Top 5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

Top 5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

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Top 5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home


Wouldn’t it be nice if remodeling projects were smooth and timely? Unfortunately, delays and glitches are more the norm. Though no remodeling process will run 100% as planned, you can shrink the odds of added costs and aggravation by avoiding common pitfalls. Here are the Top 5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home:

Pitfall 1: Rushing the Homework

While figuring out precisely what you want done when you remodel is a tedious process, it is a critical first step. So take ample time to lay out your goals and the project’s scope. You can not hit the target on your remodel if you don’t know what you want it to look like when it’s finished.  When you have a focused vision of what you want you can then get precise, comparable bids, create a well-thought-out plan, and better stay on task and budget once work is underway. Your final costs will be more inline with your first bid when it’s all over.

Pitfall 2: Relinquishing Project Control

Though you don’t want to be in the contractor’s way, you do need to be actively engaged in the project. Track progress, ask questions, and do quality control. And, before you sign a contract, make sure the terms offer a level playing field on everything from decision-making to disputes. In remodel I have done in the past once every morning I would briefly meet with the contractor as ask him if there were any issues he could see that may come up with the work he was doing that day. If there were any issues we discussed it. I’d make a decision on what I wanted. The contractor is working for you and wants you happy so take responsibility for your actions and be decisive. It was also good to meet at the end of the day and ask if there were any issue needing discussing before starting the next day. Once you have your contractor trained that you want to be in the loop and the decision maker on changes to the plans he will offer his ideas himself to you. This makes for a better relationship between you and the contractor.

Pitfall 3: Making Changes Mid-Stream

To keep the schedule and budget in check, stick to your original plan. The time to change your mind is during the planning phase, not after the work has begun. Why? During the course of a project, changes have a ripple effect on time and materials, and extra costs add up in a hurry. Once again good communication on a regular basis keeps you and the contractor on budget. If there are changes that needed to be made the options are easier while the work is in progress instead of after the fact.

Pitfall 4: Expanding Initial Scope

Another departure from the plan that can quickly blow your budget is something called “scope creep”. This starts innocently enough when you get your contractor to do one extra job while they are on site. But, this can lead to other additions and added costs quickly. The worse thing you can say to your contractor is “oh one more thing”. Instead say something like …so to make these changes will it cost me more? If so, how much more?” Be proactive on changes if you are the cause of them then you must pay more. Sometimes the plans call for something and it’s not the contractor’s fault or responsibility to pay for the changes. This is on your shoulders exclusively. If it was your architect then you issue is when them not your contractor so don’t try to pull your contractor into a dispute with another vendor.

Pitfall 5: Misjudging Recoup Value

Certainly one thing that is wise to know – even if you are not selling soon – is the likely impact of the remodel on your home’s resale value. If you need help with this, just let me know. And remember, over-improvements, personalization, along with trendy designs can actually lower your selling price! Stay middle of the road for all your selections from paints, carpets, window coverings, and fixtures. We are not interior designer so don’t think you can be one like that. Spend a few hundred bucks and hire a colorist to help you out. It will make all the difference in the world and will return you 10 fold on your investment of hiring one. They know what they are doing.

Much success with your project!

If you have any questions and want to speak with me you may reach me by email at or cell(650) 346-7366 . Please consider me a resource for all your real estate needs. I can help you with finding a home for your child, helping with investment properties to help offset the cost of college for your children or the normal purchase and selling of your home.

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