Unexpected Challenges You May Face When Renovating Your Kitchen

Renovation work can be both extremely exciting and at the same time very stressful. There are many things that you need to plan from the onset, from the different areas that you want to renovate to the materials that are required for the job. To top this off, there are also many issues that you may experience throughout the renovation, which can make the whole process overwhelming at first. With a number of different appliances and amenities, kitchens are often considered one of the most difficult renovations to complete. They’re  a space of the house that is utilized every day, and when renovated and upgraded properly it has one of the highest returns on resale value compared to any other renovation. But without the right skill set, it can be extremely difficult for an individual to undertake a kitchen renovation. The key to setting yourself up for success is all in the planning.  

But, do not worry. Below, we have shared some of the unexpected challenges that you may face during your kitchen renovation, allowing you to address them before they have time to disrupt your project!

Budget Challenges

No matter how much you plan ahead for your kitchen renovation, there is likely to always be one issue or another when it comes to financing the renovation process. This can become particularly problematic when you are halfway through the project and realize that you no longer have the money to complete the work. Even the most planned out budgets have their faults and can prove difficult to stick to throughout the renovation. But with a few steps and some planning before the renovation begins, we can help reduce any financial challenges one may face during their kitchen remodel.

At the very start of the project, make sure that you get estimates from various contractors in your area. Within these estimates, gain an understanding of the work that will be completed, the materials that will be used and the overall costs. Unless there are some unexpected costs during the renovation, it is common for estimates to be quite close to the exact price. This will allow you to create an accurate estimated budget from the very onset of the project, based on estimates from professionals within the industry.

Now that we have our estimate, we should account for possible overages.

Even if your project doesn’t run into unexpected challenges, it’s always nice to have the room in your budget to allow for changes and upgrades. You may fall in love with a different type of floor tile than initially planned, or want to upgrade to a gas range from an electric one. Once you have an estimated budget for your project, it’s recommended to give yourself a bit of a cushion. The larger and more elaborate the renovation you have planned, the larger the cushion should be.

Typically the cushion is directly tied to your efforts with saving money. Some do it through couponing, some use a bill tracking app, and some are just disciplined enough to put back a percentage of their income each pay period.

A good estimate is to budget an additional 10 to 15% for upgrades and unseen expenses. In the long run it’s always far cheaper to upgrade at the time of the renovation to what you truly love, as opposed to tearing out, or altering things after the renovation has been completed.

Now that we have our estimate plus ~15%, we want to work to stay within this budget as best as we can. Going over budget can cause things to come to a sudden halt, or cause you to skimp on certain areas in the later half of the project.

Lighting and Electrical Challenges

One common challenge that homeowners often face when it comes to renovating their kitchen is electrical changes and lighting upgrades. Traditional builds will usually make use of a single light above the sink area and a central lightbox in the middle of the ceiling. This can make the room appear dim, or in some cases, it may not provide enough light for the room altogether. The previous build of the kitchen may not have included easy wiring for the addition of more lighting or new appliances.
The wiring of the house is often out of sight and out of mind, and as a result, rearranging your lights during the renovation tends to cause issues that were often unexpected or overlooked during the planning stage. 

Renovators and DIYers can become stuck which will slow down the project and even bring it to a halt in some cases. In order to get the best possible results, we always advise that you use a contractor and licensed electrician to complete any lighting jobs. This will ensure the job is completed to the highest possible standard, whilst guaranteeing that the new lighting and other electrical features are safely installed. 

Storage Space

Another unexpected challenge when it comes to kitchen renovations, is insufficient storage space. This is often caused by installing new cabinet shelves that simply do not have enough room to store all of your kitchen utensils and cookware. It is a very common problem and one that is often discovered once the renovation has been completed- a very stressful way to end your renovation. 

One way to free up storage space is to move all larger items (that are not needed daily) to another area altogether, the possible addition of a pantry or separate storage area, deeper cabinets, or cupboards that effectively use all of the space the corner cupboards have to offer. Prior to renovation it is also a great time to look through the cupboards and cabinets and donate or get rid of some of your old mugs, bulky single function kitchen utensils, mismatched food storage containers and anything else that takes up space that you no longer use. This allows for much better space management and less clutter. Additionally, you can also take accurate measurements before starting your project. By taking measurements of your drawers, cabinets and any other storage areas prior to the start of your renovation, you can make sure that any replacements are of the right size and have a comparable amount of storage space. Do this at the very start of the project, as it will prevent any unexpected storage challenges that may occur during or even after the kitchen renovation. 

Workflow Challenges

Whilst most individuals will consider their kitchen cabinets, materials and kitchen appliances, they often forget to visualise the end result. One of the main objectives of any kitchen renovation is to make sure that you have an efficient workspace once the project has been completed. At the very start of the renovation, make sure that your kitchens busiest areas such as the sink, stove and fridge are all positioned for a smooth transition when you are cooking.

You have to keep in mind that the kitchen is an area of the house used every single day, and therefore the function and flow is just as, if not more important, than the aesthetic of your new renovation.


These are some of the most common unexpected challenges that you may come up against when it comes to your kitchen renovation. By being proactive and preparing for these challenges before they arise you can tackle them head-on, ensuring that your renovation is completed as smoothly as possible.
We always recommend the use of a professional contractor or renovation team, especially on your more complex projects like your kitchen. If you are in the Alberta area and need a Kitchen Renovation in Calgary, reach out to the team at Reborn Renovations and they will be sure to help you create the aesthetic, function kitchen of your dreams 


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