Home remodeling is one of the goals most of us aim for at one time or another. Changing the layout of a room, making it more spacious, renewing it entirely or adding extra rooms to a house are all great things that can change your daily life. Of course, these are things that can’t be achieved overnight. A proper remodel takes a lot of time, planning and, yes, money – with emphasis in planning.
Not thinking things through when considering a remodel can be disastrous for the whole project, making it more expensive and wasting more of your time. There are tons of mistakes to avoid in a remodel but here are 5 colossal ones that can give you a headache and empty your pockets.
1 – Cheaping out
It’s strange to even suggest this because we naturally tend to go for cheaper prices, especially when on a budget. But doing so could end up costing you a lot more money in the end, even if you don’t realize it when the remodeling is done. Buying the cheapest materials or going with the lowest contractor bid for the remodel could lead to a poor job that needs to be retouched sooner rather than later. Cheap looks cheap and works as such. So, if you really want a remodel to last, spend a little more now and save money tomorrow.
2 – Getting just one bid
Getting at least three bids is important for a number of reasons. First of all, you’ll be able to study which one fits your budget the most and decide accordingly (just remember the first item on this list!). Next, you’ll be able to estimate an average on your remodel cost and have your first realistic approach as to how much are you going to spend. Finally, getting a bid is a perfect time to get to know the contractor and see how things work out (you’ll want a person with which you can see eye to eye, that understands your needs and it’s efficient). What happens if you don’t get more than one bid? You might end up overpaying for your remodel or worst, stuck with a contractor that isn’t what you expect.
3 – Being stubborn about your remodel
Look, we know that it’s your home, your remodel and your money but sometimes things don’t work out exactly as you’ve imagined. You’ll have to keep an open mind when planning a remodel because many times you’ll have to change your expectations the more you move ahead with the project. Case in point – what happen if you imagine a specific remodel for your kitchen but bids prove that you can’t afford it? Drop it entirely? You don’t want that! There are ways to make the remodel work. What about the contractor’s input on your design? These professionals can give you the insights you only gain with years of experience, so you’d better listen to what they have to say. Denying their suggestions upfront could turn your dream remodel into a nightmare.
4 – Not having a contingency fund
If you have already remodel anything in your home, then you know this to be painfully true – you’ll come across unexpected problems. You’ll find that there’s something to be fixed before moving forward, a hidden something that will have to be removed or a little detail that needs to be corrected. Hey, don’t blame the contractor, when remodeling almost always there are adjustments to be made on the go.
Of course, all of these mean you’ll have to spend more money than you’ve expected. And if you had a tight budget that didn’t contemplate this kind of scenarios, then you’re in for trouble – you might have to stop your remodel until you get the money or move ahead and leave things unfinished. The solution is simple – always have a contingency fund to pay for these unexpected adjustments. Don’t want to do it? Ask someone who already had a remodel if he needed to pay something extra while at it and you’ll see.
5 – Ignoring the details
You might have the plans, the materials, the contractor and the permits but there are other things you might be missing – and you may not even know it! Home remodeling takes lots of little details and costs that add up and can break your budget. Things like sales taxes, delivery and shipping charges, interests, permit, sewer and water fees – you get the picture. Individually, they look minor and can easily overlooked. However, when all of they start to appear, they can end up costing you up to thousands of dollars you overlooked because how tiny they looked.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of mistakes but following it will make your remodeling experience less traumatic and more organized. Remember, when thinking about a remodel most people think only about the end result and are later horrified by how stressful the process can be. Don’t let that happen to you! Plan ahead, consider all the possible scenarios and be prepared for the unexpected – you’re in for quite a ride!
Posted July 22, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.