When you are planning on a renovation, it’s important to do it right the first time. Even if you think you’ll be in the house forever, the choices you make will impact on your future so pay heed!

Do I Need a Permit for a Home Renovation?

Mistake #1: Not getting the right permits – this is one of the biggest mistakes people make when renovating. Even though a permit costs you money, if you try to sell your house without permits, the buyer may insist you have it inspected and that could cost you thousands if any major mistakes were made and the work wasn’t done to code. Although it may be inconvenient, get the permit.

Do I Need a Licensed Contractor for a Home Renovation?

Mistake #2: Hiring non-licensed trades – make sure the tradespeople you hire are licensed to do the type of work they are doing for you – plumbers, electricians, etc.

Mistake #3: Choosing the cheapest contractor – the best contractor for the job is not necessarily the cheapest. If your only criteria for hiring a contractor is price then you will probably be disappointed.  Your contractor is an essential part of a successful remodel and price should only be one of the criteria in making your decision.

Mistake #4: Choosing the  contractor who can do it the soonest – If they are available immediately, that could very well mean that they have no business.  What does that tell you?

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Mistake #5: Incorrect measuring  – never measure yourself; have a professional do the measuring.

Are Neutral Colors Best in Home Renovations?

Mistake #6: Choosing trendy or dramatic colors and finishes – just because you like something doesn’t mean everyone else will. Dramatic or trendy colors limit the buying pool if you are planning on ever selling. 

How much will my Renovation Cost?

Mistake #7: NOT budgeting for  overages – just because you have a budget and an itemized estimate from the professional doesn’t mean every line item will be exact. You have to allow for budget overages. If you don’t you will most certainly be very disappointed when you find yourself having to write the check you never planned on writing.

Mistake #8: Paying more for or cheaping out on building materials – shop around and ask your contractor if they get special pricing on materials. Sometimes you may pay more for a contractor but what you save in materials cost makes it well worth it.

Mistake #9: Focusing on décor only and not on quality construction – you see this kind of renovation when people “flip” houses. They are often more concerned with the décor and the quality of construction can suffer.

Should I choose Appliances Before the Renovation?

Mistake #10: Choosing appliances last is a huge mistake – many homeowners work with a kitchen designer to work on their cabinet design but leave the appliance selection until later. They often want to see how much money they have left but this is a very bad idea because appliances need to be picked up front, especially when allotting for space or extra amenities such as a downdraft vent in a cooktop.

Mistake #11: Skimping on storage – storage is extremely important especially if you are going to resell after the renovation; don’t forget to maximize the storage space in any renovation.

The key to a successful renovation is choosing the right contractor, doing your homework and planning before you ever swing a hammer or write a check.  Knowing these common mistakes can help you make the right choices when renovating.