We all want home renovations to go well.

Most homeowners think it has everything to do with the contractor they choose, but often they have just as much to say about the way the process turns out as anyone else.

Here’s 5 tell-tale signs you could be sabotaging your dreams of a successful home remodel:

1. Hiding your REAL budget 

We’ve all heard remodeling horror stories about projects going over budget, so as homeowners, we often don’t share our budget with our contractor and just ask them to give us an estimate for what we want. While it’s certainly not the worst thing to do, it can end up costing you more time (and money) in the end.

Not sharing your true budget with your contractor limits their ability to plan properly and show you what’s possible in your space.

If they’re in the dark, they’ll provide you conservative numbers hoping to win your business, setting you up for lots of “change orders” (cost adjustments) as you get further into the remodeling process.

On the flip side, if they’re great at listening to you and incorporate everything you want into their estimate, you could get back numbers that are twice the amount you’re willing to spend!

Sharing your budget range with potential contractors from the beginning will save you a great deal of time and effort and lay the groundwork for a great remodeling experience.

2. Trying to rush the process

Remodeling is stressful enough without adding a tight time-frame to the mix!

Designing your new space should be fun, but the quickest way to put a frown on your face, is by trying to choose everything in a couple weeks!

Even the most motivated of us has to juggle multiple commitments in our lives – between work, carting kids around, and the endless line of birthday parties, time can easily slip away.

You also want to watch out for contractors that are too readily available!

Most reputable firms have a loyal following and strong referrals which means you have to wait a bit before they can fit your project in. Instead of getting frustrated, see it as a chance to go through a thoughtful design process without the added stress of a stopwatch!

3. Blindly trusting recommendations

Just because your co-worker had a good experience with a contractor, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good fit for your project. Make sure you ask questions as to WHY they had such a good experience with them before you embrace them with open arms!

Was it because they liked ordering all the materials themselves and having the contractor just do the install? Maybe you know you need more hand-holding when it comes to design and don’t want to handle all those details on your own!

Or maybe your neighbor’s contractor was less expensive because they didn’t pull permits and did a lot of the plumbing and electrical work themselves. That may be at odds with your desired approach to have permits pulled and only licensed trades people in your home.

Taking time to understand why each contractor is recommended is just as important as getting the name of the referral in the first place!

4. Hiring the Wrong TYPE of Contractor

The size and scope of what you’re looking to remodel will greatly influence the type of contractor you want to hire.

If you’ve got a multi-room renovation (taking down walls, replacing flooring, and moving electrical and plumbing around) you want an experienced design/build firm or general contractor. They should have a strong reputation for project managing projects of your size; choosing a smaller contractor or “jack-of-all-trades” approach could end up causing you headaches in the long-run if the project is too big for them to handle.

On the other hand, if you have a small bathroom remodel that needs updating, you don’t want to choose a huge firm where your project is too small for the way their team is set-up. It’s like hiring a CPA to balance your checkbook – they can do it, but it may be overkill for what you need.

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5. Treating Contractors Like Vendors

Let’s face it, the remodeling industry doesn’t have the best reputation.

Getting your home renovated probably falls somewhere between a trip to the dentist and getting your car repaired (although more expensive).

Because of this, most homeowners view contractors as an adversary instead of a partner, and this is a huge mistake. Think about it, they have the same goal as you – they want you to love your new space and refer all your friends and family to them!

Sharing your budget, openly communicating and telling them your expectations (and fears) will create a deeper connection and go a long way towards creating a successful partnership.

Remodeling is tough enough without putting obstacles in your way. Take time to slow down, ask questions and share your vision and budget with your contractor and you will be well on your way to having a successful remodeling experience!


Want More Home Remodeling Tips and Help?

When approaching any type of remodeling project, you can avoid lots of pitfalls when you’re armed with the right information.

That’s why we created the Renovation Roadmap – a step-by-step guide designed to take you through the home renovation process from start to finish.

With helpful worksheets, videos, budgeting tools, and much more, you’ll have everything you need to transform your home on time, within your budget, and in alignment with your goals and vision.

Learn about the Renovation Roadmap and start your remodeling journey today!

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