If you are planning to renovate your home soon, you probably have mixed emotions. You are excited about the prospect of improving the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your home. But you might also feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the project, thinking about the cost and what could go wrong.
While you look forward to the beautiful home you will have once the renovation is complete, you wonder how you will handle the possibility of mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars and cause delays and a lot of inconvenience. Are there ways to avoid mistakes that could put a damper on the entire renovation process?
Despite how ambitious this home improvement project can be, there are steps you can take to prevent mistakes from happening. We recommend you avoid these upcoming mistakes so you can reap the benefits of staying within your budget and finishing your home renovation project on time.
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16 Mistakes to Avoid During Home Renovation Projects
1. Unrealistic Expectations
Approach your home renovation project knowing that it will take a certain number of weeks or even months based on your specific improvement plans. Allow for some cushion within the timeframe for completion, as it is likely there will be some adjustments that will need to be made.
In order to prepare yourself for a realistic amount of time for your renovation project, begin doing research into timelines and budgets at the start of your home improvement project. Inquire with your home remodeling contractor about pricing and wait times for permits, as well as other construction services. You may run into some remodeling firms that are booked out for many months. That is often a good sign they are good at their jobs and sought after.
2. Neglecting to Obtain a Permit for your Home Remodel Project
Permits are a fact of life when it comes to home renovation projects. Refusing to secure a permit to save time and money will inevitably cause you major problems, as well as delays.
For example, if you don’t have a permit, local authorities might not allow you to go forward with your home renovation project. They could even order you to stop the project for safety reasons.
3. Approving the First Contractor You Come Across
We encourage you to thoroughly investigate or vet contractors and their teams. You should devote ample time to really make sure the contractor you anticipate hiring is competent and detail-oriented, for example. Put questions together to pose to various contractors and designers and take careful notes.
Make sure contractors are licensed, bonded, and insured. Ask if they have experience with projects like yours. Find out how long they have been in business.
4. Establishing an Unrealistic Budget
Home renovation projects commonly end up costing more than you might first realize. Don’t short-change the integrity of your project in an effort to save money. Plan to achieve your wildest dreams when it comes to what you wish to accomplish with your home renovation project.
You don’t want to later have regrets about what you might have done if you had not skimped on an important aspect of your home remodeling. That is why you want to set a realistic budget that accommodates your plans in full. In fact, build in a 20-percent cushion into your budget to allow for things that might go wrong, such as finding electrical wiring or plumbing problems during the course of your project.
5. Not Considering Personality of Your Contractor
It is one thing to make sure your contractor possesses all of the professional qualifications. That is important. But what should not be overlooked is the contractor’s personality.
You want to make sure the contracting firm shares your vision for the planned-for outcome of your home improvement project. Even assessing their listening skills is helpful. After all, you want to be operating on the same page as the contractor in order to minimize the chances of mistakes and oversights taking place.
The more you click with your contractor, the greater the chances for success and satisfaction with your home renovation project.
6. Overestimating Your DIY Skills
It is understandable to want to rely on your DIY skills to take on as much as possible of a home remodel project. This could save you time and money. But you also don’t want to overestimate your DIY skills to the extent you set back the progress of your home renovation project, or make mistakes that cost you more money.
7. Selecting Cheap/Substandard Materials
Although you may be tempted to take risky measures in an effort to save money, you also do not want to compromise on the quality of materials for your home renovation. Quality does cost a certain amount and you shouldn’t cut corners on obtaining important products when it could negatively impact your project.
You should feel comfortable to invest in good, solid materials that will hold up over many years. Keep in mind that your home remodeling project results, especially in heavily used areas like the kitchen and bathroom, need to hold up well over time.
8. Neglecting to Complement the Original Architectural Style of Your Home
While your additions don’t have to be the same style as your original structure, they should complement it. This will increase your resale value. You will also appreciate the aesthetic harmony it creates.
9. Focusing Too Much on Aesthetics
You want to emphasize function over form. Don’t exclusively immerse yourself in choosing all of your aesthetic elements before you address the function of your living spaces. This is especially important when making design choices for rooms that will be used frequently such as the kitchen and bathrooms.
10. Not Adequately Planning for Space
Space planning is integral to a successful home renovation project, as it helps to define your room and furniture layout. You want to gain optimal benefit from your new space.
The correct spacing could apply to various elements in your kitchen or living room, for example.
11. Trendy Taking Over Timeless with Your Home Remodel
The natural inclination during a home remodel is to capture the latest trends – what is in vogue – when it comes to furniture styles, wall colors, and floor patterns, for example. It makes sense that you want your home to reflect what is popular in the world of interior design.
But you want to also be sure that the elements you select will be timeless, or hold up well over time. For example, will you be as pleased with your selections five or 10 years from now. There are certain elements that should be timeless more than others. So, while furniture and wall colors can represent the latest fads in styles, larger items such as your kitchen cabinets and other hard surfaces should be composed of products that will remain in style for years to come.
12. Ignoring Lighting
The lighting component of a home remodel is too often disregarded in favor of other elements. But the lighting is a vital piece of the renovation process. Lighting affects every detail of a room, from the distinct colors and shades in your fittings and fixtures to the perception of size and space.
Lighting completely sets the tone for the atmosphere of a home. It has the power to give an overall vibe of a particular space. With the right approach, along with the knowledge of interior lighting, your living spaces can gain significant aesthetic appeal.
13. Ignoring Workflow
This is especially important in your kitchen. Think about the “work triangle” that marks the area between the refrigerator, sink and stove which allows you to enjoy the functionality of your new design. It also enables you to efficiently use the space.
14. Updating the Wrong Things
For any renovation project, the goal is to add long-term value to your home. For example, it might not be the wisest move to install a pricey wall treatment but then be frugal on the flooring.
15. Narrow Doorways and Halls
Make sure that your renovation plans call for doorways and halls that provide adequate space, or are wide enough, for appliances and furniture to pass through.
16. Not Planning for Aging in Place
Plan for the future, we are all aging and staying in your own home is not only preferable for most Americans but it also is a LOT less expensive. When remodeling be sure to include planning for barrier free designs, minimize transitions and wide doors and hall.