By Jessica Merkel
Deciding to renovate your home is a significant financial decision, as well as a substantial time commitment to putting up with a torn-up home. If you are considering making home improvements, there are some five common mistakes to avoid.
- Going with the cheapest contractor.
Home improvements are exciting, and it might be tempting to go with the easiest, cheapest contractor if you are not renovating yourself. But, it is essential to find someone who is a professional and does solid work. Ask around for referrals and conduct interviews so you can find the right person for your project. Check online reviews as well. Otherwise, you might get stuck with some poor construction and other home issues that happen from sub-par, unprofessional work.
- Not considering permits or not getting the proper permits for your project.
Another thing to consider for home improvements is whether you need to get a permit for your renovations. Failing to obtain a permit for specific improvements can cost you big time, and will significantly complicate things if you ever sell your home. It is also important to note that you should not count on your contractors to get all of the correct permits for you. You should do the legwork yourself, as the homeowner, to ensure everything is being done lawfully and correctly. Keep in mind that making these kinds of major changes might also mean you need to make a few adjustments to your homeowner’s insurance.
- Not accounting for extra costs.
Budgeting for any significant home improvement is tricky. There may be some unexpected costs that come up, and you don’t want to be left with a half-done renovation if there are unforeseen complications that end up costing you more than you planned. To avoid these surprises, it’s best to build in around 15-20 percent extra into your budget. This way, you’re prepared to take on any unexpected costs.
- Focusing on appearance over functionality.
When making home improvements, ideas to improve the home’s appearance may overshadow the insights to improve its functionality. Of course, you want to maintain curb appeal and a beautiful interior with any improvements, but you should avoid sacrificing appearance for functionality. Neglecting the functionality of your home, like structural or electrical functions, can cause safety concerns. Address these functions first in your improvement plan, then move on to appearance after. Another part of the functionality is considering the flow of the room and where things like windows, outlets, and doors are placed with your improvements.
- Not taking appropriate safety measures.
By far, the most critical consideration for any home improvement project is how to keep everyone safe while renovating. Be sure to have the right protective gear such as goggles, gloves, work shoes/boots, hearing protection, and helmets as well as the appropriate tools for whatever your project necessitates.