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Top Kitchen Upgrades You Might Regret

If you’re looking at upgrading a starter home or investing in your current property, a kitchen remodel is often one of the most alluring options. Not only are kitchen remodels one of the most financially sound investments for a home, with a high percentage of invested money returned at sale, but renovating a kitchen can change the entire flow and impression of your home. Whether you’re looking for a gleaming new granite-topped island, professional-grade stainless appliances, cabinets in exotic woods with polished finishes, or converting to an open, airy floorplan perfect for entertaining.

While these luxurious upgrades may seem irresistible, many carry disappointing drawbacks over time. As a Connecticut homeowner, it’s wise to think twice before investing in lavish kitchen overhauls that lead to regret down the road. More modest renovations using classic, durable materials can refresh your space for years to come without breaking the bank. Here’s a quick look at some kitchen projects that we’ve found can often cost more than they’re worth, or otherwise leave buyers disappointed.

Granite Countertops

Why They’re Tempting

Granite countertops have been a popular kitchen upgrade for years. Their natural beauty and durability make them enticing choices. The speckled patterns and glossy finish give them an upscale, luxurious look. Since granite is very hard and scratch-resistant, it can hold up well to years of use and abuse in a busy kitchen. Many homeowners dream of the elegance and practicality offered by granite.

Why Homeowners Regret Granite

While granite is beautiful initially, it requires regular sealing to prevent stains and cracks. If not sealed properly every 1-2 years, granite can start to show unsightly marks and damage. The polished surface also requires frequent cleaning to keep up appearances. As trends shift, the speckled granite patterns may start to feel dated and less appealing over time. There are also more affordable countertop materials like quartz that offer similar resilience without the sealing hassles.

Trendy Appliances

Why They’re Appealing

With all the newest features and finishes, high-end appliances can transform the look and function of a kitchen. Brands like Wolf, Viking, and SubZero offer powerful burners, convection baking, and integrated smart technology. The sleek stainless steel and glass styling provides a modern, upscale look. With custom panels, the appliances can even be integrated seamlessly into cabinetry for a built-in appearance.

Why They Don’t Age Well

The problem with investing in luxury, high-tech appliances is that the styles and features can feel outdated in just a few years. As companies keep innovating, the cutting-edge appliance you buy today runs the risk of feeling old-fashioned down the road. Repairs and replacements on luxury brands also tend to be much more expensive than standard brands. You may end up renovating your kitchen again sooner to update appliances that no longer suit your needs or taste.

Overly Ambitious Layout Changes

Desire for Open Concept

One of the most popular renovation goals is opening up walls to create a great room-style kitchen and living space. The appeal is being able to cook, entertain, and supervise kids all within one open, airy area. Bringing down walls to connect the kitchen and adjacent rooms offers a bright, expansive feel that’s perfect for gatherings. When space is limited, one open area may also feel larger than chopped-up rooms.

Pitfalls of Drastic Layout Changes

While good in theory, major layout changes like removing walls can carry unintended consequences. Loss of wall space means fewer cabinets and counter space in the kitchen. Traffic flows through a wide open floorplan may also prove problematic when you live in the new space. Any structural changes require permits and compliance with building codes too. And beware that closing things back up later would mean major additional construction. Unless you’re sure an open layout will function well long-term, favor more modest refreshes.

Outdated Style Choices

Temptation of Current Trends

When planning kitchen renovations, it’s tempting to jump at what’s in vogue at the moment. Contemporary styles like industrial, modern farmhouse, and transitional minimalism have widespread appeal. By mimicking photos from home magazines and Pinterest, you can expect a very stylish, of-the-moment kitchen. If you stay on top of trends, your kitchen could always reflect the latest looks.

Risk of Dated Look

Unfortunately, kitchen trends come and go very quickly. What you design into your kitchen today may soon feel tired and out-of-fashion. For example, Tuscan-style distressed finishes were hugely popular in the 1990s and 2000s. But now that aesthetic feels stuck in the past. Same goes for avocado and harvest gold appliances popular in the 1970s. While you can’t future-proof style totally, opting for versatile classics over trendy finishes tends to wear better long-term.

FAQ

Do I need a design-build contractor for a kitchen remodel?2023-09-22T13:56:57+00:00

You can definitely hire a design-build firm for a kitchen overhaul, but a general contractor or construction manager working with an architectural designer can also execute this well. Design-build makes the most sense for whole home renovations, larger kitchen renovations, and those looking to minimize costs.

How much does professional cabinet refinishing cost?2023-09-06T17:14:01+00:00

Expect to pay at least $1000-2000 for a medium-sized kitchen, just for labor and materials. Costs go up significantly for larger kitchens.

