Home renovation projects are exciting — you’re finally going to get rid of that hideous pink bathroom tile and remove the outdated wood paneling in your family room. But before you get ahead of yourself, take a step back. We see far too many over-eager home owners make some major mistakes when they start home renovation projects.
Whether you’re going to complete the renovation project yourself or plan to hire a professional contractor, it’s important to take the time to plan and consider all aspects of the project. Hiring the first contractor you speak with and cutting corners to get the job done faster is going to leave you feeling disappointed with the final results.
Read on for the top mistakes we see when homeowners embark on renovation projects and how you can avoid them.
UNDERESTIMATING YOUR BUDGET
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is underestimating their budget. For example, if you’re planning a bathroom renovation, you can’t just assume that the expenses will be limited to new fixtures, tile and flooring.
When you or your contractor remove the existing vanity, you may find mold. Removing the flooring may reveal a damp spot in the underlying floorboards. There are a number of issues that can surface during a renovation project. Resolving these underlying issues is crucial to the structural integrity and safety of your home, but if you haven’t left any room in the budget for them, they can get expensive.
After you have an idea of how much your project is going to cost, we recommend you add an additional 20-30% (perhaps more for older homes) to allow for issues that may arise throughout the project. This padding in your budget will keep the project stress free and allow you to do the job correctly without cutting corners.
BEING TOO FASHIONABLE
You’re known among your friends as a trendsetter, and you want your house to be modern and fashionable, too. We believe there’s a right and a wrong way to bring trends into your home. When you pick the most modern cabinets, flooring and countertop surface for your kitchen, you’re picking a very specific style for expensive features.
Yes, these fixtures can be replaced if the style changes, but it’s going to cost you (not to mention it’s another renovation). We recommend picking more classic styles for the expensive elements of a remodel. In a kitchen, these elements include:
You can bring the trendy elements into the renovation project with smaller elements that are cheaper and easier to change — lighting, paint color and décor. Remember the trendier your renovation is, the quicker it will go out of style. This can actually lower the value of your home if you try to sell in the years following the renovation.
FAILING TO PLAN AND PREPARE
The renovation project is exciting, and you just want to get it done so that you can enjoy your new space. But rushing into a project can come back to haunt you. Have you heard the saying measure twice, cut once? It’s true.
Even if a measurement is only half an inch off, it can derail your project. Inaccurate measurements mean that you waste materials and time. Accuracy is key — and it requires patience and planning.
You also don’t want to skip any prep work for your project. Prep work includes sanding, cleaning, priming, cleaning, etc. Prep tasks are generally tedious, but they help ensure the project stays on tracks and optimizes the results.
SPENDING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE ON MATERIALS
When it comes to home renovations, you want to be an informed shopper when you look for materials. Generally, you don’t want to buy the cheapest materials for a project. But there’s often no need to buy the most expensive, top-of-the-line products either. If you like a $200 faucet, is a $600 designer faucet really going to make you happier?
Find the middle ground and don’t make the mistake of only focusing on appearances. While spending $1,000 to properly fix a plumbing issue isn’t glamorous, it’s necessary and will save you a huge headache down the road. Plumbing and electrical work is an area where you shouldn’t skimp and buy cheap materials. Repairing something cheaply or incorrectly could just lead to more costly repairs later.
NOT RESEARCHING YOUR CONTRACTOR
It’s not advised to talk to one contractor and hire them right off the bat. You want to take the time to talk to at least two or three different companies to ensure you find the right fit for your project. Ask for references and check out their previous work. You want to make sure that they’ve completed jobs similar to yours before.
We also advise against picking a contractor simply because they provide the cheapest quote. While you may pay more with a different contractor, you’re probably paying for more experience — and that’s priceless.
It’s important to know when to hire a contractor, too. While you may have had the intention to complete your home renovation project yourself, it’s important to know when you’re in over your head.
Even if you plan to do the renovation yourself, it’s a good idea to discuss the project with a contractor beforehand. This way, you know exactly who to call if something goes wrong, or if you uncover a structural issue that needs a professional.
Elite Custom Builders | Residential Contractor | Bridgeport, WV | Surrounding Areas
Elite Custom Builders bring more than 70 years of combined experience to the table. We stand behind the quality of our work and stand behind our name.
If you’re considering a home renovation project and don’t know where to start, or want to consult with a professional before you begin, get in touch.