I watched a kitchen remodel go wrong. I was around 12 and my parents were re-doing the kitchen. Things were going well until the appliances came. And even after the stainless steel behemoths were in place, everything appeared perfect. The excitement over having a new kitchen (not a dilapidated hold over from the 70s) was enough to overshadow the fact that some of the contractors had not followed the old carpenter adage of 'measure twice, cut once.'
Photo Credit: This Old House
Almost a week later the kitchen cabinet buckled up into a strange little bubble shape next to the stove. The Formica had been the first to visibly suffer the effects of a stove that was too large for the space. And needless to say, the excitement over the new kitchen was beginning to wane. There were parties in the house disgruntled enough as well that one morning I woke up to make oatmeal and found a nail driven clean through the Formica bubble to the wood below. You can imagine the frustration, having spent a lot of money to remodel, and having it turn even a little bit sour could be enough to break any homeowner's spirit.
The important lesson to take away from the experience is that no matter how good your contractor is, or how much you trust him or her, do your due diligence as a homeowner. Make the effort to double check everything you're able to and even if you think you know the answer, ask the question anyways. You'll be glad you did when your remodel is done right the first time.