We just read this article on angieslist and decided to add it to our site. It was written by Jim Kreipe of Square Deal Remodeling Co.
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Starting a remodeling project on your home is a large undertaking and requires a lot of thought and planning. As you begin the remodeling process, make sure to avoid these ten common mistakes.
1. Trying to keep up with the Joneses
To avoid this mistake, make sure you have your financing before starting the project. Establish a realistic budget, and then add ten percent for unknown costs that will arise. Also, decide what you want the project to accomplish and establish your priorities based on those decisions. Within those, you’ll want to include second-tier priorities, which are options to consider later if they are affordable.
2. Limiting your possibilities
To prevent disappointment, don’t be afraid of spending just a little bit more to get the job done right. Ask your contractor what they would do and solicit him or her for new and different options, being open about your thoughts and ideas.
3. Hiring the lowest bidder
It is important to find someone you can trust and who will give your project the attention it needs to be seen through to completion. Fully investigate the background of your chosen contractor, and remember that focusing on the lowest dollar amount does not tell you about whether or not the contactor is trustworthy.
4. Re-using sinks, faucets and appliances
Tubs, sinks and appliances can be repainted using epoxy or powder coating processes, but toilets cannot be refinished. Beware – if toilets are not 1.5 gallon flush, they cannot be re-used. Additionally, metals can be re-plated, but costs can sometimes equal new replacement. This may work well for old door hardware or heat registers, but not for faucets.
Sometimes your budget won’t allow for new or refinished appliances. Be ready for the item to feel out of place and enjoy the slightly eclectic look.
5. Buying before you have a final plan
Take the time to evaluate your needs, explore your options and discover your appliance preferences. Be sure to visit showrooms and discuss appliance features with knowledgeable salespersons, and remember that function is king. If a great on-sale appliance doesn’t fit in your new kitchen or doesn’t meet your specific need, don’t buy it.
6. Making emotional decisions
Before you begin, understand that emotions can play a positive or negative role and plan accordingly. If you know that you tend to respond emotionally, delegate the project spokesperson role to someone you trust.
Be patient when occasional blips occur. Even well-defined and proven processes have their ups and downs, and good remodelers will stay focused on meeting your needs as quickly as possible. Give him or her the opportunity to complete the project and address any problems – errors can occur with even the best contractors.
7. Failing to budget early on
Discuss the budget and the dream frequently in the design phase in order to guide the designer or estimator. Also, ask for examples and pictures. If you find a project design you like, ask what it might cost.
8. Planning with the wrong professional
Find a professional who shares your taste in design, has experience with comparable projects and is a seasoned professional. It’s also important to make the process fun and enjoyable by finding someone who clicks with your personality.
9. Failing to inspect
Have a professional fully examine your existing structure for any potential hidden conditions in your walls and ceilings, which may cause problems when discovered. Seasoned remodelers know what to look for.
10. Jumping in headfirst
To ensure a successful remodeling project, take the time to carefully evaluate your needs, wants and proposed solutions. Key decisions about design directions can take months. Begin looking for professional help at least a full year before your anticipated project completion.