Consumer Reports has a look at common kitchen renovation mistakes homeowners make

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Kitchen renovations can transform a home, but only if they're done well. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney partnered with Consumer Reports on the common renovation mistakes homeowners make and tips to keep you on budget.

Kitchen renovations can transform a home, but only if they're done well. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney partnered with Consumer Reports on the common renovation mistakes homeowners make and tips to keep you on budget.

If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck on a kitchen remodel, Consumer Reports says take care to avoid the biggest budget busters -- like changing your mind. It can drive your budget up an average of 10 percent.

"The average kitchen remodel costs around $28,000. So spend a little longer on the design and stick to that plan no matter what," recommends one Consumer Reports specialist.

So don't rely on rough sketches. These days, 3D drawings and even tools like virtual-reality software help you visualize the space before you even take down a wall. "As a veteran kitchen designer, I can't imagine making a large dollar purchase that I will hold onto for decades, without having a full sense of standing in that space ahead of time," says Consumer Reports Kitchen Designer Sheri Mercadante.

Also, don't overpay for high-end materials. Forgo pricey, exotic marble countertops for less expensive, low-maintenance quartz, which is top-rated by Consumer Reports. And, you can get the look of hardwood floors for half the price with more durable porcelain tile look-alikes.

Remember, while looks are important, don't forget function. Save room in the budget for things like a range hood to keep your kitchen well-ventilated, under-cabinet lighting to ease food preparation, and improved storage, like drawers in the base units.

"It's not the sexiest stuff, but it's these little things that you interact with every day that are going to influence your long-term satisfaction in a major way," says one Consumer Reports specialist.

Your dream kitchen can be a reality if you plan wisely.

It's also important to do your due diligence about who is doing the work. Consumer Reports found that accredited contractors are better at holding down costs on remodeling projects when unexpected problems crop up. And check the references of contractors on your short list, asking clients about their experience and how the work held up over time.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
Related Topics:
home7 On Your Sideconsumer reportsconsumer concernsconsumerconstructionhomeowners
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