Are you about to begin a home remodeling project? Maybe your home remodeling project is necessary because you bought a fixer upper. Maybe it’s time for a home remodeling project because your home is aging and updates are necessary. Maybe you’re selling your home and want to give its market value a little boost. Whatever the reason, your home remodeling project will likely be simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding undertaking you’ve ever experienced.
However, home remodeling can easily become a disaster if you aren’t careful. To help you avoid many common pitfalls people make in their home remodeling journey, we’ve put together a list of mistakes to steer clear of:
Common Mistakes People Make While Remodeling Their Homes
- MISTAKE: Not watching the budget.
Home update projects almost always cost more than you anticipate. The best prepared homeowners can prepare for this by building a 15% contingency into their remodeling budget. The least prepared homeowners spend more than they planned at the front-end, and then run out of money while the project is only half complete. Yes, your kitchen design might looking really great with upgraded countertops, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors if you have marble countertops but no kitchen sink. Instead, make a budget of each aspect of your project, when something costs more than you budgeted, take note of how much it dips into your contingency, so you can plan accordingly.
- MISTAKE: Getting too trendy.
You might notice that school kids these days are wearing the same gear that was hip in the 80s. Yet, the time between then and now, these fashions were considered abysmal. Trends come and go. This applies to the home design world as well. In the 1970s, incorporating carpeting in the whole house, including the bathroom design, was so hot. Now, this fashion makes you want to lose your lunch.
While planning out your home design, try to stick to classic elements, that will remain appealing even when the fads change. You almost can’t go wrong with warm, hardwood flooring. Use neutral tones. If there’s a trend you particularly like, draw elements from it in your decor choices, so that you can easily change it out when the fads change.
- MISTAKE: Going too big.
If you’re a gourmet chef and want a decked out kitchen, treat yourself, boo! However, if you are trying to increase the value of your home, tread cautiously. We touched on this in the first point. A well-executed home remodeling project does wonders to increase your home’s value and draw in interested home buyers when you sell. However, there is a limit to how much home-value-increasing-power a remodel is capable of. The law of diminishing returns explains it best: Basically, there is a point where the money you put into something exceeds the amount of money you could ever profit from it.
For example, let’s say homes in your area sell for $200,000. If you investing $50,000 in a brand new state-of-the-art kitchen, you won’t suddenly be able to sell your home for $250,000, which is 25% above the market value of you real estate in your area. Most home experts suggest spending no more than 10% of the home’s value on bathroom renovations, and no more than 15% on kitchen renovations.
Also, keep in mind that most home renovations will not give you your entire investment back when you sell the home; however, it could be the single reason that you gain interest in your home from buyers.
- MISTAKE: Not making it a point to measure twice, cut once.
One of the most common pitfalls when homeowners begin home renovations is skimping on the planning phase. Then, once the new cabinets are installed and they move the appliances in, they realize their new beautiful refrigerator is two inches wider than the space left for it. Even if you are using contractors to do the work itself instead of DIYing it, make sure than you carefully measure and plan each element of the work, to save yourself the heartache and expense of rework later.
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