base cabinets to expand counter space. The design above is one we did for our client so they could visualize their space before they purchased. This really helps clients walk through the space and make sure the design will work for them!

Storage is another essential element that is critical to a functional design. Whether it's adding an appliance garage or lift-out cabinet shelf to maximize counter space, or adding functional corner cabinets, or open shelving on the wall across from the island, a professional designer will maximize every inch of space available, even in a smaller space. The last thing you want is to design an aesthetically beautiful kitchen that doesn't meet your needs today or into the future.
Remodeling Mistake #4: Inadequate Lighting
It's easy to understand how a DIY homeowner or inexperienced contractor might forget to include proper lighting in a kitchen remodel. A sufficient number of lighting fixtures is not only important when preparing food, but it can also be a design element in your kitchen. Lighting adds ambiance where needed, and can even keep you safer in the kitchen when you're working with knives and small appliances.

The ideal design will incorporate three distinct types of lighting – general overhead lighting for illumination, task lighting that is focused and proper for safe food preparation, and ambient light fixtures like under-cabinet, over-cabinet or toe-kick lighting to accent the design elements you love the most in your new kitchen.
Remodeling Mistake #5: Not Preparing for Unexpected Costs
Whether it's mold, corroded pipes, outdated wiring, termite damage or asbestos-wrapped ductwork, almost every kitchen remodel has hidden problems that only become apparent after the job begins. Even the best contractor can't know what they'll find when the walls are opened up.

You should consider a contingency of 10 or 15% to the labor estimate to cover any unexpected expenses. If you don't and something comes up, then you'll be forced to scale back on your wants - fixtures or finishes - to cover the costs of your needs like bringing the wiring up to code. In the event nothing comes up, at the very least you'll save some money on your remodel, or you can take the extra budget and upgrade your countertops or fancy backsplash your been coveting!

Also, make sure that you get a change order for any changes to the job once the work begins. These should be added to the contract and described in detail so you know what you are getting.
To avoid remodeling mistakes, working with a qualified professional, like CHW, is the sm artest choice you can make when undertaking a major remodeling project like a complete kitchen renovation. The kitchen is the most important room in most homes, and it takes an experienced design professional that understands your lifestyle to create the kitchen of your dreams. If you're thinking about remodeling, or if you are getting ready to build your dream home, contact the design experts at CHW to help you . We can help you achieve your creative vision and design the room that will impress your friends and family!

Product Spotlight!
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This Month's Feature Recipe
Patriotic Salsa
This red, white, and blue salsa is the perfect appetizer or snack for the month of July. Not only is it pretty, but it is full of flavor and so easy to make. We love the combination of sweet berries and crunchy jicama. There is a little bit of heat from the jalapeño, but if you like a mild salsa, feel free to leave it out. Serve with store bought tortilla chips or cinnamon sugar pita chips-so good and so addicting!
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  •  1 cup diced strawberries
  •  1 cup diced jicama
  •  1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  •  1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  •  2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper stemmed and seeded
  •  Juice of 1 large lime
  •  Salt to taste
  •  Chips for serving

  1. In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, jicama, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir until well combined.
  2. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note-this salsa is also great with grilled fish or chicken. It is best eaten the day it is made.

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Carolina Handcrafted Woodworks, LLC .
1819 Two Notch Rd
Lexington, SC 29073
Ph: 803-520-6837