When renovating a home—whether it is your primary residence or a rental investment property—it is easy to get swept away in the excitement of it all. But, before you go rushing off to the home improvement store to start snapping up materials, take a look at these pointers to help you avoid the top five renovation mistakes made across the industry.
1. Measure Twice…And Once More For Good Measure
When it comes to remodeling mistakes, there isn’t one more frequent than this. For those installing new cabinets, it is important to double and triple check your measurements. There is nothing more costly than mismeasuring kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Don’t forget to measure the size of the appliances, as well. Many contractors have a “Measure 10 times, cut once” rule. It would be wise to adopt the same philosophy in order to save yourself some money. If you’ve hired out, ask about their measuring policy. If they don’t have one, insist they utilize one for your property.
2. Don’t Lowball!
While you’re working out your budget, it’s important to use the highest numbers for your estimates. Take into account that many things may go wrong, mistakes may happen. You may find more pressing issues along the way, while in the middle of a renovation. Utilizing a higher number in your estimations will give you a buffer in case something pops up unexpectedly. Another great tip? Put aside approximately 15% of the cost of the project for any emergencies you might run into. If you’re renovating an older home, consider hiking that number up significantly.
3. Cheap Isn’t Better!
If you’ve opted to hire out the work, make sure you get several bids and thoroughly interview each candidate before signing any contracts. When the bids come back in, use the interview in conjunction with their figures to truly decide on a contractor. It’s important to remember that just because a company provides the cheapest bid, they might not be the best company to work with for your particular project. Make sure the bid includes written details of the project breakdown, including waste removal, permits, fees, etc. If the breakdown isn’t thorough, it’s possible the contractor is under-bidding to get the job and you may face additional fees at the end of the process.
4. Don’t Skip Out On Extras!
When you place an order of material, it’s always safe to assume that you are going to need a little extra. This is particularly important when it comes to flooring. Go ahead and count on a few pieces breaking or being improperly cut during installation. To combat running short, order approximately 20% extra. This will also ensure you don’t get stuck with a product being out of stock or discontinued later down the road. Many stores will even allow a full refund on unopened boxes later, as long as they’re not custom pieces.
4. Don’t Forget The Permit!
Whatever you do, make sure you’ve got any and all necessary permits. While filing for a permit may sound expensive, filing for an after-the-fact permit is three times more expensive and equally as complicated. If you’re hiring a contractor, make sure they’ve got all the necessary permits in hand before starting any work or you could be in for a delay—or an expensive bill down the road.
When it comes to renovating, have fun. It’s exciting! But make sure to do your homework and know exactly what you’re getting into before you start swinging that hammer and make sure you keep these five points in mind when starting so that you can avoid any costly mishaps along the way.