How to Avoid a Renovation Nightmare

Renovating your home can be a huge undertaking. Without careful planning, the project can quickly become more complicated and expensive than you initially anticipated. Read these helpful tips to come up with a foolproof plan to fulfill your home improvement dreams and avoid a renovation nightmare.


Figuring out how to avoid a renovation nightmare starts with paying close attention to detail when you make your plans. It's important to include each step of the renovation into your budget. You should also come up with a ballpark timeframe in which you hope the work will be completed. Make sure that the projected cost and time schedule you set for the project are both realistic. This will require plenty of research which you can carry out by looking on reputable home improvement websites and by getting bids from professional contractors in your area. You'll also want to make sure and leave room in your budget for any unexpected challenges that may arise throughout the course of the renovation.


Nail Down the Goals of your Renovation


As basic as it seems, simply writing down exactly what you hope to accomplish with your renovation project is a major first step toward success. Saying you want to re-do your bathroom is too general of a statement to make when it comes to creating a budget. To avoid a renovation nightmare, you need to get much more specific. Do you just want to update your accessories and add a fresh coat of paint? Or do you want to completely replace the fixtures and vanity as well as repaint and redecorate? Once you've decided on the scope of your project, you'll be able to more realistically figure up the cost of materials and labor.


Set a Realistic Budget and Stick to it as Much as Possible


Setting and sticking to a budget may be one of the most crucial steps of all when it comes to renovating. After you have written out the list of specific upgrades you want to accomplish, you'll need to research and find out the cost to complete all of those different jobs. This will involve figuring out what projects you're equipped to take on yourself, what jobs you'll need to hire out, and what you'll need to spend for materials and labor for each step of the renovation.


You may discover that you don't have enough in your budget to cover everything you hope to accomplish. This is where you'll need to exercise wise stewardship and self-control. If your wish list exceeds your budget, scratch off or modify the items that are less of a priority. You could look at reducing costs by finding less expensive alternative materials to use for certain renovations, such as quartz instead of granite countertops. If you're going to need help from a professional, keep costs down by shopping around to find local contractors who charge reasonable rates you can afford.


Only Hire Licensed Contractors with Solid Reputations


Your renovation can quickly become a nightmare if you mistakenly hire an unscrupulous contractor. One way to try and avoid this potential problem is to only hire licensed and insured professionals who have a solid reputation throughout your local area. You'll really need to do your homework. When you're considering hiring a contractor, check to see if any complaints have been filed with a state or county licensing board, consumer affairs bureau, or the Better Business Bureau. See if anyone has complained about their business practices or workmanship on local home improvement forums. If you find several verified complaints, it would behoove you to look elsewhere for a contractor. If a contractor hasn't established a reputation in the area yet and is offering rock-bottom rates, that may be a red flag. It's really worth it to pay a little more for quality work than to hire someone whose bids are suspiciously below the going rate.


Another word of caution is to be careful about taking on too much of the work yourself if you aren't extremely sure you're able to do it correctly. You can end up making costly mistakes or having to purchase or rent expensive, potentially dangerous equipment that could make the do-it-yourself money saving option backfire. However, if you have experience or are generally very handy around the house, there may be some projects you can take on yourself or with help from friends and family.


If you're considering a home renovation project, following these simple steps can end up saving you plenty of headaches, hassles, and financial woes. By having a definite plan, coming up with a realistic budget, and hiring qualified contractors, you can feel reassured that your project will be a success.

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