How long does a refinished kitchen cabinet last?2023-09-06T17:13:13+00:00

Most refinished cabinets show noticeable wear, fading and damage after just 1-2 years of use. Factory finishes last 5-10 times longer under normal kitchen conditions.

Is it cheaper to refinish or replace kitchen cabinets?2023-09-06T17:11:46+00:00

In most cases, replacing kitchen cabinets is only marginally more expensive than refinishing them, and gives you longer-lasting results. Factor in long-term costs, and replacement provides a better value.

What size pizza oven should I get for my kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:59+00:00

Choose an oven at least 45-60cm (18-24 inches) wide to comfortably fit a 12-14 inch pizza. Larger ovens allow you to bake multiple pizzas at once.

What design tips make a great pizza kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:10+00:00

Focus on workflow, adequate counterspace, durable surfaces, ventilation, high BTU burners, and refrigeration for ingredients.

How much does a pizza oven cost?2023-09-05T14:28:50+00:00

Prices range widely from $300 for entry-level consumer models to $10,000+ for professional-grade pizza ovens. Built-in brick ovens cost $10,000 to $25,000 installed.

How can open concept kitchens backfire?2023-08-29T13:29:02+00:00

Removing walls looks airy initially, but it reduces usable cabinet and counter space. Traffic patterns in wide open floorplans can also be problematic. Putting walls back later means major construction. Unless the layout works well long-term, more modest updates are often wiser.

Why might granite countertops be a bad choice?2023-08-29T13:04:19+00:00

Granite requires regular sealing to prevent stains and cracks, which is an inconvenience. The polished stone also shows wear and marks easily. And the speckled pattern that’s currently popular may start to feel dated after a number of years.

Should I remodel the kitchen before selling my home?2023-08-17T17:41:58+00:00

Yes, an updated, high-end kitchen with smart layout and finishes can greatly increase your home’s value and appeal to buyers.

Is it worth it to add a second dishwasher?2023-08-17T17:40:27+00:00

Yes. A second dishwasher keeps clean dishes available while others wash and provides extra capacity when entertaining large groups. A secondary dishwasher focused on glassware is perfect for home bars.

What are the most popular countertops for luxury kitchens?2023-08-17T17:39:41+00:00

Quartz and granite are top choices. Quartz offers a high-end look with less maintenance. Granite provides a rich, unique aesthetic at a lower pricepoint. Other common choices include butcher block, laminate, and corian.

When is the best time of year for a kitchen remodel in CT?2023-08-02T14:54:57+00:00

Winter and early spring are ideal as contractors may have more availability. Summertime leads to higher demand. Discuss timing with your contractor.

Should I choose custom or stock cabinets?2023-08-02T14:54:18+00:00

Stock cabinets cost less but offer limited sizes and finishes. Custom lets you customize the design, dimensions, materials and features. Assess your budget and design goals.

What are the most popular kitchen layouts in Connecticut?2023-08-02T14:53:49+00:00

Open concept kitchens that integrate cooking, dining, and family living spaces are very popular. Islands for extra prep space and casual dining are also in demand. Prioritizing workflow is key.

Do I need a permit for my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:37+00:00

The answer to this question depends on the scope of your project, your location, and local building codes. In general, if you’re doing any work that involves structural changes, electrical or plumbing work, or adding or removing walls, you will likely need a permit. Check with your local building department to find out what permits you need and how to obtain them.

What are some common design mistakes to avoid in a kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:22+00:00

Some common design mistakes to avoid include choosing trendy designs that may not stand the test of time, not considering the flow and functionality of the space, and neglecting lighting and storage needs. It’s also important to avoid over-personalizing the space, as this can make it less appealing to potential buyers if you choose to sell your home in the future.

How can I save money on my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:17:05+00:00

There are many ways to save money on a kitchen remodel without sacrificing quality. Start by setting a realistic budget and sticking to it. Consider doing some of the work yourself, such as painting or installing light fixtures. Shop around for materials and appliances to get the best deals. And consider using lower-cost alternatives to high-end materials, such as laminate countertops instead of granite.

Should I hire a designer or architect for my kitchen remodel?2023-06-05T19:16:43+00:00

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the scope of your project, your budget, and your personal preferences. If you’re planning a major remodel that involves moving walls, plumbing, or electrical systems, it’s probably a good idea to hire an architect or designer to help you with the planning and permitting process. On the other hand, if you’re just replacing cabinets and countertops, you may not need professional help. Consider consulting with a designer or architect to see what they recommend for your specific project.

Published On: August 29th, 2023 / Categories: Home Improvement Contractor, Home Remodeling, Interior Design, Kitchen Remodeling Tips /

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