Biggest Remodeling Mistakes that Can Derail a Project
For DIYers, a home remodeling project is a chance for them to roll up their sleeves and create their own dream home. But without knowing a few tips and tricks, mistakes can easily happen.

1. Taking On Too Much


Not understanding the full scope of the project and all the details involved can lead to months of aggravation and headaches. Take a new light fixture. If it’s not a case of simply replacing a new one for an old one, then a hole will have to be cut in the wall so new wiring can be installed.

2. Bad Budget


Remodeling isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to be super expensive, either. But not knowing market prices for parts and labor means costs can spiral out of control. Instead, smart remodelers set a firm budget for themselves, research how much each section will cost, and don’t sign blank checks for the sake of “one more.”

3. Non-Fixed Price Contracts


Once an estimate has settled on and a contractor picked, one of the worst mistakes a remodeler can make is signing a non-fixed price contract. This leaves the door open to spiralling costs at the contractor’s whim, with the notorious “time plus materials” contract one of the most common kinds.

4. Inaccurate Measurements


The saying “measure twice, cut once” has never been truer than in remodeling, especially with big pieces in the home. Inaccurate measurements also mean pricing and resources can be mishandled, possibly resulting in paying too much or ending up with too little.

5. Cheap Materials


There’s another saying: “you get what you pay for.” Not shelling out enough for materials isn’t just a cost-saving measure, it could very well compromise the integrity of the house. A roof is the only barrier between the elements and interior, and shouldn’t be skimped on, and neither should windows, light fixtures, and other home essentials. The best and most expensive items aren’t necessary, but there should be a baseline.

6. Unnecessary Spending


Spending six figures for a home entertainment center isn’t just unnecessary, it can actually lose money very quickly in the home. Not learning what adds value to a home and spending the money elsewhere, like granite countertops in Alaska (which can crack and warp because of the cold weather), can be a wasted expenditure.

7. Neighborhood Clash


It can be tempting to build the biggest, grandest house on the block, but if the rest of the houses don’t match, there’ll be little property value added. Piling money into remodeling a house in a $100,000 neighborhood only means that the house will be base + additions, and not that it’s located in a desirable area where bidding wars happen.

By reading these mistakes that other newbies make, remodelers can avoid them and do things right the first time.
Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.
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