Renovating Your Home? Avoid These Huge Errors

Is there anything more exciting than moving forward with home renovations? You get to make your space more attractive, more comfortable, and you’ll likely increase the market value of your property.

But it’s not just exciting—it can also be scary. Depending on the scale of your project, you’ll might be looking at total investment of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s so important to avoid mistakes that give you headaches and cost you money.

Here are five huge errors to avoid when you’re renovating your home!

1. Looking for the cheapest contractor

Saving money is an obvious priority for you, but it’s very important not to hire a contractor simply because they make the lowest bid. Have at least three contractors come by and give you an estimate. Some will give you a low bid to get the job, then add costs later. Others will simply cut corners and use low-quality products. The best strategy is to look for a reputable home renovation contractor who has solid reviews and tangible results.

When it comes to collecting those estimates, make sure you get them in writing. You should be able to see what materials will be used, the cost labor versus materials, permits, insurance, a waste removal plan, and details that will be important to the overall success of your project.

2. Hiring the first contractor you find

Similarly, avoid simply hiring the first contractor you find. This may seem obvious, but searching for and meeting with potential contractors takes time and work, and it’s not uncommon for people to say yes to the first home renovation contractor they find, simply because it’s convenient and they want to move forward.

Home renovation is a competitive business, and being a reputable contractor involves years of experience and difficult training. Shopping your project around to at least three different companies is a good way to zero in on the company that is best suited to your particular project and needs.

3. Not getting permits

Failing to file the necessary paperwork for building permits has turned many home renovation projects into long, drawn out, frustrating experiences. City inspectors will usually inspect the renovation work during the final phases of the renovation. If you’re caught not having a permit, you may be forced to reopen walls and ceilings, pay fines, or even start over.

4. Not setting a realistic budget

Nine times out of ten, home renovation projects end up costing more than expected. A solid, realistic budget will always add extra (10% is recommended) for the many different surprises that can (and probably will) pop up. If you run out of money, you could be left with a half-finished bathroom or kitchen. Consider doing the project in phases to stay within your budget.

Avoid headaches and find the right contractor!

Renovating requires careful planning and research. Make sure you get quotes from at three home renovation contractors and not simply hire the contractor who bids the lowest; don’t forget that permits are absolutely necessary; realize you have many choices when it comes to materials; and set a reasonable budget. Good luck on your project!