The Biggest Kitchen Remodel Mistakes

By Lyle Weischwill | Nov. 30, 2015 1:38 pm PST

Tips and tricks for how to avoid these biggest kitchen remodeling mistakes.

Kitchen renovations leave a lot of room for creativity — but also for mistakes. Make sure your kitchen home improvement project goes smoothly by avoiding these mishaps.

San Diego homeowner Jody Costello has a renovation horror story to share.

“The contractor installed the window with the weep holes on the side — a big mistake, as the weep holes should be on the bottom to allow rainwater to run off on the outside,” says Costello, who’s owner of a renovation advice business called

She realized the error when, after a rainy few weeks, the window clouded up, and water ran inside the walls, which led to mold growth.

While “measure twice, cut once” is a renovation mantra, mistakes do happen, whether it’s a window, as in Costello’s case, a cabinet run or a countertop. A kitchen remodel has a lot of moving parts, and there’s a lot of room for error.

Here are some of the most common kitchen remodel mistakes to avoid:

Faulty planning

  • Awkward flow (e.g., two people can’t walk past one another comfortably)
  • Too little storage, or storage so high up it’s unusable
  • Not enough work space
  • Bad lighting
  • An over- or under-sized ventilation system

Countertop calamities

  • Mismeasured and won’t fit the sink
  • Highly visible seams or patterns not matched at seams
  • Materials that don’t fit your lifestyle (e.g., you like heavy cookware but chose a soft soapstone countertop or you don’t want the hassle of doing maintenance on granite)
  • Poor installation

Storage stoppers

  • Inaccurate measurements (floor to ceiling, wall to wall or around appliances)
  • Cabinets that aren’t level and flush to the wall
  • Unstable cabinets that aren’t secured well to the studs
  • Miscalculations that cause open doors to bump each other
  • Hinges incorrectly adjusted so doors hang off kilter
  • Forgetting to plan for plumbing, lighting and outlets
  • Spacers that aren’t the same color as the cabinets

In Costello’s case, the contractor placed the blame on the window manufacturer, who, in turn, blamed the contractor’s work and voided the warranty. But a reputable professional who follows best practices will own up to and rectify his or her mistakes. The Sears Home Services uses professional installers, guarantees satisfaction, and offers labor and product warranties and property damage insurance for all of our home remodeling services.

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