In our first 5 remodeling mistakes post, we talked about everything from contractors to permitting to being realistic about your budget. Of course, there are other nightmares lurking. We’re sharing 5 more common problems that tend to come up in the remodeling process.
Take advantage of the 20/20 hindsight of other homeowners, and keep an eye out for these issues as you embark on your renovation project –
Common Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid:
1 – Ignoring the Hidden Things
There are two aspects of every renovation: The stuff you want to do, and the stuff you have to do. I refer to this as your “must-haves” and your “pinch me” list. Make sure you outline these ahead of time and prioritize your budget accordingly so you get your “must-haves” first. Don’t let the allure of glittering mosaic tiles in your Pinterest-perfect dream kitchen persuade you to ignore a leaky roof, an unstable support beam, or a dreary water spot on your ceiling.
If a contractor, inspector, or utility worker shakes their head at the condition of your utilities, make a plan to replace them. Electric is often a common “out of sight, out of mind” aspect to factor in. Walk through the house with an electrician first to see what’s feasible and what may cost you more than you anticipated. What’s behind the walls and under the floors is just as important as those things you can see, so make sure everything is up to code.
2 – Inaccurate Measurements
How would you feel if you bought and installed kitchen cabinets only to realize your fridge won’t fit? Taking good measurements is the basis for pricing, cutting and managing materials. If you get this part wrong, it will come back to haunt you. To be on the safe side, measure four or five times. Helpful resources like our kitchen remodeling checklist can prevent mistakes like this.
Nancy Soriano, former editor in chief of Country Living magazine says, “I can’t emphasize enough how an inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And if your dimensions are off and it’s not equal and symmetrical, you’re not going to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you’re not sure about how to measure or you can’t follow the directions, don’t hesitate to call somebody. Ask them to come over and take the measurement for you.”
3 – Going Too Trendy
Those open cabinets, edison bulbs and faux finishes may be “in” this year, but before you’ve had a chance to finish your iced grande caramel macchiato, it’ll be “so yesterday.” (Remember those Tuscan-inspired color palettes, curvy scroll work and elaborate faux finishes from the early 2000s?). A lot of people make the mistake of wanting to incorporate the latest, hottest and most popular decor trends into their home without realizing it will hurt their home’s selling ability later.
Home trends change like the weather. You can avoid trendy pieces by investing in solid, quality materials and classic pieces and bring in trends through decor and easy-to-change items. Think big picture, and choose classic pieces over trendy ones.
4 – Not Ordering Extra Materials
You know those hardwood floors that are absolutely to die for? Imagine finding out you don’t have enough to complete the entire room after you’ve already started installation. If you run out of a particular material you were planning to use, there’s no guarantee you’ll find the exact match if you have to order more. To avoid this potential mistake, I recommend ordering 20% more materials than you think you’ll need.
This is especially a good idea for flooring since it’s prone to scrapes and breakage during installation, but could also apply to tile. The good thing is, most retailers let you return unopened boxes for a refund or exchange. It’s also nice to have a little extra on hand in case it gets damaged down the road.
5 – Losing Sight of Your Vision
Think about how long it’s taken you to save up for your remodeling project and come up with your vision. Don’t let anyone or anything compromise that! You shouldn’t let a well-meaning consultant, contractor, or family member steer you toward a color, finish or a layout that’s not what you absolutely love. If your budget is tight, there are ways to be creative.
Part of your home may be under construction longer than expected, and you may feel overwhelmed. Plan for a few delays, and try to be patient as not to lose sight of the big picture.
You’ll be living with the results for years and should be absolutely thrilled with the final product. Relax and enjoy the process of choosing what you love, it will all be worth it in the end!
Looking for support?
If you’re somewhere between DIY and hiring a full-service design/build firm, check out my eCourse the Renovation Roadmap – with step-by-step guidance and over 25 checklists and tip sheets, you’ll have everything you need to remodel like a pro!
Not remodeling but just need support feeling at home in your home? Give me a shout – would love to see how I can help…