Q: How can I avoid making mistakes when renovating my home?
RENOVATE THE RIGHT WAY Instead of bemoaning mistakes after a costly renovation, sidestep retrospective regrets and prevent disaster. A clear understanding of the most common reno pitfalls will help you plan ahead and stop them from happening. These tips will help you position yourself for a successful renovation project with minimal stress and costly mistakes.
YOU DON’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick one! The old adage is true so make sure that you make wise choices. Don’t cut corners and buy cheap materials or try to do it all yourself to save a dime. Jobs that are done quickly or improperly always end up eating into any savings and will cost you more in the long run to fix mistakes. Think long term and resale potential. Bargains are great but if it’s not something that fits into the design of your space, then it’s not the right deal for you.
PUT THE CONTRACT IN CONTRACTOR Home renovations should only be undertaken by a reliable contractor who has the experience to deal with all of the issues that arise when changing something major in your home. A licensed professional is a necessity when dealing with any electrical, plumbing, HVAC and structural issues that are an integral component of most renovations. A good contractor will be familiar with permit requirements, building codes and insurance requirements. These details are time consuming to figure out on your own, as well as costly and dangerous if overlooked. The reality is that if you have work done on your home without a permit and something serious happens, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover it. Additionally, if you have plans to sell your property in the near future, unprofessional or sloppy work of any kind will scare off potential buyers.
DON’T DIY DESIGN It always pays to hire a great designer who will guide you in the planning, preparation and execution of your renovation. A good design scheme can transform a property’s value and is worth every penny. Not only can a designer figure out a creative way to include all of the elements on your wish list but they also serve as a go-between with your contractor and other craftspeople making sure that the details of the design are closely followed. A professional designer knows how to manage a budget and will source items that fit into your price point. They are also often able to bring you discounts from stores or services based on their long-standing relationships.
DELAYED GRATIFICATION This one is tough. Though it can be very exciting to pick out all of the small design details and focus on the cosmetic aspect of the reno, it will benefit you in the long run to wait until the appropriate time to pick out your knobs and pulls. Good deals are tempting especially when you know that you need a new dishwasher and see one for a great price. But unless you have finalized the floor plan of your kitchen and measured out every square inch with your contractor, that stainless steel fridge that looked so gorgeous in the showroom will end up being returned if it’s the wrong size for your space. Take it slowly, research and find items that you love on-line and then make a list to take with you once you are ready for the shopping stage of your renovation.