5 major mistakes to avoid when renovating

Phantom Screens / May 30, 2016

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Remodeling your indoor and outdoor living spaces can be a difficult task. There is a lot to think about, so it’s easy for something to slip under your radar if you aren’t careful. Some of the common mistakes homeowners make end up being costly, stressful or can even shut down the project completely.

Here are some of the most common renovation errors and how to avoid them:

1. Not understanding your project

Some homeowners fail to grasp the scope of the project they are trying to complete. This can lead to hiring the wrong people for the job and overspending on materials. Be sure you know what you want before looking for a contractor or applying for permits from the city.

You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t have experience doing the type of project you are starting. Contractors need to be licensed for the niche they work in. Not only can hiring the wrong contractor affect the quality of the work but they also may not be able to legally complete the job.

2. Forgetting about permits

No matter the size of the project, you should check your municipality’s website to figure out whether or not you need to apply for a building permit. Failing to do so could result in a pile of fines. Luckily, applying for permits is a fairly simple process. You’ll just need to keep the city up to date with your building team and the type of work they are doing. Some cities also require you to provide a floor plan. If you’re still unsure about what steps to take, sit down with your architect as they may be able to give you some pointers.

3. Setting the wrong budget (or not setting one at all)

A budget is an important tool that guides your spending for the project. Decide how much money you can afford to spend overall and then determine how you will distribute it. Homeowners that set a budget ceiling too low often do so because they don’t factor in the little costs. You’ll want a cushion in case something goes wrong or changes have to be made. Setting a higher budget will give you a little wiggle room, preparing you for any surprises, like a material costing more than you first thought.

4. Pushing ahead without planning

Every step of your renovation should be planned and researched. When do you want to start and complete the project? Who will install your picture windows? Can you complete the project alone or do you need a contractor? If you are hiring help, you should create a detailed contract that includes a timeline and payment schedule. This will help protect you from untimely or overpriced projects. As a side note, don’t hire a contractor simply for price. The group you end up working with should have credentials and great work history. Also, never pay more than 10 percent of the project upfront. The schedule will help you create a fair payment plan.

5. Not measuring twice

If you plan on remodeling yourself, then you should live by the saying, “measure twice, cut once.” You can take back a pencil marking, but you can’t reverse a cut. A beautiful home project needs to be cut and measured perfectly.