There’s no shortage of renovation and home design shows on television these days. From HGTV’s Fixer Upper to the DIY Network’s lineup of shows, you can find inspiration pretty much any hour of any day. A new bathroom or kitchen, if it’s done right, can not only make your home look more appealing, but also increase its value. Although some remodeling projects may be simple, such as updating wall color or putting up a few shelves, most take more time and more talent. That’s when it’s time to call a professional. But, before you do, consider these five renovation mistakes to avoid.
1. Skipping the Designer
Before you even start looking around for a contractor to bring your renovation project to life, you need to meet with a professional designer. Why? Designers are three-dimensional thinkers who have the experience and knowledge to ensure your vision is realized. From planning to unveiling the results, a designer will be your advocate throughout the entire renovation process.
2. Choosing the 1st Contractor
Don’t make the all too common mistake of hiring the first contractor you meet or the one with the cheapest price. If you do, it may result in costly mistakes and plenty of unnecessary headaches. To ensure you are hiring the best person for the job, follow these easy steps:
- Get several bids
- Check references
- Verify insurance coverage, including worker’s compensation
- Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for complaints
It’s also important to have a good conversation with each candidate to ensure he/she fits your personality since you may be spending a bit of time together.
3. Being Too Trendy
It’s very easy to get caught up in the current trends, but when you are looking at investing a substantial amount of money for a home remodeling project, don’t go too crazy. What may be hot now may not be hot in a few years, which means you’ll be renovating again. Save yourself time and money by staying away from any changes that may make your home harder to sell.
4. Underestimating Your Budget
One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning a renovation project is neglecting to bump up the budget to cover unexpected expenses. Whatever your project may be, always add in a 15% to 20% buffer for unforeseen costs. You never know what you may find behind a wall, under a floor or in a ceiling.
5. Changing Your Mind
One of the worst renovation mistakes, and the quickest way to derail your renovation project, is to constantly change your plans. This is not only frustrating for the designer and contractor, but can also cause your renovation budget to explode. Every time you make an alteration, it’s likely to create more work, which means more time and money. Be smart and go over every detail at least twice, if not three times, before any work begins.
Today’s renovation shows can make a bathroom or kitchen remodel look easy, but unless you have the knowledge, experience and the right tools, it’s better to leave the real work to the professionals. Of course, you’re welcome to offer your assistance with the demolition, if you want to lend a hand. Another thing to remember is that some remodeling projects have a better return on investment (ROI) than others. For example, updating to a new steel entry door is affordable and you’re likely to recoup more than 90% of your costs. Bottom line – talk to the experts before any project and focus on those that will increase the value of your home.
About Kelly Perkins
Kelly lives in Northeast Florida and owns Kelly Perkins Real Estate. She has extensive experience in interior design and home renovation. As a Realtor®, she has helped many people make their dream of owning a piece of Florida paradise a reality.