10 Common Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

10 Common Remodeling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Knowledgeable Tips For A Successful Fix

Most people underestimate the process of a home renovation; they get impatient to start remodeling. Eager to see the end result, they hastily jump into the project and make major mistakes, like picking the cheapest contractor or hiring someone who isn’t specifically knowledgeable for the work you need. In addition, some homeowners try to save money by overseeing the task themselves. 

Other homeowner’s just fear undertaking remodeling projects and worry about the hassle and mess, while others are concerned about how much their home value may increase due to the remodel.

Regardless, in order for you to proceed with confidence and get the results you are looking for in your home remodel, check out these 10 tips to help you avoid some major remodeling mistakes.

Avoid These 10 Common Remodeling Mistakes 

  • Ignoring Local Building Codes – Building codes vary locally, and while most routine maintenance do not require permits, remodeling changes most often do.
  • Failing To Make Realistic A Budget – Remodeling costs are always more than you initially expect, especially if something goes wrong. Presume to spend 10% to 15% above that amount. If you can’t afford the higher and more realistic price, scale down the work, downgrade the materials or keep saving.
  • High Expectations Over Resale Value – If selling is your main reason to remodel, fix maintenance problems before you remodel. You’ll recoup more of your costs if you keep your project in line with what is the standard for your neighborhood. Resist the temptation to over improve.
  • Not Knowing Your DIY Capacities – The biggest mistake that even expert remodelers make is overestimating their DIY abilities. Be realistic about your knowledge, ability and time constraints. In addition, some homeowners try to take over acting as general contractor to save money. Know your strengths and know where and when you should hire a professional to step in and help.
  • Selecting Your Contractor Based On Price – Many homeowners view price as the main reason in making decisions and assume that everyone will provide the same value, level of service, turnaround time and the same set of specifications. As with most other goods and services, there are many benefits in paying a little more for a reputable contractor rather than compromising quality and honesty.
  • Thinking You Can Be The Designer – Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how many YouTube videos or episodes of “Design On A Dime” you’ve seen, most homeowners are simply not professionals. If you want your remodeling project to look polished and professional, you will need to hire professionals such a designer as well as an architect and general contractor to get the job done right from start to finish.
  • Failing To Check Your Contractor – Knowing exactly whom you’re hiring for which job could entail checking up on their reputation, past experiences or ask for references and call on them. You should also verify the contractor’s license, insurance and bonding through your state contractors’ licensing board.
  • Starting Work Without A Contract And A Plan – Prior to starting out any home remodeling or maintenance project, you should always have a clear plan in mind and if you decide to hire a designer, contractor, architect or all of the above, be sure to also have a contract. It should thoroughly describe the scope of work, the materials to be used, cleanup and debris removal, the total price and the payment schedule. You should also develop a plan for the order in which the work will be done, especially on larger jobs.
  • Choosing the wrong type of contractor – Don’t take a chance on getting ripped off and having to hire a new contractor two-thirds of the way through a substandard job because the guy you thought was a licensed electrician is really a just carpenter. Do your homework and always check your contractor before hiring!
  • Giving a contractor a large sum up front – If a contractor asks you to write a check for 10% or more of a project, up-front, before any work has been completed, don’t do it. In California, contractors can only ask for up to 10% of the contract or $1,000, whichever is less, unless they have a blanket performance and payment bond on file with the licensing board. Be cautious if a contractor asks you to pay more than this amount up-front and Check with your state’s contractors’ licensing board for rules about the maximum deposit a contractor can ask for.

Before you dive into a home remodeling project it’s always a good idea to do your research and to hire a contractor and designer with a reputation for excellence. Always ask to see a portfolio to prove your chosen contractor can get the job done right. 

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