Of course it’s easy to be careless. It’s easy to overlook the details, to be too trusting, to only hire the cheapest contractors. It’s easy, but it’s also a sure-fire way to waste your money, your home’s value, and your family’s comfort. When it comes to home renovations, it’s important that you take your time and be both alert and cautious. With a little effort, you can avoid the common remodeling mistakes that lead to future regret.
Common Remodeling Mistakes
Let’s start with the planning phase. When you start imagining the changes you would like to make to your home, be sure that your intentions are good. Ask yourself why you’re choosing to spend this money and what the effect will be. Will it increase space? Will it promote organization, efficiency, comfort, or style? Will it add value to the home? As you consider your reasoning, beware of any weaknesses in your thought process. Ask yourself: are you craving this remodel only because your friend Bob just did it to his house? Are you simply following a trend? This is one of our most common remodeling mistakes because it’s such an easy trap to fall into. Remember that your home doesn’t need to be trendy or have the same features as your friends’ houses. It only needs to be perfect for you.
Next, remember to do your homework. Use the Internet or your local library and get all the information you can about the construction work you’re planning, the products you will be using, and (if you plan to hire someone for the job) the local contractors available. If you wait until the last minute, you might be tempted to choose the cheapest route or trust the opinions of salespeople. Study the pros and cons, read online reviews, and remember to consider the strength and longevity of your products. You’re probably investing a lot of money in this, so be smart about it. If a charismatic salesman or seemingly knowledgeable contractor tries to change your mind about something, don’t say yes straightaway. Always research it first. And when it comes to hiring a contractor, realize that the cheapest contractors are rarely the best. Ask your friends and scour online reviews, looking not for the lowest price but for high levels of customer satisfaction (a true indicator of a hard-working, reliable, and talented contractor). With research, you can determine a fair price for the work.
Once you’re ready to start the project, keep a careful watch on your costs and timeline. Projects frequently go slightly over budget or take longer than expected. Beforehand, you need to give yourself some leeway. Don’t plan a big party for the day after your renovation is set to be complete, and don’t use all of your savings to pay for this one project, no matter how desirable it is. You should always have a little wiggle room.
That rule brings to mind another of our common remodeling mistakes: forgetting to measure. Never make a guess when it comes to measurements. You should keep measuring tape handy and use it constantly, checking the dimensions of products, spaces within the room, and doorways. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about people buying a product only to realize it won’t fit through the doorway. It’s an easy (and embarrassing) mistake, but it’s also very easy to avoid.
Finally, if you hire a contractor to complete the job, keep the lines of communication open. Check that the project is being completed to your level of satisfaction, but beware of hovering. And if you’ve decided to take on the project personally, just be honest with yourself. You know your own skill levels and you should know when you’ve gotten in over your head. Don’t be afraid to call for back-up.
Is your homework ready? Got that measuring tape in your back pocket? Fantastic! Of course there are many other things that could go wrong (there always are), but by avoiding these common remodeling mistakes, you’ll save yourself from some of the most frustrating and frequent renovation dilemmas. Keep following our blog for even more remodeling tips and tricks.
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