Avoid Remodeling Problems – Top 5 Tips

Thinking about remodeling your home? So are millions of other Americans. However, the economy is forcing homeowners to re-evaluate their role in the remodeling. Over half of homeowners with plans to remodel are attempting to complete the work themselves. Sure, there are easy ways to fix-up your house such as decorating and painting. But be careful when it comes to more skilled projects like installing appliances or tiling floors, as mistakes can become costly, not to mention a huge nuisance.

Consumer Reports conducted a survey of 6,000 readers, asking them about their biggest remodeling problems, what their blunders cost them and ways to avoid getting into a similar situation again.

1). THINK BEFORE YOU ACT – Rushing into things can be one of the costliest mistakes homeowners make. If you find that something has gone wrong during your project, fixing the problem can be an expensive hassle. Do your research first.

2). STUFF HAPPENS – Even careful planning cannot prevent the unexpected from happening. A variety of setbacks can occur during a remodeling project, from uncovering structural problems to hidden water damage. Be prepared and anticipate the unanticipated.

3). DON’T BE CHEAP! – Yes, we all love a bargain and many of us pride ourselves for “shopping around.” But always going for the lowest-priced contractor or trying to save on inexpensive materials may end up being an expensive faux pas. Sometimes you can find great contractors at affordable prices, and the cheaper materials may be the best for the job, but make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for. It’s better to spend a little more and be confident in the end-result.

4). GET THAT PAPER – Paperwork. It is so imperative for contractors to furnish valid licenses, insurance, workers compensation. Permits to allow the contractor to do the job(s) should also be obtained. Lien wavers are essential as they help homeowners to avoid any unpaid vendors or suppliers from contacting them for payment. Make a checklist of all the paperwork you need before the project begins.

5). SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF – Instead of joining the bathroom-and-kitchen-remodeling bandwagon, focus on the less glamorous details like lighting, air-conditioning filters, and shelving. They may seem unimportant, but all the small stuff adds up to a beautiful home. Perhaps start off with minor projects that you can tackle before moving on to larger projects.