Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

8 Problems with Luxury Kitchen Remodeling and How to Combat Them

September 28th, 2023 | 6 min read

By Dianna Corsi

problems with luxury kitchen remodeling barstools and modern appliances custom built

Imagine the anticipation of embarking on a luxury kitchen remodeling project. The dream of a culinary sanctuary where you can cook, entertain, and savor unforgettable moments.

Yet, this journey is not without its challenges, and navigating them with grace is crucial to realizing your dream. If you're contemplating or already immersed in the world of luxury kitchen remodeling, this guide is your trusted companion.

At Custom Built, we've spent over 15 years crafting exceptional kitchen spaces. Through the highs and lows of countless projects, we've amassed valuable insights into the common challenges faced by homeowners seeking to transform their kitchens into luxurious havens.

In the following article, we'll explore eight of the most prevalent challenges encountered during luxury kitchen remodels. More importantly, we'll provide you with battle-tested strategies to overcome these obstacles and ensure your project remains on course. Join us as we embark on this journey to transform your kitchen into a space where culinary dreams become a reality:

1. Budget Creeps that Exceed Your Range

contractor luxury kitchen budget with contract agreement custom built

Budget creep is a common concern when it comes to luxury kitchen remodeling. As you delve into the world of high-end materials, custom features, and intricate designs, it's easy for the project's budget to expand beyond your initial expectations. Unexpected issues discovered during the demolition phase or the allure of premium appliances can all contribute to this challenge.

Combat Strategy

To combat budget creep effectively, it's crucial to start your luxury kitchen remodeling project with a well-defined budget. Work closely with your contractor to outline your financial boundaries and establish a contingency fund for unforeseen expenses. 

One way to achieve this is through a fixed-price agreement.

A fixed-price agreement in luxury kitchen remodeling provides a clear and stable budget framework by specifying the total cost of the project upfront. This prevents budget creeps because it locks in the price, shielding homeowners from unexpected expenses or cost overruns during the remodel.

With this transparent and predictable pricing structure, both homeowners and contractors have a shared understanding of the project's scope and costs, ensuring that the project stays on budget.

During the planning phase, prioritize your must-haves and nice-to-haves. This approach will help you make informed decisions as the project progresses and potentially costly changes arise. Regularly review your budget with your contractor to ensure you're staying on track, and be prepared to make adjustments when necessary. 

2. Delays in Material Delivery that Stall Production

luxury kitchen remodel selection blueprints custom built

Luxury kitchen remodels often incorporate high-end materials that may have longer lead times for manufacturing and delivery. Delays in the arrival of these materials can cause significant disruptions to your project timeline and potentially lead to frustration.

Combat Strategy

To mitigate the impact of material delays, collaborate closely with your contractor to identify any long-lead items early in the planning phase. Knowing which materials require extra time for procurement allows you to order them well in advance. 

Consider alternative materials that provide a similar look and feel if a specific item is causing significant delays. Maintaining open communication with your contractor about material delivery timelines will help you plan for potential setbacks and adjust your schedule accordingly.

3. Design Changes that Lead to Change Orders

tablet with luxury kitchen remodel design custom built michigan

It's natural to want to refine your kitchen's design as the project progresses. However, frequent design changes can disrupt the workflow and extend the project timeline.


Refining and making significant design decisions during the construction phase can indeed lead to chaos and increased costs in a luxury kitchen remodel. It can disrupt the established project timeline, cause delays in material procurement, and necessitate rushed trade quotes that may come at a premium.

Additionally, materials ordered earlier in the project may not be refundable or may incur restocking fees, further contributing to higher expenses. To mitigate these issues, it's essential to finalize the design and make critical decisions before construction begins to ensure a smoother and more cost-effective remodeling process.

Combat Strategy

To minimize the potential for design-related delays, strive to finalize your design and product selections before construction begins. This ensures that you and your contractor have a clear vision for the project from the start. 

If changes are necessary, promptly discuss them with your contractor to assess their impact on the project's timeline and budget. Clear communication and a thorough understanding of how changes will affect the project are key to avoiding unnecessary delays.

4. Unexpected Structural Issues that Require Reinforcing

contractor checking luxury kitchen plumbing for issues custom built

Once the demolition phase begins, it's not uncommon for unexpected structural problems to surface. These can include hidden plumbing or electrical issues behind walls that must be addressed.

Hidden plumbing or electrical issues in a luxury kitchen remodel can encompass a range of issues. These may include outdated or faulty wiring, inadequate plumbing connections, or insufficient electrical outlets to meet modern demands.

Additionally, water leaks, damaged pipes, or corroded wiring can go unnoticed until walls or flooring are opened up during the renovation, necessitating immediate attention and potentially impacting the project's timeline and budget.

Combat Strategy

To prepare for unexpected structural issues, consider conducting a thorough pre-demolition inspection with your contractor. This can help identify potential problems that may require attention. 

Additionally, allocate a portion of your budget as a contingency fund to cover unforeseen structural repairs. Having this financial buffer in place will help you address issues promptly without derailing the project.

5. Communication Challenges that Lead to Misunderstandings

contractor and homeowner talking about design for luxury kitchen remodel custom built

Effective communication between homeowners and contractors is essential for a successful luxury kitchen remodel. Misunderstandings or a lack of clear communication can lead to mistakes, delays, and frustration.


