Avoid These Remodeling Mistakes

We all make mistakes in life. Usually, they are minor, and we can move on with little damage to ourselves, our property and our loved ones. But renovation mistakes can harm all three. Let’s take a look at a recent call to our office that raises red flags for renovation mistakes to come.

An e-mail came in to our office from a young couple with a small 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom city house. The homeowners had lived in the house for 3 years and said they were ready to begin gutting and renovating the house. Sounded like it could be an exciting project. I asked some questions to learn some more about what was being planned. Here’s what I found:

1. They intended on living in the home while renovations were underway. (This is a recipe for discomfort, at minimum. In fact, many a marriage has crumbled under this kind of stress. Paying for a short-term rental is much easier and more comfortable for homeowners undertaking a major home renovation.)

2. The renovations would include every room of the house, including the single bathroom and their bedroom. (Where would they sleep or go to use the toilet or shower?)

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Phases of the Typical Home Interior Renovation

Design/Planning Phase –

This is an often overlooked, but very important, phase of any home renovation or repair project. Even if your project is as simple as hanging a door or painting a room, you need to start with a plan if you want to stay focused, do a good job, and get the project done.

With complicated projects like kitchens and baths, this is even more true. On many home shows, you’ll see designers and developers jump into a project with nothing more than a cabinet layout. They might walk around and talk about where they think they want some lights, doors and windows to go. That’s not a plan. It won’t tell the electrician or plumbers or carpenters where things are supposed to go, what is staying, and what is being demolished. You won’t know what the project will cost. Without a complete set of plans, you can’t get a construction permit, so your project may be worth less when you go to resell or refinance. Without a complete set of drawings, mistakes will be made, so you may end up paying even more to correct the mistakes made.

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Taking Control of Your Home Reno Experience

When our company begins any new home renovation project with a client, I ask the homeowners what kind of remodeling experience they want to have. They always look at me blankly in response. Whether they’re planning major home overhauls or making minor improvements, they seem to think their renovation experience is out of their hands. They couldn’t be more wrong.

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