What not to do in home improvement

Even if you love HGTV, unless you love “do-it-yourself” projects, remodeling isn’t something people do very often. As a result, homeowners often make costly mistakes that can be avoided.   Assume […]

Even if you love HGTV, unless you love “do-it-yourself” projects, remodeling isn’t something people do very often. As a result, homeowners often make costly mistakes that can be avoided.  

Assume you know what your project will cost without doing the research first.
We’ve met homeowners who think that a kitchen remodel with all new appliances, custom cabinets and granite countertops will only cost $20,000. What they find is that a $20,000 kitchen most likely includes a basic appliance package, laminate countertops and stock cabinets from a home improvement store. In fact, the average kitchen remodel is closer to $50,000, with many approaching $80,000.

This concept of developing a real project cost goes hand in hand with selecting your materials before starting any work. Materials will make the biggest difference in what your remodel costs.  However the cabinets themselves can vary from $100 per lineal foot for already made stock cabinets bought at Home Depot to over $500 per lineal foot for custom made or specialty cabinets.

We can continue to give lots of examples, but the point is to do your research, and don’t forget to account for every little thing – even drawer pulls and door knobs can start to add up. It may seem unnecessary to develop a budget that detailed, but you’ll be much better prepared if you do.

Start without a design or a plan.
Many homeowners don’t know how to come up with a plan or design, and don’t understand the importance of how design will affect the final outcome.  Design is not decoration. It is the practical application of where permanent items will be installed in your home, how they will function, and what they look like.

One easy example of poor design is a bathroom where the door can’t be opened without hitting the toilet.

Neglect to create enough time in your already busy schedule.

It’s all too common for home improvement projects to take longer than you think they will, even after you’ve doubled or tripled the estimate in your head. Whether you are doing the work yourself, or working with a professional, things don’t always go as planned.

And, remember if you are working with professionals that you’ll have to take time off from work during the day to meet with them. Contractors, architects and designers have families at home, too!

Fail to set clear goals for what you want to do, and change your mind in the middle of the project.

Once you have those selections made, don’t get wishy washy and change your mind about design or materials choices mid-stream. This will almost always cost more, and take more time.

Select professionals based on price alone.

Of course, we’ve all heard horror stories about contractors gone bad, but reputable designers, contractors and subs want you to be happy with their work and will stand by it with written guarantees.

 

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