Common Home Renovation Mistakes
Are you renovating your home? Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, make sure you do it right the first time. Home projects can take a big bite out of your budget and your time if it’s not done correctly. Here are the most common home renovations mistakes to avoid:
Setting an unrealistic budget.
Renovations invariably cost more than expected. Build in an extra 20% to your budget to be better
prepared for any surprises.
Not complementing the original architectural style.
Additions don’t need to be the same style as the original structure. However, they do need to complement it to help with resale value and to look and feel great while you’re living in them.
Sacrificing function for form
Think about how you’ll actually live in the space. That affects such details as door, window and outlet placement. It can also determine traffic patterns throughout the home.
Ignoring Your Gut
On that note, do your homework and interview multiple contractors and other pros as you assemble the team. They may have good working relationships with people they can recommend to you, but stresses that you should meet contractors in person and talk to at least three to five people before committing.
“Every meeting is going to be an education; you’ll learn about the project and yourself,” . “But listen to your gut!” If you feel like that initial meeting seemed overly rushed, or that they were rude or condescending, those feelings are only going to multiply during a renovation. Move on
Communication is key: With your workforce, between the team—and with your partner, too. “The project can become a kind of blank canvas for any issues that exist in the relationship,” . “Go in with your eyes wide open!”
If you have a strong rapport with your contractor, that person can help you and your partner work through any disagreements, that you shouldn’t have side conversations without each other. It’s also important to establish with your contractor how best to communicate. “Whether it’s by text, phone, or an email once a week, you want to know how to reach them once the work gets under way,”
Waiting too long to consult a general contractor
Ask a contractor to look at plans in the schematic stage, rather than at detailed finished plans. “This way you can find out if your project is in the right budget ballpark before falling in love with a plan—and paying for a complete set of biddable drawings. It’s also a good way to meet potential contractors, get their input, and not misuse their time.”
Making too many changes along the way
Changes that seem simple to you may require a lot of work on the back end, so be sure you check with your designer or builder on even slight adjustments. “Even moving a light switch a few feet can cost $1,500,”
Not setting up a timeline
Work with your contractor to put together a list of items that need to be purchased and deadlines for making decisions. The last thing you want is to feel under the gun to make an important fixture selection you’ll later regret.
Spending Too Much Money on Unnecessary Things
If you’re on a limited budget, you may want to forgo investing in some of the items that can really add up: This includes such luxuries in a bathroom renovation such as heated towel racks, self-flushing toilet and other fancy fixtures, or a kitchen renovation with high-end appliances. Consider what you really need and what you can live out, and look for the alternatives.
Not anticipating roadblocks
Unfortunately, renovations rarely go according to plan. The last thing that anyone wants is to hit an unanticipated setback in the middle of a project, but it’s not uncommon. The best thing that you can do is make sure that you’re ready for the unexpected before your renovation even begins.
You can do this by padding your budget and timeline from the start. Conventional wisdom states that you should leave around 10 percent to 15 percent extra in the budget for incidentals, or these unexpected costs. Similarly, though your contractor will work up the official project timeline, make a mental note to pad it by at least two weeks to account for any issues that may delay the work slightly.
Do you have experience with renovation mistakes? Do you have any tips that we missed?