Home & Improvement

Top 5 Home Remodel Mistakes

As “The Little House” can attest, change is a necessary part of any home’s life, whether or not you see it coming. Home remodelers exist so that you can keep up with the growing trends. But before you dive into a remodeling project, beware these top home remodeling mistakes.

1. Failing to research codes and obtaining permits.

If you have a general contractor on hand, you shouldn’t have any problem obtaining the right permits or building everything to code. However, DIYers tend to forget or shy away from permits as they are under the impression permits aren’t required or are otherwise worried about the potential expense. It’s against the law to start certain remodels without obtaining a permit.

Inspectors will ensure that the remodel is performed to code, which means safety and quality. Buyers often won’t buy homes that had work done without a permit. Worst of all, if you are reported, you’ll have to tear down your new kitchen remodel and start over once you get the required paper work.

2. Going without a plan.

Remodels are very exciting—but don’t get so overzealous that you don’t create a plan with your contractor. Many first-time remodelers often think things will take less time than they actually do.

Write up a calendar that outlines each step of your renovation and the approximate amount of hours it will take. This not only keeps you on schedule but should also give you a realistic timeframe for when things will get finished.

3. Budgeting woes.

Budgeting tends to be the biggest problem with any remodel. Figure out your cost and add an extra 15 percent for overage. Add in another 30 percent for possible price increases. When figuring your cost, take into account all the items you plan to use including the small things like nails, staples, and rolls of duct tape.

4. Buying cheap materials.

It’s understandable. You want to save as much as possible so that you get the most out of your investment, but avoid buying cheap materials. Buyers can tell the difference between real granite and plastic (not to say that there aren’t high-quality granite alternatives, because there are). The quality of your work should show in every aspect of your home.

So how do you save? With some careful shopping and negotiating, you can purchase brand name merchandise without going over budget.

5. Using the wrong tools.

It seems silly, but many homeowners use the wrong tools for their tasks. Learn to use the right tools or hire someone who does. You’ll only ruin your project, mess up your tools, and potentially hurt yourself in the process.