/ Budget & Planning

Be Ready for Constant Challenges

A fire-damaged garage

Damaged by fire, this garage was being used to store the carpenters' supplies during a kitchen remodel. One of the construction crew members left chemical-soaked rags in the garage over the weekend; the rags spontaneously combusted, causing the fire.

The general rule of kitchen remodeling is to expect Murphy's Law to be in full effect. Everything that has a chance to go wrong can go wrong, even things outside of the kitchen. For example, take this remodeling horror story:


During Steve and Binnie Sweet's 2008 kitchen remodel, it didn't take long before an unexpected problem arose in an unexpected place: their garage. "Everything was going well and on schedule," wrote Binnie. Then she found a frightening problem. "On Saturday, we came home from dinner at around 7:30, opened the garage door, and were greeted by a cloud of black smoke. Yes, we had a fire in the garage."


Binnie went on to write the fire was caused from chemical-soaked rags that carpenters were storing in the garage. The rags spontaneously combusted; Murphy's Law smirked. Luckily no one was hurt, and while there was plenty of damage done to the garage and the items that were being stored in there (including the Sweets' new dishwasher), everything was fixable and the fire didn't spread to other rooms.


Garage fires aside, here are some other potential problems you should brace yourself for:

  • Products delivered late, dented or with missing parts

  • The wrong products delivered

  • Miscommunication

  • More dust than you expected

  • Termites or carpenter ants in the walls, floor, or windows

  • Mold or moisture in the walls from leaky plumbing or poor flashing

  • Structural problems that need to be repaired

  • Asbestos or lead paint removal