8 Major Renovating Regrets & How to Avoid Them
Be assured of a positive remodeling outcome by knowing what to avoid. Here are five of the most common renovation regrets and how to dodge them.
1. Miscalculating Costs
When renovating, if you neglect to budget properly you put yourself at risk of running out of funds. This can leave you with a property that is unfinished, which many times leads to a forced-sell situation. And since buyers won’t pay top dollar for an unfinished property, you are potentially looking at a loss.
That’s why proper planning and budgeting is imperative. You don’t get a second chance, so be sure to not only put in your research and planning time, but create a detailed budget that includes a 10- to 20-percent buffer for unexpected expenses. Make sure your budget controls the renovation and not the opposite.
2. Going With the Cheapest Bid
Everyone wants to keep renovation costs as low as possible, however taking the lowest bid can potentially lead to added expenses down the road when fixes for mistakes or shoddy workmanship must be made.
It goes without saying that the cheapest bid does not necessarily mean it’s the best fit for your renovation project. Rather than focusing purely on dollars and cents, look a little bit closer at your contractor quotes to evaluate exactly what the quote covers. That is where you will reveal the real value.
Seek out quotes from a minimum of three contractors and weigh the pros and cons of each. Also consider how much work those contractors currently have going on so you can estimate possible turnaround time. Research each contractor to find out the quality of their work — think testimonials, professional recommendations and project photos.
3. Picking a Badly Designed Floor Plan
Two of the most important facets of interior design are traffic flow and how a room functions. These directly affect your day-to-day experience in the space. When a room’s layout is well thought out, it can add a lot of value to your home. Unfortunately, remodelers often neglect function and traffic flow when developing a floor plan and instead emphasize color and finish.
Avoid this mistake by taking more time in the planning stage to work on details like window, door and power point placement. Your ultimate goal should be a floor plan that maximizes functionally, but also makes it easy to move through the space. For instance, incorporating built-in seating and storage space that doesn’t infringe on traffic flow is a great fit for a smaller room that needs help maintaining a sense of spaciousness.
4. Leaning on DIY to Save Money
Many homeowners new to renovating think they can save money by handling projects themselves. The reality is that more times than not, they end up with low-quality renovations that took much longer than if they would’ve just hired a professional. To add insult to injury, they often must hire a professional to fix the work they did, thereby losing even more time and money.
As a rule, consider only committing yourself to DIY jobs like painting or easy landscaping jobs. Save your time for project management of your renovation.
5. Lacking a Clear Plan
Once again, lack of research and planning at the beginning of your project can cause problems throughout the renovation. Without a clear plan, you’ll find yourself continuously changing your mind. Not only does this cost time and money, it can add stress to your builder.
In addition to lending focus to your project, putting together a clear plan and detailed overview will give you something solid to fall back on if problems arise with your contractor.
6. Uncertainty About What Look You Want / Unable to Communicate It
Before you even begin your renovation project, time must be spent working on the look you want for the space. Don’t neglect this! Create ideabooks, pull from magazines, use all the online tools available — including visualizers — to get an idea how different layouts will work for your specific situation.
Also, in order to communicate effectively so that your contractor understands exactly what you want, it’s necessary to educate yourself on the proper terminology for the looks and finishes that interest you. You want to make sure everyone is on the same page.
7. Choosing a Builder Who Doesn’t Understand Your Vision
When there is a communication issue on a build, it’s frustrating for both you and the contractor. What’s worse, it can end up with you getting a result that isn’t what you wanted.
Be sure to find a builder who has experience creating the look you desire. Question them! Have them describe the look to you, as well as what sets it apart from other decorating styles. Once the work begins on your project, you’ll discover that there are many details that must be worked out and decisions to be made regarding your chosen aesthetic. Having a seasoned professional by your side will make solving these dilemmas much easier.
8. Not Knowing All Your Materials Options
Vital for looks and functionality, the materials you use can make or break a renovation. Unfortunately, it’s common for builders to rely on the same ones rather than exploring alternatives that might work better for your specific project.
That’s why you should commit to researching the materials options available on your own. Look into pricing, visual appearance, pros and cons, durability, sustainability, and those best suited to your location. Once you have this information compiled, take it to your builder and have them help you decide on the most suitable materials and finishes for your renovation.