Sometimes renovations are a headache, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Knowing what not to do can be as helpful and cost-saving as knowing what to do.
Here are some renovation “don’ts” so you can same time, money and hassle on your next project. Try to avoid:
1. Selecting the Lowest Priced Contractor
Likely, the lowest bid will not yield the best job. Pros suggest speaking with at least three contractors and getting estimates — in writing — from each one. The estimates should include specifics like the exact materials will be used on your project, along with permit costs, insurance, the contractor’s fee, and waste removal services. Also be sure to include a plan for how design changes are dealt with and warranties on the work. Without these details in writing, you can expect the contractor not to be thorough or to even underestimate the project cost.
2. Underestimating Your Budget
As we just mentioned, low-balling your project can lead to big trouble. Sure, surprises will crop up during a renovation, and they may even morph into a full-blown price problem. For example, if you are installing a backsplash, you could accidentally damage the wall, forcing you to replace some of the drywall. But what if you find electrical issues once the drywall has been removed. In a matter of time, you have more projects than just the original backsplash. Pros recommend setting aside 15% of the total project cost to account for these issues that might just crop up.
3. Passing On Inspections
Try before you buy — be sure to schedule all kinds of inspections for your home before you buy it. For example, arrange inspections for structural, roofing, plumbing, termite, HVAC, and electrical. While inspections may add to the cost of buying a home, these are steps you don’t want to skip. However, giving yourself an idea of the work and money you will be putting into the house down the road is more than worth it.