Renovating your home is an enormous undertaking, no matter how lavish or understated your vision. It takes plenty of time and money to bring your dreams to life when it comes to home remodelling. To get the most out of your project, we’ve compiled a list of the key home renovation mistakes to avoid.
7 Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid
1. Forgetting To Apply for a Building Permit
Before making any structural changes to your home, check with the city or town where you live to find out if your project requires any building permits. Skipping this step could cost you thousands of dollars down the line if you violate a by-law. In some cases, you might even be forced to tear down your work. To learn if building permits are necessary, call or visit your municipality office and ask what the requirements are to proceed with your project.
2. Choosing the Cheapest Contractor
When selecting a contractor for your home renovation, it is important to never go with the first contractor you meet, or the cheapest one. Do your research. Get at least three estimates from various reputable and licensed contractors.
Each estimate should include the project details, permit costs, insurance, general contractor fees, and it should also include a warranty on the work. If the estimate isn’t thorough, it could be that the contractor is merely guessing, or is not qualified to do the job.
As a homeowner, create a list of questions for each contractor you meet with. Think of it as an interview. Some important details to as about are if they are licensed, bonded and insured, what their experience is with similar projects to yours, and the number of years they have been in business. It’s also prudent to get references and call them to discuss their experience with the contractor and the result.
3. Setting an Unreasonable Budget
Home renovations can be costly – there is no skirting around that truth. Before starting any major home renovation, it is essential to budget appropriately and leave room for error. That way, when unexpected issues and expenses come up (and they inevitably will), you will have funds set aside to cover the costs.
Want to maximize the return on your renovation investment? Watch this video for some ideas:
4. Not Measuring Twice
We’ve all heard the adage,“measure twice, cut once.” This saying rings true when it comes to home renovations. Supplies, materials and trades are expensive, and the time it takes for delivery and installation can be considerable. Therefore, it is important to always double- and triple-check your work before doing anything permanent.
5. Buying Cheap Supplies
Sometimes people try to cut corners and skimp on some of the materials involved in a home remodel. While you may save money in the short term, the cheaper supplies will need to be replaced sooner and eventually, you’ll pay more in the long run. If you are over budget and need to save, it’s recommended that you don’t skimp on supplies or materials but instead cut out things that won’t greatly impact the overall design of the remodel. For example, money can be saved on cabinet hardware or the kitchen backsplash. These won’t impact the integrity of the remodel, but will help you stay within your budget.
6. Being Too Trendy
Trends are significant, but they are also fleeting. When planning a home renovation, steer clear of anything that is too trendy, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, which can be costly to update when the trends change!
While the trendy remodel may be of interest to you today, when you decide to sell your home in five or 10 years, the value could take a hit due to the room being outdated. You’ll achieve more lasting results by sticking with timeless choices instead of what’s “trending.”
7. Focussing Too Much on DIY
In recent years, the popularity of do-it-yourself home renovations have skyrocketed. There are shows, websites and Youtube channels dedicated to teaching you how to do just about any home renovation you could think of. However, it is important to remember that while the DIY route might be fine for small aesthetic projects, when it comes to the structural integrity of your home, hiring a qualified professional can save you plenty of headaches and money in the long run.
As you navigate the home renovation process, keep these seven tips in mind. By hiring a qualified professional, setting a realistic budget, and using quality supplies, your home remodel can pay dividends when it is time to sell.
Then, when you’re ready to sell, work with an experienced real estate agent to help you determine the best timing, listing strategy and price.