Renovating or upgrading a home you have rather than buying a new one seems good right now due to very high home prices and interest rates and some markets that are so competitive it’s hard to buy a home. house at all.
But remodeling is rarely a simple proposition either.
Achieving the desired result takes more foresight, planning, and care than you might think. We asked two professionals – Bruce Irving, renovation consultant and real estate agent and former producer of “This Old House” and affiliated TV shows, and Mallory Micetich, home care expert at Angi – to describe the mistakes of common renovations that homeowners commit and how to avoid them. their.
The following mistakes can prevent you from getting the results you want or cause you to spend a lot more than you planned, or both.
1. Renovation too soon
“If it’s not an absolute wreck, I’d recommend living in the house for a bit,” says Bruce Irving, a Cambridge, MA-based home improvement consultant. He has helped many homeowners with their renovations and has his own war stories.
Spend time at home to see what works, what doesn’t and what you hate and love about the layout, much of which isn’t apparent at first, Irving told Money Talks News.
Tip from Irving: During your dreaming and early planning stages, keep a running list of your likes and dislikes: the features you like about yourself and others, the products you admire, and also the “stupid stuff” you’ve seen in some homes.
2. Vague planning
Angi (formerly known as Angie’s List) recently surveyed homeowners who had done renovations or major renovations in the previous five years. A whopping 49% said they regretted not having planned more in advance.
Learn from them: Make as many decisions as you can before hiring professionals. This may include choosing products and materials (and backups in case some are unavailable) and planning the dimensions and positioning of major job components.
Failing to think through exactly what you want can result in costly course corrections midway through your project.
Imagine anything that can go wrong and plan for it, Angi’s home care expert Mallory Micetich tells Money Talks News. For example, decide how and how often you will communicate with the general contractor and plan where you can stay if you need to move while the work is in progress.
3. Ignore the important stuff
It’s tempting (and understandable) to dream of magazine-worthy upgrades, the kind of things that promise to make life more fun right away.
But your priority should be any issues with your home’s structure, shell, or water management, Irving says.
“The first job is to prevent water infiltration (leaks) into your home to prevent costly damage,” he says.
Find and fix leaking or weak areas in the foundation, basement, roof and roof flashings, gutters and downspouts, and extensions.
“American homes are mostly built of wood, and wood is mostly killed by water,” says Irving.
4. Deciding to DIY
In Angi’s survey, more than 40% of homeowners who hired contractors said they felt calm before and during their renovation. That compares to just over 20% who chose the DIY route.
Frankly ask yourself, Micetich says, “Do I have the time, the tools, and the talent to do this job well?”
Learn more in “6 Times You Shouldn’t DIY a Home Improvement Project“.
5. Enter the lowest bid
“Never go for the lowest bid,” warns Irving. Likewise, beware of jumping on the guy or girl who is immediately available.
Ask yourself why one offer is significantly lower than others or why one contractor is available when others are very comprehensive.
Review each bidder’s portfolio and references to understand how they valued your work.
Renovation professionals are currently in high demand. Be prepared to wait for the good ones.
Learn more in “11 Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor You Can Trust.”
6. Unrealistic Budgeting
If you think you’re going to do your job on the cheap, you’re probably going to have to get real at some point.
Irving says, “You’ll spend more money than you ever thought possible, live with the results for a long time, and change the biggest investment you’ve ever made. Convincing yourself otherwise invites disappointment, taking shortcuts, or facing costs you can’t afford.
Set aside 10% or more of the total project cost as a buffer, on top of your budget, to cover any emergencies or surprises that may arise, advises Micetich.
If you don’t have the money for the job you want, consider:
- Should we wait a bit?
- What elements of work do you really need? What can be given up to do the most important things?
7. Act as a general contractor
It is tempting for owners to do without the general contractor. But managing your own project is “a nightmare in the making,” warns Irving.
“A general contractor, they make that money. Even though people sometimes think, ‘20%? In addition to everything? But they make that money easily by coordinating work and having influence [with subcontractors].”
“Subcontractors respond to calls from contractors,” he adds. “The owners have no attraction for any of them.”
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