Don’t make these 10 home remodeling mistakes

Home remodeling is exciting because you will have a renewed love of your home, but do not go into your remodel project expecting nothing but butterflies and rainbows.  If you are planning a San Diego home remodeling project, whatever you do, do not make these 10 home remodeling mistakes.

1. Play General Contractor to save money

Spend some time evaluating if this is a project for a contractor or a DIY.  Major home remodels such as kitchen and bathroom remodeling will require extensive knowledge of many different construction trades.  Utube is great for learning how to fix a leaky faucet or patch a drywall hole but it would take you years to acquire the knowledge necessary to successfully complete a major home renovation.  Playing with electrical wires is dangerous.  Plumbing errors can cause major floods and mold issues in the future.  Trust us when we say you can not afford free.

2. Expect HGTV home remodeling prices

If you are an HGTV junkie and call a San Diego home remodeling contractor to get a price on your project do not expect the prices you see on TV.  As a side note, also do not expect your project to be completed in the time frames you see on reality television shows.  Reality shows are for entertainment, you will not have a full kitchen remodel completed in a matter of days!  Many times materials are donated for these shows or are severely discounted by the manufacturer for advertising purposes.  The time frames you see on these shows are also irrelevant because they are being sped up for TV deadlines (dozens of contractors working at the same time for 24 hours a day, which is not something you will see on your project).

3. Fail to budget for unexpected hidden expenses

Your San Diego home remodeling contractor can be the best in the industry but he can not tell you what is behind the wall or under the slab.  Once you get into demo, you may have construction costs that are unavoidable. If your wiring is not up to code or you have a pipe that is damaged behind the wall, those items will have to be fixed before proceeding with your remodel.  In rare situations city inspectors will require something completed that your contractor could never expect.  Expect to pay 10% – 15% more than your contract amount.  If you don’t need it, great.  But if you do need it, you will be glad that you set aside the funds.

4. Hire a remodeling contractor just because he is like-able

We are not saying you should hire a grumpy remodeling contractor.  In fact you want to make sure you get a long with your contractor because you will be working with him for several weeks, if not months.  What you do not want to do is hire a remodeling contractor based only on the fact that you like him.  The best remodeling contractor is going to be one who is knowledgeable, has extensive experience, has a pleasant disposition, and who has excellent current references.

5. Hire a remodeling contractor based on price

Sometimes the best remodeling contractor is the lowest priced but many times the low priced leader has missed something.  If you want to hire the remodeling contractor with the lowest price then make sure you take the time to go over the contract to look for hidden fees or items that may have been missed.  Spend extra time communicating what you expect and make the contractor repeat it back to you.  Make sure the contract explicitly states what you are and are not responsible for.

6. Expect the project to go perfect

Construction is comprised of hundreds of moving parts.  Construction is loud, dangerous, and dusty.  Your project will not go perfect.  At least once during your remodel you will have a question or concern that will need to be addressed. Your permits may take longer to get from the city than you expected.  You might find hidden damage when demo starts.  Materials may show up damaged from the manufacturer.  It may rain.  Your remodeling contractor may have an installer who calls in sick and your project gets delayed.  You may get sick and not want anyone to work that day.  If you work from home the construction will irritate you.

There will be at least one instance during your remodel that you will not be happy.  Expect it so you will not be disappointed or angry when something occurs that goes against the perfect scenario.  If your project does go perfect then you can be pleasantly surprised.

7. Select back-ordered materials

Think of this scenario:  your remodel includes a beautiful new vanity that will take 12 weeks to deliver.  You ask your contractor to begin work knowing the vanity will be delayed.  Construction is going beautifully and is being completed right on time.  Your vanity shows up and its damaged.  Now your project is almost complete but you have to wait 12 weeks to get the new vanity.  The result is frustration for you and your contractor.  Our suggestion sis either do not select a back-ordered item or do not begin work until all materials are on-site.

8. Purchase appliances before confirming they will fit in within your new kitchen layout

Measurements of your existing space, your new cabinetry, and new appliances must be exact for your remodeled kitchen to be built properly.  Before you make the purchase, bring the model number and manufacturer to your contractor to verify the dimensions.  If your cabinetry needs to be adjusted so your new appliance will work it is not a big deal.  However if you find out once the cabinets are installed, you will be in for a huge disappointment and need to either return the appliance or demo and re-build the cabinetry which will extend your construction time.

9. Expect your house to stay clean and dust-free

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your house is going to get dusty.  I mean really dusty. Before your remodel begins, there are ways you can minimize the dust transfer around the house.  Your contractor should be putting up protective barriers to minimize the dust.  Even with those precautions, your home will get dusty.  If you expect it, perhaps it will be less likely to frustrate you during the remodel.

10. Continue to look for remodeling ideas after you have designed your new space

For the love of Pete, when you sign off on your final design STOP looking at HOUZZ, do not pick up a remodeling magazine and turn off HGTV!!  One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make during a remodel is continuing to make changes to the scope of work.  Adding a light switch is not a big deal if the drywall has not been hung.  Changing a niche in the shower is also not a big deal if the framing has not been completed.  If you do want to make changes once construction has begun, expect there to be a delay in your project and expect to pay for the change.

San Diego Home Remodeling Experts

Classic Home Improvements is a Design Build remodeling firm located in Escondido, Ca.  Our services include whole house remodeling, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and exterior home remodeling.  When you are ready to discuss your San Diego home remodeling project, give us a call at 858-224-7373!






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