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10 Remodeling Don’ts

When planning a home remodel most people spend a lot of time researching all the things they have to do before, during and after the project. Not being prepared or leaving out something important can ruin the remodel and destroy the plan for a dream home. However, it’s equally important to know what not to do – there are a lot of common mistakes that homeowners make. It’s your home and because you want the best for it, your intentions are good. But you know what they say about good intentions and where they lead.

Here are a few things you should not do when remodeling your home. 
  • Do not postpone making major decisions till after the work starts. A good contractor will walk you through all the possible scenarios so that when an issue arises, the plan for dealing with it is in place. Delays caused by the time taken to make decisions add to the time and cost of the project and can have unintended consequences.
  • Finding out halfway through the remodel that some aspects of the home may not be exactly as you pictured them is common. Talk to you contractor about what can be done to correct the situation. But do not make too many mid-course corrections. Every small change will affect something else and you don’t want to set off a chain reaction you can’t control.
  • Do not plan to buy the materials yourself. Sure, the contractor will have his mark up and that will be passed on to you. But he will also be able to get a better price than you so the difference will even out. And he will have the knowledge and experience to get materials of the right quality, which you may not be able to do.
  • Do not expect miracles. Remodeling is limited by the nature, type and condition of the basic structure. A good contractor can do things that may seem impossible. But if you are told that something is impossible or not advisable, pay attention and try to understand why. Pressurizing a contractor to do something that he does not think is viable rarely ends well.
  • Do not set unrealistic budgets. If you find some aspects of the remodel will cost more than you expected, do not push the contractor into taking shortcuts to keep the costs down. Instead, work with him to find viable cost effective solutions that will not compromise the quality of the remodel.
  • Do not start the project without a contingency fund. It is a very rare home remodel that does not run into unexpected problems and costs. Delaying the work while you arrange for the extra funds will just increase the costs even more. A ballpark figure for the fund would be 5%.
  • Do not get in the way. Of course you want to know what is going on and how the remodeling is progressing. But constantly distracting the contractor or his staff by asking what is going on, why it is being done this way and how long it will take etc. will distract them from their work and cause delays.
  • Do not ignore what the house wants. There are no hard and fast rules in regard to home design. But will an ultramodern kitchen really work in a colonial style home? It’s too late to do anything about it if you realize it doesn’t during the final stages of the remodel.
The key to a successful home remodel is to have a contractor you can depend on and who is ready to spend time working with you to iron out all the details of the project in advance. This will ensure that the end result is what you want, that the project is completed on time and that cost overruns, if any, are kept to a minimum.


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