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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Avoid costly kitchen remodel mistakes

Avoid costly kitchen remodel mistakesIt's the heart of your home, so it's no wonder the kitchen in the most popular room to remodel.

All too often, people sink thousands into the project and are not happy with the results. The average kitchen redo these days costs about $15,000 according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

But no matter what you're planning to spend, you want to steer clear of some common mistakes that can cost you plenty. 

When it comes to remodeling a kitchen, almost everyone has something they might have done differently. 

"I feel I should have had it planned out a little bit better," said one person. 

"Nobody should start until everything you've ordered has been delivered to your home," said another person. 

"I wish I'd known in greater detail the dimension of the appliances," said a third. 

When you're cooking up a kitchen renovation there are so many places where it's easy to goof. Storage space is one of them. Consumer Reports editor Bob Markovich says don't skimp! 

"Carefully plan how much storage you'll need and where to put it," he said. 

For instance, dishes and glasses need four to six linear feet of cabinet space above or near the sink and dishwasher. Pots and pans need the same, and store them close to your cooktop. 

Center islands can be tricky, too. 

"A common design goof is making the island too big," Markovich said. 

The countertop should be three feet wide to no more than 10 feet. As for depth, you want one that measures at least 26 inches, and up to 48 inches. 

You might be tempted to save space by choosing a microwave with built-in venting. But Consumer Reports tests find they don't clear smoke and steam as well as a good hood. 

Another common mistake -- choosing a countertop that stains easily. For that reason, Consumer Reports says skip oil-rubbed butcher block for kitchen counters.

Plan to take some time - as much as several months - to nail down the details of a kitchen remodel. That's because changing your mind after the work begins can really run up the bill. 

According to a survey of Consumer Reports' readers, change orders add about $1,500 to the cost of the typical kitchen remodel.

With careful planning and attention to detail, you can sidestep these mistakes and get the kitchen you've always wanted.

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