3 Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid

Many homeowners can probably understand Tom Hanks’s maniacal laugh in this clip from the 1980s comedy Money Pit. While Murphy’s Law certainly seems to have an unrealistic heyday with these poor homeowners, sometimes real-life remodeling projects can come pretty close. If you want your next home renovation to end with “happily ever after” rather than insanity or tears, you need to take steps to make sure you avoid these commonly made mistakes.

Mistake #1: Underestimating Cost

Whether you’re hiring a contractor or going the DIY route, this common pitfall can be a biggie. Part of the reason is that when you pull down something, you may see underlying problems you didn’t know were there, and then you need to do unplanned repairs before going forward. You need to figure such costs into your budget, probably inflating the expected cost by 20%. Depending on your choice of funding, failing to allow for this kind of cushion could mean leaving a project unfinished or having to take out an extra loan. If you plan for your remodel to cost more than it ends up costing, you can splurge on a house party where you and your guests can all toast to your good fortune. After all, that kind of luck is indeed rare.

Mistake #2: Going Cheap on Materials and Tools

If you choose a quality contractor, you probably won’t be going with the one that quotes you a price that’s half the other bids. If you do, you’ll probably get what you pay for, which includes inferior workmanship and low-grade materials. Especially for the DIY homeowner, it can be tempting to skimp on tools or materials; however, you may pay dearly for your thrift.

Bargain-shopping can be good, provided you’ve done your research and know when you find a great resource at an exceptional price. But going cheap is different. Feel free to ask your trusted contractor for ways you can save on your renovation. He may recommend areas in which you can afford to skimp while suggesting others where you don’t want to take a risk.

Mistake #3: Choosing Trendy Options

Think about how much you hate that gold shag carpet at your grandma’s home or that pink toilet at your best friend’s house, never mind the avocado-colored kitchen appliances that you had as a kid. Those things were all the rage, at one point. The trend passed, though, and they were markedly passé. While you should choose options that you like, you shouldn’t go with something just because it’s the “in thing” right now or completely ignore resale value or attractiveness.

If you really want to make a statement, do so with easily removable pieces such as wall hangings or dishes, not your countertops, light fixtures, major appliances, or flooring. If you want an all-over look that says you’re down with the color of the year, paint a wall that color, and you can always repaint it again next year. If you’re not sure what’s classic as opposed to a passing fad, check with your contractor.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.

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