Additionally, contractors often use dynamic scheduling to manage their projects, leading to schedule shifts. Often necessitated by factors like material delays, weather changes, or unforeseen issues, schedule shifts can significantly impact the overall timeline of a luxury kitchen remodel. While these adjustments can sometimes extend the completion date, a well-managed dynamic schedule aims to minimize these delays.

Combat Strategy

To foster effective communication, maintain open and regular dialogues with your contractor. Don't hesitate to ask questions, express concerns, or seek clarification. Maintaining written communication is essential for ensuring a transparent record of agreements and decisions.

Having a well-drafted contract that outlines project details, timelines, and expectations can also help avoid miscommunications. Regular check-ins with your contractor to review progress and discuss any adjustments can ensure everyone stays on the same page throughout the project.

Rely on your contractor for a well-drafted contract. Great contracts include:

  • Written construction agreement (Covering costs and process)

  • Scope of work (Clarifying all materials and aspects of work)

  • Construction drawings (The blueprints of your remodel)

  • Job Site Preferences At Custom Built, we call this a Material Drop Form. This is dedicated to clarifying where materials go, how and where the team should enter the home, any homeowner requests, etc.)

6. Permitting and Regulations that Prolong the Process

stamping construction permit for luxury kitchen remodel custom built

Navigating local building codes and obtaining the necessary permits can be a daunting part of a luxury kitchen remodel. To work through the complexities and hidden requirements of these protocols, knowing someone in the building department is a huge asset. Local regulations can be intricate and differ widely, making it crucial to stay in compliance to avoid potential legal issues and project delays.

Combat Strategy

To combat these challenges, partnering with a contractor experienced in your area is key - someone who has been in business for years navigating through changing regulations and laws is a real asset. These professionals are well-versed in local regulations and can help you navigate the permitting process efficiently. Starting the permitting process early is also essential to avoid unnecessary project delays.

Your contractor can guide you through the paperwork, ensuring that all permits are acquired before construction begins, giving you peace of mind throughout the project.

7. Selection Overload that Leads to Fatigue

tile material selection for luxury kitchen remodel custom built michigan

The abundance of choices when it comes to luxury materials, fixtures, and appliances can be both a blessing and a curse. While it's exciting to have options, it can also lead to decision fatigue and stress as you strive to make the perfect selections.

Combat Strategy

To combat the overwhelming selection process, consider working with a seasoned designer or consultant who specializes in luxury kitchens. These experts can streamline your choices based on your preferences and needs, making the selection process more manageable.

A design-build firm brings even more value to your luxury kitchen remodel. Beyond simplifying the selection process, they offer a comprehensive approach, seamlessly blending the design and construction phases.

This means that as you make selections, you have a team ready to implement them efficiently and with a deep understanding of your project's vision. This synergy can result in not just time savings but also enhanced communication, as the design and construction aspects are coordinated under one roof, ensuring your dream kitchen becomes a reality with precision and excellence.

Additionally, creating a style board or vision board can also be incredibly helpful. This visual aid keeps you focused on your desired aesthetic and ensures your selections align with your overall design goals.

8. Project Timelines that Can Seem Challenging

luxury kitchen remodel with hardwood flooring professional appliances cabinets custom built

Luxury kitchen remodels often take longer than anticipated, sometimes disrupting your daily life for an extended period. Extended timelines can be challenging to manage, and it's essential to prepare for potential delays.

Combat Strategy

Set realistic expectations from the outset and consult with your contractor to establish a clear timeline and milestones for your project.

Consider temporary kitchen solutions, such as a microwave and portable cooktop, to make daily life more manageable during construction. Maintain patience and flexibility throughout the process, understanding that unforeseen issues can sometimes cause delays. Speaking of temporary solutions, plan an extended vacation or stay at a loved one’s home while construction occurs.

Effective communication with your contractor is key to managing expectations and staying informed about the project's progress. This way, you can better adapt to any changes in the timeline and ensure a successful and stress-free luxury kitchen remodel.

Next steps to remodeling your luxury kitchen

When you began this journey to remodel your kitchen into a luxurious culinary haven, you likely encountered numerous challenges. From budget concerns to design dilemmas, these hurdles may have sometimes seemed insurmountable.

Through this guide, we've delved into eight common challenges that often accompany luxury kitchen remodeling. We've offered insights and strategies to tackle each obstacle with confidence. By leveraging our expertise, you can transform these hurdles into stepping stones toward your dream kitchen.

At Custom Built, we understand that crafting luxurious kitchens isn't just about overcoming challenges; it's about delivering an exceptional experience. With over 15 years of experience, we've honed our skills to make your remodeling journey as smooth as possible.

We're here to guide you through the intricacies of your project, ensuring that your vision becomes a reality.

luxury kitchen remodel custom built design and remodeling lansing michigan

Now that you know how to prepare for and respond to any potential problems during your luxury kitchen remodel, let’s explore how Custom Built will approach your project and how much it’ll cost:

Dianna Corsi

Dianna Corsi is a highly experienced professional with over 14 years in the remodeling industry. She has lived in the Greater Lansing area for the last 3 decades and currently resides in Okemos. Dianna specializes in kitchen and bath projects, and currently holds the roles of Project Advisor and Cabinet Specialist with Custom Built Design & Remodeling. With her extensive knowledge of the remodeling industry, she is able to provide her clients with high-quality services that enhance their experience.