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Biggest Problems in a Kitchen Remodel  - RWS Home Remodeling

August 2nd, 2023 | 4 min read

By Placher Sieben


Remodeling a home can be laden with problems. A lot of common issues can be avoided with high-quality parts and a solid game plan. Homeowners and contractors alike do not want to see a project go over the agreed-upon timeline or budget. Contractors are always trying to avoid as many of these problems as possible. 

Despite the potential pitfalls, these issues will be a thing of the past when you have an elegant and stylish new kitchen. RWS has seen almost every problem in our 25 years of experience and hundreds of kitchens remodeled. This article will discuss the biggest problems you or your contractor could encounter during your remodel.  

For kitchens, the most common issues have to do with appliances and hardwood flooring.  

A kitchen Remodeled by RWS in Overland Park, Kansas

Problem 1 in a Kitchen Remodel: Appliances 

The appliances are some of the biggest and most expensive factors in a kitchen remodel. They can be delayed significantly based on the supply chain. Sometimes appliances are months out and if something gets delayed, homeowners may have to use their previous fridge or stove in the interim. 

Appliances tend to have very specific warranty requirements. We prefer for new appliances to be installed by the supplier to make the warranty more straightforward. Keep track of all your warranty documents and receipts if there are complications down the road.   

Problem 2 in a Kitchen Remodel: Hardwood Flooring 

Replacing and refinishing hardwood flooring can be a big job. Sometimes we must work according to the current state of the floors or what has been done to them previously.  

Refinishing hardwood flooring usually has to be done to the entire contiguous floor. This can be expensive if the floors run through the whole first level. It may be possible to install a transition to keep costs down if the homeowner wants to replace or refinish part of the flooring. 

The RWS team worked on a home recently where the hardwood floor was partially replaced. The original flooring was white oak, but they had replaced half their floor with red oak some years ago. It had not been noticeable previously since the floor was stained with a dark color, but the homeowner wanted a lighter color. When we re-stained, it was very obvious that the floor was made with two types of wood. 

Keep in mind what has been done to your flooring in the past and plan accordingly.  

Hardwood flooring in progress in Olathe, Kansas.

Problem 3 in a Kitchen Remodel: Improper Ventilation 

When remodeling a kitchen, ventilation systems must often be upgraded. Many times, we see exhaust systems in kitchens that are outdated or must be replaced after installing new appliances.

Issues caused by bad ventilation can be minor annoyances or major hardships. On the small side, you find your smoke alarm going off while cooking or bad smells wafting through the house. However, ventilation issues are some of the most common fire hazards and could cause your home to fail an inspection.

Problem 5 in a Room Addition: Supply Chain Issues

Issues in the supply chain can often cause problems or delays. Everything that goes into your project has to be built, delivered, installed and finished. During all those steps, there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. 

While your contractor will not have much control over the logistics during the preconstruction phase, through sufficient planning, a good contractor can adjust. Companies that build appliances and cabinetry have their own busy schedules. There are often schedule changes based on the timeline of those companies.

Some materials simply have a long turnaround time. A custom sliding glass door usually takes three months to be constructed and delivered. We try to have all the materials on site before we start. It is better to have product waiting on us than for us to wait on product.  Depending on the situation, there may be parts delivered during construction. We may have to have something delivered at an inconvenient time causing changes to the schedule. 

Having a realistic timeframe to start will always help. More time between the planning phase and the construction phase will allow for more wiggle room in the delivery of materials.

Problem 6 in a Room Addition: Sub-Par Previous Work

A lot of the problems stem from a previous project or the original construction. It is not unusual to open the wall and see something that is incorrect or sloppy. This could be a simple fix such as straightening an outlet cover or as complex as an illegal or outdated wiring system. 

We often see the frequency of problems of this nature increase in older homes. The more times a home has been worked on over the decades, the more opportunity there is that something went wrong. As always, if you have an older home you should prepare for additional surprises.

Fixed framing in a kitchen remodel
A framing issue we fixed in a Kitchen Remodel

Problem 7 in a Room Addition: Poor Project Management

Firing from the hip during a major remodel is rarely a good idea. A rule of thumb is that every hour we spend planning saves 2 hours during construction.

It is important to make sure you have all your selections made and ready to go when the project starts. Problems often happen when a homeowner does not have a clear vision or changes their mind throughout the project. 

Having a solid plan for the look of your project and sticking to it will be worth its weight in gold. Working with designers, architects and engineers will help you prepare and visualize your final product. We have a step-by-step pre-construction process at RWS. 

Problem 8 in a Room Addition: What is Behind the Drywall?

We do our best to be prepared for anything we could encounter. However, the best we can do is an educated guess on what we are likely to see. 

Our team recently worked on a home that was over 80 years old and found substantial structural termite damage when we opened the wall. Because the damage was so extensive, the city of Kansas City, Missouri required additional engineered drawings. This caused significant changes to the schedule and, in this particular case, we had to stop work entirely. 

There could be any number of things hidden behind a sheet of drywall. A project can go off the rails quickly if we find something that would cause your home to fail an inspection. 

Mechanical lines behind drywall in a kitchen remodel

Wrapping Up 

This is not an exhaustive list of every problem you could encounter. You could see all or none of the issues outlined here during your remodel. Many problems can be avoided through research and preparation. A reputable contractor can help you have a smooth and easy remodeling process. 

More information on the factors that influence the cost of your room addition can be found on our learning center. You can also learn more about how to get started by visiting the Our Process page. Send us a message if you have any additional questions about your remodeling project. 


Placher Sieben

Placher Sieben is a licensed remodeling contractor with RWS Enterprises working with clients, designers, and architects throughout the Kansas City and surrounding areas.