Avoidable renovation mistakes.

Avoidable renovation mistakes.

August 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm / by

Thinking about remodeling? Reality bites hard if you cut corners, from not enough planning and under-prepping to setting unrealistically wishfully low budgets and using undocumented labor. From choosing finishes that are out of sync with your pocketbook or home’s look and feel to making snap decisions just to keep things moving. Here are 5 common renovation mishaps and misconceptions homeowners wish they could do over!  Plan ahead, keep it real, and avoid the dreaded money pit!

1. Selecting crummy materials to save a buck: One of the biggest mistakes is going cheap when you choose materials. You get what you pay for. For instance, one homeowner bought a cheap bathroom light fixture that looked like chrome until it peeled off.

2. Ignoring lighting: Task, general, and accent lighting really improve the end design. Also, think longevity by considering the latest recessed LED lighting. It’s more expensive in the short term, but lasts over a decade and uses up to 85% less energy.

3. Failing to anticipate disruption: Get real and ready for the remodel to take over your world. It takes longer than you think. We lived in the garage behind a zippered wall of plastic for several months, with a hot plate, blow up bed, and washer dryer within throwing distance. And we survived! Moving out during the remodel might have been a bit more comfortable, to be honest. Once the renovation is complete though, almost like having a baby, it’s so worth the effort!

4. Avoiding permits, codes, and regulations: Get work done without a permit, hire undocumented and unskilled workers, or employ unlicensed contractors and your setting yourself up for serious consequences you don’t even want to know about. But you should. It’s not pretty. Listen to that little inner voice! We always pass code during inspections.

5. Setting an unrealistic budget: Everyone underestimates the cost of a big renovation, especially for labor. They think that playing hardball with the contractor will get them more for less. The cost of materials and labor are what they are. You want a conscientious contractor who pencils out a realistic budget. You can always cut back on the project, but not where it counts! Be sure to pad for unforeseen issues “behind the walls” and possible upgrades that are most cost effective during a remodel, not after. And always, always look for a contractor who provides more detail than you seem to need, and keeps you apprised of changes and change orders throughout the renovation.




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