My kitchen is done, yay!  I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result, however, I want to share some lessons learned with you, and some before & after pictures. This is the last in the series of posts describing my journey to a new kitchen.  If you missed the last post, Preparing For My Kitchen Remodel, click on this link.

Whenever you work on a project, whether it’s big or small, whether you do the job yourself, or you hire others, there will be challenges.  You don’t know what you don’t know; this statement was used in previous posts and it is spot on.

Proactive people learn how to mitigate risk, but again, you don’t know what you don’t know.  You can plan for the things that you think may happen and that’s great.  The others, well, those things will likely create reactive actions, and could incur more cost.

The intent of this post is not to disrespect anyone involved in this project.  It’s to learn some lessons so that, if/when you decide to undergo a remodeling project, you have some insight on how to proceed to make things run just a little bit smoother to retain your peace of mind.

My Lessons Learned


This is perhaps the greatest challenge I faced during this project.  Verbal communication is typically how it begins.  There were many conversations I had with those involved in the project, and those that were not.  I kept asking everyone if I am not communicating effectively.  This began at the beginning of the bid process, when tradesman would look at the job, and talk to me about it, to put together a bid and scope of work (SOW).  It seemed that they were listening to me, and related to issues I encountered that explained why I wanted something specific done.  They gave the bid/SOW with work I articulated to them to the general contractor; it became a legal contract. When the work was done, or started, it was different than what was discussed and in the contract.

Lesson:  Make sure that you review each bid/SOW to ensure the work is documented exactly how you articulated it to the tradesman.  If not, get it corrected BEFORE the work begins.  That way, if there are reasons why it won’t be done the way you want it, you will understand and agree to it, again, BEFORE the work begins.

Unknown costs

There are things that will occur that you have no control over; again, you don’t know what you don’t know.  This actually refers back to the lesson above, communication.  When you are reviewing contracts for service providers, and suppliers, make sure you are aware of the fine print.  What I mean by that is, if a service provider causes damage to your property in the course of their work, find out who incurs the cost of the damages.  If it’s not in the contract, require that it is in some form.  If they won’t take responsibility for damages they incur, you may want to rethink using that service provider.

It’s a little different with suppliers.  When you order materials, typically you need to order extra in case you didn’t measure accurately.   If you end up with more than you need, find out if you can return what you don’t need.  Most suppliers will let you return excess with no issues.  Some, however, require a restocking fee.

Lesson:  Again, make sure you read the contract with both service providers, and suppliers to avoid extra costs.  Don’t rely on the information they verbally communicate, it needs to be in writing.






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