Old Kitchen Upgrade: The Top 3 Risks and What to Do About Them

A brand-new kitchen can brighten your entire home. However, if you want to do a good job, you’ll need a lot of planning and knowledge. A kitchen remodel can be a daunting task.

For many, the reality starts to set in only after the work has begun. And often, there’s no end in sight. Don’t fall into common traps. Learn from the mistakes of others. Here are the biggest risks of remodelling an old kitchen and how to mitigate them.

Budget Mistakes

The absolutely biggest risks have to do with funding, without a doubt. If something goes wrong, chances are it will impact your budget. If there’s a flaw in your plan, you’ll end up paying for it sooner or later.

When you lose track of spending, you start to overspend. Put everything on paper. And do it long before the first wall comes down. That’s also the right time to negotiate the costs with your contractor.

If you don’t have experience with remodels, you can end up paying too much for materials and labour. On the other hand, going cheap can breed even more problems. Usually, you get what you pay for, or even less than that.

If you opt for cheap appliances, you may end up spending lots of money on repairs and replacements. That especially goes for products that have a high lifecycle cost. An inefficient appliance will cost you more down the road, even though it may be cheaper up front.

There are steps you can take to prevent your budget from flying through the roof. First, you need to set a number. According to experts, a kitchen renovation budget should be at 15% of the total value of the house.

Decide on the exact appliances, counters, etc. you want before the work starts. Make sure you go with energy-efficient models. Make a wish list. Cut costs where possible.

However, unexpected surprises are a high possibility. Mould or bad wiring could be lurking behind your walls. Increase your planned budget by 20%. That way, you’ll be ready for unplanned misfortunes.

Ductwork, Electricity, and Plumbing

Many people neglect taking care of the ductwork when they’re renovating their kitchen. Think of ductwork as the arteries and veins of your home.

Old houses have old ductwork. When you’re accustomed to faulty ducts, it’s difficult to see what you’re missing out on.

After a remodel, families often end up with a beautiful, bright new kitchen that has the same old problems: mould, high utility bills, poor temperature regulation, and poor ventilation. Why? They failed to configure the ductwork.

If you’re not sure what to do about it, hire the right professionals. A properly configured HVAC system can be up to 50% more energy-efficient. When setting up new ducts, it’s important to consider what kind of air conditioning system you have.

The ducks should be of the appropriate size. More often than not, the ductwork is undersized. If possible, your ducts should be located in ceilings and internal walls. That way, you’ll minimise the loss of conditioned air.

When you’re moving the plumbing around and demolishing parts of your kitchen, the risk of damaging pipes and electrical lines is quite high. Regarding electrical work and plumbing, there’s more than meets the eye.

That’s another reason why it’s important to choose the appliances beforehand. If you don’t think ahead, you might end up with inappropriate wiring or a lack of electrical outlets.

Before you modify your space, be sure to consult an electrical and plumbing expert. It may turn out that there is other work to be done before you start renovating your kitchen.

For example, they might need to completely reconfigure your underlying electrical plan. That is usually done to avoid overloading the outlets.

Poor Design

Many homeowners place aesthetics over functionality when it should be the other way around. And all of them pay the price for it. Avoid going for a luxurious look. Your kitchen should be designed around the way you use it.

A poor layout will result in a kitchen that’s inefficient and awkward to move around. One of the most common mistakes is spreading out the range, sink, and refrigerator too far from each other.

Work towards increasing storage and reducing clutter. When designing the layout, think about the way you’ll move to, from, and within the kitchen.


Brace yourself for an adventure. Even though you may be eager to get rid of your old rusty fridge and worn countertop, make sure to think through every step. By putting together a meticulous plan, you’ll make sure your home won’t end up being the perfect place to shoot the next season of Hell’s Kitchen.


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