When it comes to a home renovation, it’s important that you do it right. Mistakes are costly and can cause the project to take even longer.

Renovating too early

If you’ve just purchased your home, wait a while before beginning your renovation. We suggest living in your home for at least two months. Take time to get to know the space, learn what features you need, and make sure the house is safe. Any structural issues, electrical updates or asbestos will need to be taken care of before the renovation begins.

Then, whether you’ve just moved or are wanting to renovate your existing home, do your research. Make a list of the cost of materials, labor, how much time it will take, and what preparations need to take place before the renovation begins. 

Depending on the project, you and your family may be inconvenienced for days or weeks at a time, and potentially without a kitchen or bathroom. Do your homework and make plans ahead of time to ensure that you’re ready for the project.

Following form with function, instead of function with form

Think about how you’ll actually use the space and avoid making decisions purely on visual appeal. 

Consider the kitchen work triangle rule- which states that the placement of the sink, stove, and refrigerator should form a triangle. Use this rule to design your kitchen to ensure a functional and efficient space.

kitchen workspace triangle

Also, consider traffic patterns through your home. This should affect door, window, and outlet placement if you’re doing a total remodel. Usually, kitchens and living rooms are high-traffic areas, so you want to make sure your doorways are large enough for multiple people to pass through. 

Planning for the short-term

It can be tempting to choose the latest trends for your remodel, but trends are fleeting and change every few years. Think about how your home will fit your needs not only today but five or ten years down the road. 

You should design your space to your liking, but also in a style that will stand the test of time and last for years. Good design lasts forever and will help your resale value down the road.

Taking this big picture approach will help you make informed, careful decisions throughout the project.

Using cheap materials

When it comes to materials- you get what you pay for. 

There are many ways to renovate your home on a budget, like doing your own demo or purchasing items secondhand, but don’t settle for cheap building materials. Low-quality materials will need to be replaced in a few years while durable, high-quality materials will last much longer.

renovation material mistakes

Another way you can save money on your renovation is to wait until the slow winter season. Contractors may be more willing to negotiate during this time and suppliers may offer discounted rates. Many home improvement chains offer big sales before the holidays.

Not using green materials

The global market for green building materials is expected to reach $364.6 billion by 2022.

The millennial generation is now the key homebuying cohort and is growing the demand for environmentally-friendly building materials. Millennials value sustainability and brands have to adjust to keep up.

There’s a common misconception that it’s more expensive to use eco-friendly materials, but products are becoming increasingly affordable and readily available due to technological advances. 

Using green materials in your renovation is a smart investment that will set you ahead of the market.

Expecting everything to go as planned

You never know what’s going to happen once you start the demolition process. Working on older buildings especially can yield many unforeseen expenses. You never know what you’re going to find behind the walls, so you need to make sure you have at least an extra 20% built into your budget to be prepared for unexpected costs.

We all hope that everything goes according to plan, but more often than not, nothing will.

Hiring the wrong contractor

Finally, what may be the most important tip when starting a home renovation: make sure you hire the right contractor.

Choosing a home remodeling contractor is a big decision. You’re trusting this professional to bring your vision to life, so don’t rush the decision.

Reach out to a few local contractors to set up consultations. During each meeting, make sure the contractor understands what you want. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions about materials, layout and the construction process. Then, do your research.

Contact each contractor’s references and previous clients to make sure they have a good track record. Read their online reviews and go through their portfolio of remodeling work. Make sure that it resembles your vision for your home.

Don’t select your contractor based on price alone. Yes, you should compare estimates, but be wary of contractors with low prices and lots of availability. While the cheapest bid may be appealing, keep in mind that the contractor could be hiding costs until later on, planning to cut corners, or unskilled. 

Good professional help is worth the money. If you’re looking for a home remodeling contractor in the Twin Cities, contact BWBE for a free consultation.

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