6 Seemingly Smart Moves That May Ruin Your Remodel

Posted on Nov 5 2014 - 9:46am by Housecall

RemodelYou are dying to get an updated home, and you are very excited for the remodeling process to begin. But you aren’t naive. You have heard the horror stories about renovations, and you intend to make yours go smoothly. So you have done your homework, dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, and you are confident your remodel will go off without a hitch. However, if one of these common mistakes is part of your strategy, you might want to think again.

Doing the Shopping Yourself

You might think that you can save yourself a boatload of cash by purchasing the materials on your own and just having the contractor perform the labor, but Houzz believes that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Contractors will usually be able to get trade discounts on the materials, but more than that, they have the expertise necessary to know which supplies you can go cheap on, and which ones need to be the name brands. Allowing the contractor to purchase the materials also ensures you actually get what you need for the project — and if something goes awry along the way, it’s all on them.

Not Paying In Full

In order to protect yourself from getting screwed over by your contractor, you just won’t pay his entire fee upfront. That will guarantee he finishes so that he gets the rest of his money, right? Wrong! By not paying all of the money at the beginning, the contractor may be forced to take shortcuts or skip steps because he doesn’t have enough overhead to cover the materials. Either that or he will charge you more to cover that extra amount in case he doesn’t finish at all. Neither scenario is a win for you.

Trusting Your Contractor

It’s very nice of you to hire a contractor and turn the job over to him without a second thought, but doing so is a huge mistake. Why? As HGTV points out, if you don’t know anything about what the project entails you won’t be able to spot a mistake or a shortcut when it occurs. To make sure you know which questions to ask and when to intervene, you should do a little bit of research about the project in advance. That being said, it is crucial to remember that your contractor is the expert, so don’t get too involved or you will just make him mad.

Related: For more remodeling tips, click here.

Not Finding a Temporary Place to Live

When you are embarking on a dramatic change it can be tempting to try to stay in your home throughout the process. After all, that means less money is spent on temporary housing and you can maintain a first-hand view of the work being done. However, this decision may actually be costing you more than you would spend on a part-time rental, and it will irritate your contractor. At the end of the day, the crew will have to clean up everything so that your home stays in a livable condition. This means more labor costs for you. And if you were part of the crew, wouldn’t it bug you?

Thinking the Quote is the Final Bill

Even though your contractor gave you a firm quote, it is always a good idea to set aside a little extra for the just-in-case scenarios. The price you received from the contractor only includes the planned work, and, as Consumer Reports points out, there are often unexpected expenses that arise with a large remodeling project. If you have watched any home remodeling shows on TV, then you know this to be true. Some things can’t be known until walls and floors are ripped apart.

Skipping the Permits

Yes, it can be tempting to conveniently forget about the permits you are supposed to get during a remodel. From the fees to the paperwork, no one is arguing that they aren’t a pain. But if it turns out that your plumbing or electrical work doesn’t meet code, you can be forced to redo them on your own dime. Not only that, but you won’t be able to sell your home without all of the proper permits in place.

Remodeling your home is a very exciting and stressful time. If you can avoid the above mistakes, then your renovation is likely to go smoothly, and you will be able to enjoy your new home in no time at all.

Darryl Crosby is a home renovation blogger and the Senior Director of Marketing at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. Darryl works with his customers to ensure that they are making all of the correct decision throughout the remodeling process.

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Cheryl November 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm -

    Hello Darryl,
    You bring up some very good points in this article but as I was reading, I couldn’t believe my eyes! You suggest that homeowners, who hire contractors, should pay the contractor up front for all the work! This is crazy advice! A reputable contractor will ask for 3 payments. One-third at the beginning of the project, 1/3 when it is half done and 1/3 upon satisfactory completion of the project. In addition, owners should check references and go see the type of work that contractor has done before hiring them. Lastly, get all the details and payment schedule in writing!!
    Cheryl MBA, Realtor®, SRS, Boston, MA