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3 Simple Kitchen Design Pro-Tips (To Make It All Work Right)

October 30th, 2018 | 2 min. read

By Michael Flory

Kitchen with grey cabinets and steel appliances

Everyone has heard the nightmare stories of remodeling projects gone terribly wrong: contractors that start but never finish projects, estimates that grow with each day of construction or just plain shoddy workmanship that costs you in the long run.

As a result, deciding to remodel can take courage and remodeling your kitchen may take more than any other room because it’s so difficult to live without your kitchen during the construction period. At Custom Built we have heard all the stories too — but only from gun-shy potential clients who have had such bad experiences.

So, we have a few tips to offer that can make all the difference in the success or failure of your kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Design: Pro Tip #1

Write down your questions upfront and as they come along throughout the process. Then ask them and wait for answers. If you don’t get acceptable and professional responses to your questions before you choose a contractor, you can be pretty sure you need to keep looking. Professional contractors expect questions and understand the need to be honest and open with clients throughout the entire process — from design through punch list. You should accept nothing less.

Kitchen Design: Pro Tip #2

The golden rule of kitchen remodeling is still “the work triangle,” that seemingly infallible imperative that says the positions of a kitchen’s three main points of work — the sink, the stove and the refrigerator — should form a triangle. Yes, it dates back to the mid-20th century and yes, we put a man on the moon since then, but sometimes the simplest concepts are the ones that stand the test of time. Afterall, E=MC2 is just five characters and look how well it’s held up!

According to, The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends:

  • “The sum of the work triangle's three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet.
  • “The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches.
  • “If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator.
  • “No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.”

Don’t be afraid to ask your designer about “the work triangle” and how it can be used to benefit you and your new kitchen.

Kitchen Design: Pro Tip #3

Choose a floor that is both appealing and tough. It’s true that the kitchen is where everyone wants to be and kitchens are perhaps the only room in the house where people spend time actually standing and walking, rather than sitting on a chair or couch.

So that means more floor wear and tear by people, but also from things like hot substances dribbled or dropped on the floor, and pots, pans and other heavy or sharp objects falling on the floor. Because kitchens are so well used, the floor is likely to be washed more than other rooms as well, so choose a floor that meets both your aesthetic and your durability goals.

A kitchen remodel can be an amazing upgrade for your home, add thousands to its value and make you very happy when complete, and it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Custom Built Design & Remodeling takes pride in doing each design and construction project with expertise and professionalism. If you are thinking about a beautiful new kitchen, take a look at our work and  contact us to find out how we can make your remodel a reality!

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.