A kitchen is one of the most costly rooms in your house. Kitchen cabinets can be pricey and whether you are building a new kitchen one or renovating one, not taking the time to plan can result in expensive mistakes. The last thing you want after finishing a major kitchen renovation is to look at your space and think “I really wish I would have…”. That’s why we’re here. Having a bit of experience in your corner can help you avoid making easily overlooked errors that can cost a lot of money to fix. Here are 9 really common mistakes, so you know what to watch for:

9 costly kitchen renovation tips to avoid

Forgetting about flow

Everything needs to move in your kitchen, and if you don’t plan out how, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of extra work and frustration. We all want to get lots of steps in, but not at the expense of flow and productivity. Even something as simple as washing and putting away the dishes takes some consideration. Where will the dishwasher be in relation to the sink, and how far from the dishwasher is the cabinet that holds the glassware? Speaking of glassware, is that cabinet close enough to the fridge to get yourself a drink without crossing the whole space? Are there zones in your kitchen so multiple people can use the space without tripping over each other? There are a lot of things to think about when planning out a kitchen, and our designers consider them all.

kitchen renovation

Skimping on smart storage

It feels like we’re always suggesting storage solutions, but we have a good reason for it:

We want your space to work for you.

Your kitchen works hard and needs to be built for both beauty and functionality, making it a much more complex room than many of the others in your home. Finding ways to utilize all the space available, make it easy to use and easy to keep organized makes for a happy kitchen (and happy people). It’s easier and less costly to add pull-outs and extra storage features during the design process, so don’t forget to look into what options will suit your kitchen space.

kitchen renovation
kitchen renovation

Not taking the design of the rest of the house into consideration

We’ve all done it, scrolling through those Pinterest pictures… falling in love with that kitchen image and KNOWING that it won’t coordinate with the rest of your house… and just… not caring. Sometimes love makes you do funny things, but that’s why we’re here. There are ways of getting the space you love while still maintaining the flow and continuity in your home. It’s jarring to walk through the rooms of a home and feel like you’ve suddenly been transported somewhere else, and we always want to avoid that. Maybe some simple changes to other areas of your home would help that kitchen you love feel like a part of the whole, or maybe rethinking some kitchen finishes to tie into the architectural features of your home. Let us help you figure it out!


Failing to plan for unexpected changes or delays

It’s a fact of major kitchen renovations. There will be unexpected issues or delays that come up. Unless you built your own house, you can never be completely sure what is hiding under the walls that may need your attention. It’s never a good surprise to find out the previous owner didn’t plumb something correctly, or there’s some shoddy (and potentially dangerous) electrical work you didn’t know about. This is the time to fix it, and we will definitely help you with that, but unexpected surprises cause delays. Add that potential to supply chain issues, or human error and you’re looking down the barrel of a longer renovation. That’s why it’s always beneficial to pad your time (and budget) expectations a bit. We do everything in our control to make sure we stay on schedule, but unfortunately we can’t control everything.

kitchen renovations

Settling for less

When you have the whole kitchen apart, there is no better time to make things better. The cost difference for that extra foot or two of counter space is pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things, and if it can add quality and function to your kitchen, it’s definitely worth it. If there’s something you really want but worry that it’s going to bust the budget, talk to one of our designers. They know all the tricks that just might get you what you want. The last thing you want to do while looking at your brand new kitchen is regret not changing something you could have.

Not building in room to grow

We get it. The little things add up quickly, but when you’re planning a large renovation it’s a lot cheaper and easier to add some of those little things that will come in handy later. The last thing you want to do is finish up your kitchen and realize some light in a dark corner would have been a good idea, or adding a few extra outlets would have been handy. It’s a whole lot more difficult to add those things when the renovation is done. Even if you don’t plan on doing something right away, it’s never a bad thing to plan ahead when you’ve got the walls open. Are you going to want to add some smart home features in the near future? Are you thinking of starting (or expanding) your family and might need some extra seating? Let us know, and we can help build your future plans into your space!

kitchen renovation tips

Choosing appliances last

Always pick your appliances before you settle on the measurements of the rest of your space. You can’t adapt the shape of a fridge, but you can build the cabinets to fit around it. Until you know exactly which appliances you want in your space, it’s impossible to know the exact measurements, and the last thing you want is to guess and end up with a fit issue after the fact. This is extra important if you’re looking at wall ovens, cook tops or any other built-in appliance.

Being too trendy

Trends come and go and while kitchen trends are often longer lasting than clothing or hairstyles, the temptation is always there to take the trends too far. You’ve invested a substantial amount of money and you’re going to want to love your kitchen for a long time, so take steps to make sure it won’t look dated in a few years. Using trendy colours on painted walls, light fixtures or accents that are easy to swap out is always a good plan. Give the bones of your space longevity by choosing classic, timeless finishes that will still make you smile a decade from now. (Check out our list of current kitchen design trends for some ideas!)

kitchen renovation

Not leaving space to breathe

With the plethora of kitchen gadgets and features, it’s really tempting to try to cram everything in. No matter what size your kitchen is, if you don’t leave a bit of extra space, you’ll end up feeling cramped and cluttered. Even a few inches of space between your island and the perimeter cabinetry can make all the difference! Don’t forget that you’ll likely want to entertain sometimes, and making sure you have some extra space for your family and friends is a good plan, since we all know they’ll end up where the food is. One of the most common requests we have is “I want to make my space feel bigger” but it’s easy to be your own worst enemy by filling up every free inch.

At Gateway Kitchen + Bath, we love to build and we’ve been building beautiful spaces for a long time. If you’re looking into building or renovating your kitchen, schedule a free one-hour consultation with one of our talented designers. With your ideas and our experience, your dream kitchen is within reach!