Sometimes blogs and before/after pictures make home remodeling look easy. In many situations, the transition to a new design can indeed be smooth and free of problems. On the other hand, everyone knows someone with at least one remodeling disaster story. So how do you avoid these common mistakes?
Don’t always go for the lowest bid. Cost is a consideration, sure. But sometimes the lowest bid is the lowest for a reason. Either the quality of work or materials won’t be as good, or certain costs are hidden only to surprise you later. A contractor who offers an unusually low bid might be using cheap, unskilled labor, or cutting corners on craftmanship.
But don’t max out your budget, either. Build in a little “wiggle room”, so that you can cover unexpected expenses if they do occur during the course of the project.
Forgetting to ask for references. Ask your contractor for a few references to previous satisfied customers. They can give you an idea of what to expect from this business.
Avoid subcontracting each job. Subcontracting each part of a remodel yourself can appear to save you money upfront. But due to communications between different teams, sometimes you might not achieve the result you wanted. Often this leads to spending more money to repair mistakes.
Consider long-term needs. Something might be trendy right now, but does it meet your long-term needs? Avoid spending unnecessary money by making sure your design preferences will still suit you in the future.
Ask for a detailed timeline. Ask your contractor for an estimated timeline on the project, but assume that there will be a delay or two. It will be a happy surprise if no delays occur.
Ask for a warranty on work. A home remodeling company that offers a warranty on their work displays trust in their own expertise.
Obtain all necessary permits from the municipality or county. A reputable contractor will tell you which work permits are required before starting the project. If you’re doing the work yourself, make sure to investigate this point. The last thing you want is to be shut down midway through a renovation.
Stick with the plan. Occasionally, something might come up that necessitates a change in plans. But in general, try to stick with your original design for the remodel. Changing things too frequently can lead to miscommunications or construction delays.