Top 5 Remodeling Mistakes Homeowners Make (and how to avoid them!)

By: Rachael Boyer

Feb 2, 2023

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Remodeling Companies, Handymen, DIY - oh my! The amount of options you have to remodel your home these days is astounding, and quickly becomes overwhelming when it comes time to deciding who to trust with your home's transformation.


With so many different factors to consider with your project - from financing to designing to the logistics of how to live through the remodel- it's absolutely key to work with a contractor you can trust to not only provide a beautiful end result, but a wonderfully memorable experience.


Navigating the process of choosing who to work with can be incredibly complicated. It's easy to be lured in by a shockingly low quote. You might think you have the perfect design in mind, only to find it's not a good fit for your space. And you can be swept up in the intricacies of your unique project, only to forget about the Return on Investment picture within your neighborhood.


We want to highlight the Top 5 Mistakes Homeowners Make when remodeling their home - and share with you the ways in which you can avoid each one! You'll notice that the common thread running through all of the solutions to these potential mishaps are choosing the right team to work with from day one.


As you read through these mistakes and the ramifications of making them, rest assured that they are indeed easily avoided when you trust the right team. And we'll explain what to look for in a remodeling contractor to give you the best possible experience and result to bring your family together in a remodeled home you all love to be in.



Mistake #1: Hiring a contractor solely because they provide the cheapest quote

Going off of the lowest bid number can spell disaster later in the project for a multitude of reasons. Keep the following red flags in mind when considering that low quote:

  1. Quality of work: The lowest bid may reflect the contractor's lack of experience or use of subpar materials. This can result in poor workmanship and an unfinished or poorly executed project.
  2. Time and Cost Overruns: A low bid may not accurately reflect the true cost of the project and can lead to cost overruns as the contractor may have underestimated the time and materials needed to complete the project. This can result in additional expenses and potentially extend the project timeline.
  3. