8 Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Remodeling
Remodeling your vintage home is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time – something everyone can likely agree on. There’s a lot to look forward to, but there are also a lot of moving parts homeowners need to be mindful of, which is where the nerves can set in. To help you feel even more prepared for a planned home remodel, check out these eight common mistakes homeowners tend to make with home renovations:
1) Underestimating Renovation Costs
First and foremost –renovation costs are often underestimated until a contractor’s quote is obtained, and even then, you should always add some cushion space on top of that. Without expert knowledge of the work that needs to be done (and the things the naked eye can’t see that are required to complete the job well), it’s almost impossible to assess the cost of your home renovation yourself. Additionally, you are bound to experience surprises throughout the renovation of your home – especially given the age of your vintage home. A home that is 80+ years old has a lot more potential for problems than a new construction home, which is something a lot of homeowners can forget in the midst of the excitement.
2) Underestimating Remodeling Timeliness
Beyond underestimating renovation costs, homeowners also often underestimate timelines with their home remodel. Something as simple as a permit can take far more time than homeowners realize unless they have been through the process before, and that is only one variable that can slow a project down. It’s always best to consult with your contractor to get the most accurate estimate of when your project will be done, and even then, set your own expectations for a bit longer to avoid being disappointed by potential delays.
3) Choosing the Wrong Contractor
Another common mistake homeowners make is choosing the wrong contractor for their renovation. Typically, the cause of that mistake is an enticingly low estimated cost for the project – something that’s hard not to be drawn to. It’s important to keep in mind that no two contractors are the same: their experience varies, their specialties differ, and the service you can expect isn’t equal across all companies. Do your due diligence by getting quotes from a few providers, specifically looking for a contractor that specializes vintage homes – a unique skillset that will only be beneficial (and stress relieving) to you in the long run.
4) Not Being Mentally Prepared for the Unexpected
As mentioned in our first two points, there are going to be curve balls in your home renovation – they are inevitable. Many homeowners start projects aware of that but maintain the “it won’t happen to me” mindset. Do yourself a massive favor by proactively setting your own expectations for the unexpected to pop up. If you don’t have any curveballs, then you get to be pleasantly surprised – a much better feeling than the alternative.
5) Being Too Fearful of Layout Changes
The idea of changing the layout in your home is often associated with the thought that layout changes come with a high price tag, but that isn’t always true. If there is a layout change that would really improve the functionality of your home, talk with your contractor about it! You might learn that the layout change doesn’t actually have a big impact on the overall price of your renovation. If the change does come at a higher cost, you and your contractor may also be able to work together to see how the adjustment can best align with your budget. A great contractor is there to help you accomplish what you want, to the best of their ability.
6) Striving to be Too Trendy
This common mistake may be surprising, but it’s certainly something many homeowners regret into the future. When you are planning your home’s design and finishes, you want to keep in mind that the main elements of your home should be able to last the test of time. They should also be palatable to the masses (not something too bold for potential buyers in the future). By keeping designs and finishes timeless, you ensure you won’t be bored of your decisions in the next year or two, and you will be able to broaden the scope of interested buyers in the future. Trendy items certainly have their place, which is where décor comes in – something much more temporary, letting you have fun and show off your personality!
7) Not Being Practical with Aspirations
It may seem obvious to some, and perhaps a bit harsh, but you would be surprised by how many homeowners that don’t realize what their aspirations will be like when they are living their lives in their home. A great example of that is hardwood floors. Many of us love hardwood floors – they are gorgeous, after all. That said, they aren’t the best choice for everyone. Hardwood is more prone to damage than other flooring, so if you have dogs, as an example, your beautiful new flooring is highly likely to be ruined quite quickly.
8) Lack of Awareness of Local Restrictions
To finish off our list of common homeowner mistakes, we saved a pretty big one – lack of understanding restrictions you may be subjected to with your remodel. Local laws, and even community rules, can really impact renovations you can and cannot make on your home. As an example, something like an addition may not be allowed in your neighborhood, or it could have very strict specifications you will be held to that may not align with your vision. Your contractor will likely be aware of restrictions in your city or county, but they may not be abreast of neighborhood restrictions unless they have specifically worked on a home in your community in the past. By proactively learning more about restrictions in your community, you can ensure your expectations are set before you really get into the planning stages.
By avoiding common mistakes homeowners make with home renovations, you can ensure your vintage home remodel is nothing short of amazing – not only the day it’s completed, but years into the future.