5 Costly Remodeling Mistakes Homeowners Consistently Make

There’s no question that a home remodeling project can add lots of value to your life and to your property. That’s why there’s currently a huge boom in home remodeling projects. The value-added proposition offered by home remodeling projects is a resource that many homeowners are tapping into these days.

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But it’s not all roses and sunshine.

Most home remodeling projects are big projects. And with any big project, there’s often plenty of potential for something to go wrong. That’s why it’s important to go into a home renovation project fully aware of the potential pitfalls.

The following mistakes often made by homeowners are the most common causes of derailing home renovation projects:

#1: Underestimating Project Scope

A home remodeling project can sometimes be sort of like an iceberg: there’s often more beneath the surface than meets the eye.

That’s why it’s important to tap into the knowledge of a reputable contractor early in the planning process. That way you’ll be able to understand fully what you’re getting into before you really get into it.

#2: Not Having a Cash Reserve

If you’re expecting your home renovation to cost exactly xxx dollars, and you have exactly that amount on hand to fund the project – you don’t have enough.

It’s a general rule-of-thumb that unanticipated problems will be encountered with virtually any home renovation project. Hiring an experienced contractor will help to reduce the likelihood of unanticipated problems. But the possibility can’t be eliminated, no matter the contractor’s experience.

When problems do occur, that means additional expense. And if you’ve embarked upon your project with razor-thin cash margins, you might find yourself stuck in mid-project without the funds to move forward.

A good rule-of-thumb for home remodeling projects is to have a 10% reserve of cash that you’re ready, willing, and able to spend should the need arise.

#3: The Devil Is In…

Yes, the devil is in the details. And there are lots of details to deal with in the typical home remodeling project – details that homeowners often overlook. Things like permit fees, shipping and delivering charges, municipal fees for tapping into sewer and water, and many others. All can add up to a sizable total, and significantly expand the anticipated cost of the project.

#4: Under-Ordering           

If you’ll be in charge of ordering materials for the project, plan on padding your estimates by about 10%. Projects almost always end up consuming a bit more than the original estimate for supplies and materials.

Having a bit of a cushion on hand from the beginning will help to eliminate delays that can often result from having to order additional materials. And buying that 10% cushion upfront will also allow you to maximize the potential money-saving power of volume purchasing.

#5: Automatically Going with the Lowest Bid

When shopping for a contractor for your remodeling project, keep this wise old saying in mind: You get what you pay for.

The range of professionalism, experience, and specialized expertise offered by contractors is huge. And the fees charged by contractors vary accordingly. So don’t fall into the trap of evaluating prospective contractors solely by price.

Don’t Let the Potential Negatives Deter You

Don’t let the fear of potential problems deter you from pursuing your dream remodeling project. Though every remodeling project presents a certain amount of risk, there’s far more to be gained than lost.

An upfront awareness of the potential problems will help you avoid the pitfalls that sometimes trip unprepared homeowners. And that will help assure that your dream remodeling project doesn’t morph into a nightmare.

Author: Bob Carr

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