Lifestyle: 4 Common Home Remodeling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Home Remodeling
Home Remodeling with couple standing in foreground Image from

Home remodelling is a huge undertaking that is fraught with potential mistakes, especially for first-timers. Check out these common home remodelling mistakes to avoid the biggest remodelling mishaps and save money. You can do it on your own or hire professionals to help you whenever you embark on this daunting yet potentially rewarding exercise.

1. Timing and budgetary mistakes

Most homeowners have no idea about construction costs which leaves them grossly underestimating how much the project will cost and how long it will take to complete. This then leads to high stress levels that may be accompanied by a sense of failure.

Plan for the unexpected in as much as one can plan for it. Experts advise setting aside at least 15% of the total project cost for unforeseen expenses. Your plan should have wiggle room and not be too tight. Some people in the name of fiscal discipline make tight budgets and also focus on being as frugal as they can get away with. Don’t be too caught up in penny-pinching at the expense of quality. Don’t make the mistake of compromising on quality to save costs especially when it comes to the invisible things that are not seen such as piping. It’s not worth the risk.

A common remodelling mistake is paying the contractor a large sum upfront. Develop a detailed payment schedule that you agree on and stick to corresponding to the completed phases of the project. Leave the final 10% to be paid at the end of the project once you have confirmed that the work has been completed to your satisfaction.

2. Contractor or designer-related mistakes

Another common remodelling mistake is hiring the lowest-priced contractor or the first one you talk to. The lowest bid is rarely indicative of experience and the potential to provide quality service. Contractors who price far lower than market rates have been known to engage in underhanded practices like tacking things or cutting corners.

Don’t just settle for the first contractor you speak to. Take your time. Get several bids. Check the references of the ones you’re considering.

A contractor or designer could have glowing references but that does not make them a good fit for you. A common mistake by homeowners is hiring someone that is not a good fit for them personally. You want someone who is a good listener, who asks a lot of questions about what you want, about how you live, about your desires, and what’s important to you, someone who has the same aesthetic and priorities. The wrong contractor could lead to a much bigger headache in the long run.

If you’re doing the remodelling yourself, don’t make the mistake of not consulting a general contractor early on. Have one look at your plans and advice so that you find out right at the beginning of your project is in the right ball-pack and works for your space.

A fairly common mistake related to not consulting professional help is not knowing your DIY limits and over-estimating your abilities. This one is common for both rookies and veteran remodelers. Yes, doing it yourself will save you money, but there’s only so much you can do. There are things outside your skillset and things you perhaps can’t devote as much time as they need to as you juggle work, a family, and the rest of living. You may even need someone else to manage the project for you.

3. Rushing into the project

Home remodelling is likely to be a costly, time-consuming undertaking depending on the scope of the project. Take your time to plan and detail what exactly it is you’re setting out to do. Design and develop a plan and revise it leaving room to accommodate unforeseen events.

Find out if you need any permits. Most routine indoor maintenance projects don’t require permits but outdoor work and things like plumbing modifications may require permits. Failure to get said permits before beginning the project could result in fines, delays, and even difficulty selling your house.

Hire an architect, a designer, or a contractor early enough so that you can plan and get it on paper. Changes made during the construction process are costly.

4. Being too trendy

The pressure to keep up with the present trends is understandable. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in it. Trends are short-lived and your entire project should not be based on something so ephemeral. Don’t choose aesthetics over function. Think about how you currently use the space and what you wish was different to make your life easier or better then consider possible changes without being too caught up on how it will look in the eyes of other people.

Plan early in advance, do your research when it comes to contractors, know the limits of your abilities, focus on function, not aesthetics, and expect the unexpected when it comes to the cost of the remodelling and the time it will take. Happy home remodelling.

If you’re remodelling in order to sell the house, check out: 5 tips for putting your house up for sale. Also check out 7 Ways To Protect Your Home From Water Damage.

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