Every remodel, no matter the scope or space, will encounter hiccups along the way. Here are the top ten remodeling mistakes to avoid before you move forward with construction to help your remodeling experience and outcome run efficiently.
WHAT ARE THE TOP REMODELING MISTAKES HOMEOWNERS MAKE?
1. SKIMPING ON RESEARCH
Most people do research before making a purchase, and choosing a remodeling partner requires extensive research. Many homeowners fail to thoroughly research their options before choosing a remodeling team, and this often leads to disappointment down the line.
When beginning your search for a remodeling partner, start by looking at reviews – and read them thoroughly. Check to see what other past clients are saying about firms you look up on Google, Houzz, or GuildQuality. Do they have many reviews? Are they recent?
You aren’t looking for only 5-star reviews, but the majority of them should be at least 4 stars. The comment section of a review is a great place to see a company’s strengths and even weaknesses, as well as how the firm responded.
2. FAILING TO BUDGET ACCURATELY
Overspending is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make when remodeling, and it can quickly ruin a remodel. Failing to account for unexpected expenses or selecting materials without considering the budget are common pitfalls. Setting a realistic budget for yourself and sticking to it is critical.
Research online what your remodel will likely cost, be aware of what factors increase the cost of a remodel, and talk with reputable industry professionals who will provide honest insight into your project. You need to be comfortable with the investment you’re making into your home.
You also need to make sure the team you partner with has a clear, accurate budgeting process that will help both you and your team adhere to the cost agreed upon for your specific project. Ask how project costs are broken down and how their team plans to keep you informed on any cost adjustments down the line.
3. PRIORITIZING COST OVER QUALITY
It’s a bad idea to automatically commit to the cheapest quote you receive without considering the quality of the experience and work you may be signing up for. A lowball estimate could mean a couple of things:
- The contractor may not have much experience with your type of remodel
- The contractor may be planning to cut corners on your project
- The contractor may not be utilizing skilled workers to build your project
All three of these scenarios will cause more headaches for you down the line and will likely cost more to fix. If you do your research ahead of time, you should be able to avoid major headaches with bad contractors before you even sign a contract.
4. FAILING TO COMMUNICATE
Successful remodels happen when communication between a homeowner and their remodeling team is an active, two-way street. Homeowners often fail to clearly articulate their expectations to their remodeling team, which results in misunderstandings and unsatisfactory outcomes. They also often fail to communicate with the other decision-makers involved in the project, such as the spouse of other family members. All throughout the duration of your remodeling journey, consistent communication with all parties involved is crucial.
5. RUSHING THROUGH PLANNING & CONSTRUCTION
One of the biggest remodeling mistakes made by homeowners is rushing into a remodel without thorough planning. Failing to consider essential factors such as design preferences, permits, budget, construction materials, and timelines can lead to costly delays. Take time to plan every element of your remodel ahead of time, consult with any professionals involved, and don’t start construction until you have all details fleshed out.
Whether you’re completing work on your own or having a contractor do it for you, rushing through construction is a bad idea. Project details fall through the cracks when you try to rush the process. Pressuring your remodeling team to compress your timeline could disrupt part of the project and lead to more issues down the line.
6. IGNORING EXPENSIVE ISSUES
There may be issues that arise during the planning or construction of your remodel. You should never ignore a problem just because it’s expensive- as ignoring it will likely cost you more down the line. While it’s never fun to pay for unexpected issues that pop up as a homeowner, it’s better to take care of them before they become even worse. Talk with your remodeling team when issues arise to walk through the best possible solutions.
7. CHANGING YOUR MIND OFTEN
It may not seem like a big issue, but changing your mind about materials or designs can lead to several negative consequences:
- Cost overruns will occur due to additional materials and additional labor.
- Your project timeline may be delayed, as work may need to be undone or replanned to accommodate changes.
- Indecisiveness will lead to emotional exhaustion and stress for you and your remodeling partners.
If you tend to be indecisive, we recommend partnering with a firm with design expertise to help you achieve a cohesive design, work through logistics if you change your mind, and provide support and encouragement during the remodel so you feel confident in your project.
8. NOT BUYING EXTRA MATERIAL
Investing in extra material for your remodel is important, even though it may seem unnecessary to purchase materials that may not be used by the end of your project. Purchase an additional 10-20% of the total materials needed to ensure you have enough material to complete your project even if some material arrives broken, is mistakenly cut, or needs to be replaced in the future. This is especially important if you are installing flooring or tile. If you need to order more material down the line, the product may be discontinued or different in variation compared to the original product you ordered.
9. ONLY CONSIDERING TRENDY OPTIONS
While design trends are worth considering and even implementing if you love them enough, only considering trendy options will likely render a design that won’t stand the test of time. This could prove problematic if you are planning for resale value in the future. Experienced interior designers can help you implement your favorite trends into a timeless design that you (and others) will love for years down the line.
10. DIY’ING BEYOND YOUR ABILITIES
Everyone has their own level of design and construction experience. While you may be able to tackle some elements of your remodel yourself, taking on complex projects beyond your skill level can lead to disastrous results. Plumbing and electrical work, as well as structural modifications to your home, require trade experts to complete the work properly. Attempting this work without the proper experience can put your personal safety and the safety of your home’s integrity at risk. Know your limits and hire professionals when needed.
Now that you’re aware of the top remodeling pitfalls to avoid, learn how to maximize your remodeling experience as a homeowner here.