Here’s a simple fact of life: renovations rarely go without a hitch. It is almost inevitable that issues will come up – some smaller, some bigger – but the road to your remodelled dream home seldom runs smooth. However, if you are aware of some common renovating mistakes homeowners make and do the logical thing – avoid them – the whole process will be much easier.
Believing what you see on television home renovation shows
Renovations are never that easy, quick and fun as they seem on TV shows. Although these entertainment programs do highlight one or two problems to give the show some drama, they are inevitably quickly solved to everyone’s satisfaction 30 or 60 minutes later. That’s not always so in real life.
Be prepared for renovations to take longer than expected, and maintain room in your budget for unexpected costs!
Being in denial about your own abilities
You may be able to fix a few things around the house, but when it comes to renovations there are some things better left to professionals – especially anything to do with the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, gas or the structure of your home. To avoid potentially disastrous mistakes, it’s best to hire a licensed professional.
Not spending enough time looking for the right contractor
It’s not a good idea to hire the first contractor you see. Once you get quotes from at least 3 contractors, do some due diligence and research them, and not just on online contractor referral sites, which could be biased.
Ask to see their recent jobs and talk to the homeowners who have used them. Digging into the contractor’s legal and financial background, and checking their customer and trade references may take a bit of your time, but will give you a peace of mind that your renovation is in the right hands, and may save you from a homeowner’s nightmare down the road.
Preparing a rose-coloured glasses/starry-eyed budget
Experts will tell you that remodelling always costs more than expected because of various changes and issues that inevitably come up, and unforeseen complications (who knew there was mold behind that shower tub?). Plan to spend at least $200 to $300 per square foot for a high-end kitchen or master bathroom, and add 10-20 per cent to your budget to cover any unpleasant surprises or emergencies.
Ignoring the law
Permits do take a bit of time because of all the necessary paperwork, and contractors often balk at applying for them. They might tell you that they are not necessary, but if a renovation is substantial, the law says that you need a building permit – and fines for infractions can be hefty. Ultimately you will benefit because with a permit, the work done will be checked by city inspectors to ensure everything is safe and up to code.
Using bargain-basement materials
If you’ll excuse the cheesy rhyme, cheap will only make you weep down the line. Going for the lowest price may save you some money upfront, but if the quality is not there, the inevitable redo’s will not only quickly erase that saving, but may also require additional expense.
Creating a McMansion in a neighbourhood of bungalows
Location and the average price of properties sold in that location dictates the price of a house on the market. If you want to recoup your renovation investment when the time comes to sell your house, maybe a huge addition with all the bells and whistles that dwarfs all the other houses in proximity is not the way to go.
Putting your very personal stamp on
There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your house reflect your style, however unusual it may be. However, it’s best to personalize those aspects of your house that can be easily changed when you decide to put the house on the market. Buyers prefer a neutral décor and uncomplicated layouts. Purple on the walls can be easily painted over, but a wall-to-ceiling stone fire place that looks like Fred Flintstone built it, may prove to be a deal breaker.
The best thing you can do for a remodel of any kind is invest in a professional’s touch! While it may seem like a larger cost upfront, the resale value it will bring to your home, and the hassle they will prevent along the way, will be an investment worth making. Call our team today to find out more!