Whether you’re gutting your kitchen or building an outdoor oasis, every big remodeling project can get waylaid by making avoidable mistakes. Some of them are obvious, while others are often only learned through experience. Thankfully, we’re here to ensure you don’t have to learn the hard way.
1. Don’t be impulsive. Do your research.
This might be hard to imagine, but one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to rush headlong into a remodel without properly planning it out. You might be itching to get started, but starting a project before you have every detail and contingency locked down could be a recipe for disaster. And while the planning process varies, 30 percent of HomeAdvisor users spent between 1-2 months planning their remodel. Remember: knowing exactly what you want ensures you don’t get what you don’t.
2. Don’t be blindsided by costs. Do plan and stick to a budget.
This is often one of the most difficult aspects of the planning process. It’s also one of the most important. Going into a remodel without a clear budget guarantees that you will spend more than you want to, or are comfortable with. Thankfully, HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide can help you get a better idea of how much you can expect your remodel to cost. Having your budget nailed down before you meet with contractors will ensure you’re able to accurately compare quotes.
3. Don’t hire the first pro. Do interview and get quotes from multiple contractors.
You’d be surprised, but this is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make when embarking on a remodeling project. Why? Many homeowners hire a pro based on a friend’s referral. And while this can work out, more often than not it doesn’t. Not because the pro isn’t good at what they do, rather they simply aren’t the right pro for the job. There’s a good chance that your remodel is going to cost you a significant amount of time and money. Taking the time to interview multiple contractors will ensure you hire the right pro at the right price. Considering that a remodel is only as good as the pro performing it, it’s essential to find one you can trust. Try using our ProFinder to find the perfect pro for your project.
4. Don’t hire the cheapest pro. Do hire the pro you feel most comfortable with.
It’s easy to make your hiring decision based on who charges the least. Beware: there’s probably a good reason why they’re the cheapest option. Many experts advise tossing out the cheapest and most expensive quotes and hiring a pro whose quote is somewhere in the middle. That being said, if the pro with the lowest quote has excellent references, impeccable credentials, and, more importantly, is the pro you feel most comfortable with, hire them.
5. Don’t check out once you start. Do stay on top of project management.
Once you hire a pro, it’s easy to want to stay out of their way. However, just because you don’t want to micromanage, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check in with them to get updates. Taking an active role in the project’s management will ensure you’re not caught off-guard by any unexpected issues or delays.
6. Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Do be patient.
In the history of remodeling there have been few projects that have been completed before their deadline, under budget, and without any sort of hang up. More than likely, your project won’t be one of them—it’s just the nature of remodeling. Knowing this will allow you to approach the project with more realistic expectations, enabling you to better deal with any unforeseen issues that may arise and avoid making rash decisions that could cost you money.