Home remodeling can be an exciting process to undertake! You’ve purchased a home and now you get to make it your own. Whether you’re in for a total gut renovation or just trying to redecorate, there is a lot more work than you might think. While there is more than one way to approach a successful remodel, you’ll want to be armed with as much knowledge as possible before diving in head first. Avoiding these home remodeling mistakes will help you keep your budget and your sanity intact.
Before jumping right in to any renovations, we suggest you live in your space awhile first. Learn the flow of the home and how you live in it. Get to know the choke points, how the sun shines in, and where the groceries land. All of this will help you make an informed decision on any overhauls you have in mind.
Another step you should take before getting started is to take stock. Think realistically about the renovations that your home will need and create a list. Think about the short-term (within a year), mid-term (within the next 5 years), and long term (5 years or more). Thinking about projects that are further down the road will help you determine what projects should happen beforehand. And you can create a timeline by working backward.
Whether you’re remodeling an old building or something a bit newer, the one thing you can count on is unforeseen events arising. With older buildings you can’t be sure what’s going to be behind that wall you’re opening, or underneath the carpet you’re tearing up. Newer construction will be a bit more controlled, but that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing. Be prepared for the unexpected and you will save yourself a lot of mental stress.
Before hiring a professional, do your due diligence. You’ll want to get at least three or more estimates on the work you need to complete. Ask for references to confirm your potential hire does quality work and has completed projects like yours. These professionals are doing major work for you and the outcome of these projects will have a lasting effect on your home. So, don’t just hire the first professional that comes along.
Before deciding whether a certain project is DIY-able, consider the cost and evaluate your ability to complete every step of the project from hauling materials to clean up. Some projects just aren’t for light-weights. Many people try to save money on big projects like these by purchasing the materials through an online vendor and DIYing the entire thing. But, they may not have the necessary tools or skills to tackle the project. Even if you must hire a professional for portion of the job, you can DIY pieces of it and still save money.
Most jobs take longer and cost more than you initially thought. As a rule of thumb, always add 20% to your total when budgeting for a project. This will help you know if you can realistically afford that project and you will be prepared for any surprises. And if you come in under budget, your surprises are the positive kind!
Remodeling your home comes with a certain psychological strain. Sure, it’s exciting, but you’re also putting a lot of time and money into the place that you call home. You want everything to turn out perfectly, which puts a lot of pressure on anyone involved. Any building project in your home is going to be charged with power dynamics, adding to the stress. You and your significant other may want to take on a smaller project before diving head first into a remodel. You will be surprised how different your styles, ideas, and approaches are.
For DIYers, you will want to follow the adage “measure twice, cut once.” This can save you countless delays and most importantly, money. Even if your measurements are only off by a fraction of an inch, it can have big repercussions, causing poor fits, and requiring you to reorder materials. Don’t cut corners here, or it will cost you.