5 Common Home Renovation Errors to Avoid

Planning for renovations can be a lot of fun, insomuch as you’ll enjoy choosing new countertops and carpeting and imaging how your remodeled spaces will look by the time you’re done. But there’s a lot more to the process than merely selecting finishes and snapping your fingers. And many inexperienced homeowners are prone to making mistakes when they opt to renovate. Here are just a few common errors that can be easily avoided.

  1. Starting without a budget. If the plumbing in your home explodes or your stove catches on fire, you have little choice but to pay the piper to get your house back in working order. But when you plan a home renovation project, whether you’re updating your master bath, installing a gourmet kitchen, or building an addition so you can get the extra bedrooms your growing family needs, you can certainly calculate costs and find ways to save. So it’s definitely in your best interest to set a budget so that you have some parameters for spending. This will give you incentive to track expenses and ensure that you don’t end up over your head with the work only partially completed.
  2. Failing to comparison shop. When it comes to hiring a contractor for your home renovation, it’s not wise to simply go with the first vendor you find. You should get referrals from trusted family members and friends, for starters. But even then you’ll want to consult with several contractors to get bids for your job. This will give you a range of prices to choose from and you should be able to find a contractor that is licensed and bonded, as well as reliable and trustworthy.
  3. Working without a contract. This is a major no-no, for both you and the contractor. You need to have a legal document in place that states your agreement so that if something goes wrong you can get your money back in court. Without a contract, you don’t have a legal leg to stand on.
  4. Not understanding costs. You need to know all of the costs for your project going in. That includes not only labor and materials, but also the costs associated with changing your mind. It’s not a bad idea to note in the contract whether or not you’ll pay more if the contractor exceeds his deadline. In other words, you need to make sure the cost for labor is fixed, regardless of how long the project takes (although likely you’ll have to renegotiate this point if you made changes in the middle of building). And you should know that your contractor will likely charge you for acquiring materials. Often, you’ll either pay for his time of he’ll charge you a “finder’s fee” that is a percentage of the cost of all materials purchased (say 10%). A smart consumer will ask about such costs up front, and you might want to find and arrange for delivery of materials on your own as a result.
  5. Going it alone. Whether you’re laying tile, choosing the best type of heater or AC unit to install, or attempting to move the plumbing, it may not be in your best interest to assume that you can do it just because other people have done it before. If you’re not a professional you don’t necessarily have the know-how and experience to do the job right, or at least to do it efficiently. And this can end up costing you more in the long run if you mess up and have to hire a pro to fix the damage anyway. In addition, professional contractors should be well aware of building codes, saving you from costly mistakes and ensuring that your renovations pass inspection.

Related posts:

  1. The Most Common Issues That Arise When Renovating a Historic Home
  2. How to Avoid Common House Painting Issues
  3. 5 Common Mattress Buying Mistakes to Avoid
  4. 5 New Home Construction Cost Estimation Tips
  5. Top 5 Home Remodeling Don’ts
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