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5 Common Remodeling Mistakes You Should Work Hard to Avoid



Kitchen in modern home with granite countertopsRemodeling a home is a great way to increase its resale value, and, of course, it can help you create a more attractive, more comfortable, and more functional home. But there aren’t many—if any—remodeling projects that you could classify as “easy”. Even if you find a great contractor to work with, you have a lot of work ahead of you, and for most homeowners, the project turns out to be much more difficult than originally imagined.

The most important thing to do is to plan ahead and to keep in mind that even the simplest projects will most likely have some unforeseen complications. Even if you’re just replacing a toilet, the project can become very complicated if, for example, you discover that your pipes have lead. There’s no way to guarantee that any remodeling project will run totally smoothly, but there are some mistakes that you can avoid to help keep your remodeling project on track.

1. Not Getting Proper Permits

There’s no that doubt that getting permits can be a huge headache. Permits often require inspections of your property, and you may even need to have an up-to-date site plan before you’ll be able to secure one.

But while all of that may feel like a headache now, these things can actually be a huge benefit to you in the long run. Making sure that your property passes all regulations is a great way to ensure that you don’t encounter any unexpected problems during the remodeling process.

Also, if any sort of accident occurs during the project, your insurance will not cover if you don’t have the proper permits.

2. Not Setting or Following a Realistic Budget

It’s very common for homeowners to underestimate the cost of renovations to their homes, and that can turn out to be a huge problem. Before you begin working at all, you should have your budget totally worked out, down to the cost of nails and screws. Remember that around 1/3 of the final costs of the project will be labor costs, and always give yourself some extra room.

About 30% of your budget should be kept aside for unexpected problems, which could otherwise completely derail your project.

3. Focusing Only on Aesthetics

Sure: you want your new renovations to look great. But it’s very important to not let the aesthetic appearance of the renovations completely overshadow the other goals you have for the project.

Homeowners typically have one thing in mind when they’re renovating their homes: resale value. And while aesthetics definitely have a huge effect on that, it’s important to also pay attention to the things that will really matter, including:

  • Electrical Wiring
  • Pipes and Drains
  • Structural Damage

Make sure that you keep the functionality of any renovations in mind as well. A great looking room is only as valuable as it is comfortable, functional, and well-built.

4. Not Considering Your Neighborhood

If your main goal for this remodeling project is a return on investment, it’s important to remember that your home’s resale value isn’t just determined by its square footage and all the great new renovations you’ve installed. Its resale value is limited by the area it’s in and the surrounding neighborhood. Spending upwards of $50-100,000 on great renovations may not give you the ROI you’re expecting if your neighborhood isn’t up to par.

Not Consulting With a Professional

Professional remodeling contractors can be your greatest resource of any kind of remodeling project. They’ll be able to give you great advice when you’re planning the remodeling project, setting your budget, coming up with designs, and more. A great contractor can guarantee that your remodeling project will be a huge success.

Of course, you shouldn’t just use the first remodeling contractor you find. You’ll want to make sure you’re working with a licensed professional you know you can trust with this job. There’s nothing wrong with taking a recommendation from a friend or neighbor, but don’t neglect to ask for references, and don’t be afraid to call their older clients to ask about any problems they had with the contractor, and how the contractor handled them.