The 5 Biggest Remodeling MistakesJ&J Construction of Illinois, Inc.
Starting a home remodeling project is always momentous. For most people, it involves living with the work in progress – not to mention lots of decisions, excitement about the changes, and hopefully, a final reveal that makes everyone happy.
J&J started out in 1992 with the goal of creating extraordinary results for our remodeling customers – all while eliminating stress. We asked our team what the most common customer mistakes are when undertaking a single-family home renovation project. Before you start your journey of looking at paint samples, mood boards, and floor plans, make sure that you don’t make these remodeling mistakes.
1. Know what you want
Before you even begin interviewing contractors, make some hard decisions. This is the time to ask yourself what you want to accomplish, and why.
You may want to open up the floor plan in your ranch-style home. Perhaps you are looking at adding an additional 3-season living space. Maybe your only dream since you purchased your home was to expand your kitchen and make it a baking wonderland. When you’re able to communicate these specific goals to your contractor, you’ll be able to tap into their knowledge on how to make those renovation dreams happen.
2. Really think about your lifestyle
Do you have an active household? Are pets a part of your life? Do you need something that will be low maintenance? Who will be using the room? Questions like these may seem simple, but they’ll tell you a lot about how to determine things like room size, flooring, surfaces, and accessibility.
With a new addition to your home, you can get a fresh start and solutions to old problems. Features such as extra entries, the type of tile, and even the way doors are installed can make a huge difference in the way you use and enjoy your home. Take the time to think about how you use each room, and take notes on what you’d like to improve.
3. Don’t neglect your window shopping
No, not shopping for new windows! Get out there and explore your own neighborhood and others where you admire the houses. You’ll find out what works best in your part of the city, and what doesn’t. If your historic home has features you’re proud of, like Spanish Revival elements, Victorian gingerbread, or Tudor curves, you can see how others have updated similar homes – without sacrificing their unique qualities.
Home shows are another great way to learn about the latest innovations and styles that work well for our area. It’s one of the few times that you’ll be able to stock up on information and brochures from a wide variety of businesses – and you’ll get lots of inspiration.
Doing research on your likes and dislikes, materials and ideas will only help when you sit down with your contractor – and help you feel confident about your choices.
4. Be realistic about your budget
Once you determine your goals for your remodeling project, set your budget. And, once you set your budget, add on an additional 20% of that amount as a reserve. Don’t move ahead unless you can assure that you have that cushion in place. With your budget and reserve set aside, you’ll not only reduce your stress levels, you might even have a surplus at the end of the project.
Although your contractor is the best source of estimating a budget, you can get an idea of what you’re looking at through using online cost calculators. Having a good, realistic budget is critical to a successful renovation project.
5. Choose your contractors with care
The first company you interview may not be the best choice. By talking to at least three contractors and getting quotes, you’ll have a firm idea of your project scope, and possibly learn about some items you didn’t consider.
Choose a contractor that not only provides you with a complete plan but also confidence. Good companies have a portfolio of previous work – and they’re happy to share it with you! Excellent communication and the ability to listen to your needs are essential for any contractor relationship.
You should also have the assurance that they are familiar with your type of project. If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, for example, ask to see examples of similar projects they’ve completed. Don’t be afraid to ask for references.
At J&J, we really do believe that all remodeling projects should be stress-free – we’ve even trademarked our SUCCESS™ process of checklists and controls to ensure it happens. Contact us to discuss your remodeling goals!