Whew! You’ve weighed all the options and finally decided to remodel. Whether you’re adding a room for that home office or new baby, or updating your home to be more energy efficient and functional, a remodel is a big undertaking. There are all sorts of lists of things you need to do before tackling a remodeling project; we’ve got a list of things not to do.
- Don’t enlist inexperienced family or friends
It may be tempting to save money, but if your friends and family aren’t skilled, you might be spending more in the long run. Unless they’re experienced, save their help for things like moving furniture and helping with other remodeling related chores.
- Don’t assume you can DIY everything
We love DIY, but before you tackle a major remodel, know your skill set and experience. Some home projects are easy and others only look easy. Do your homework and know what you can, and more importantly, can’t do.
- Don’t assume you won’t go over budget
Start with a realistic budget, but understand that it’s very likely you will go over it. The more complicated your remodeling project, the more likely you are to run into some unexpected thing that needs fixing as well. Keep your project budget lower than you think you’ll need to allow some buffer room.
- Don’t assume a weekend project will only take a weekend
Just like a budget, the amount of time you need may surprise you. Give yourself extra time to handle the unexpected, especially if you are doing the work yourself.
- Don’t compromise safety for speed or lower cost
It sounds obvious, but don’t overlook safety precautions. Proper scaffolding, ladders and extension poles can be the difference between a job well done and an emergency room visit. If you’re not familiar with the riskier side of your project, it’s time to hire a pro.
- Don’t forget to check codes and regulations
Depending on where you live, local building codes can be a navigational game, especially if you’re digging, pouring foundations, or installing certain electrical, plumbing, mechanical or structural elements. Know your local codes and regulations and stick to them.
- Don’t get excited before you determine the details
That picture of your dream kitchen is exciting, but be smart. Don’t get emotionally invested in your project until you have a solid idea of cost, including materials, labor and permits, whether or not you can DIY the project and everything else you need to complete the remodel. Are you ready to handle the inconvenience and mess? Can you live with only one bathroom for a while? How about living without a kitchen?
- Don’t start until you have all of the components
Just like the emotional investment, make sure you’re prepared before you start the demolition process. You may be anxious to get started, but there is nothing more frustrating than having a project on hold while you wait for delivery of a necessary item.
- Don’t underestimate the power of pictures
If you are hiring a contractor, communication is your best friend, and using visual aids like photographs of projects or products you like is an easy way to help convey the result you want in your home. Don’t rely on verbal communication and interpretation alone.
- Don’t be afraid to dream
After all of that, the biggest thing is never be afraid to dream. Go ahead and imagine your dream home, then do your research and determine what you can do. It may mean doing your project in stages, or working one room at a time. Take your time, break it into smaller pieces and go ahead and dream! Your home is a big investment, it’s worth making it uniquely yours.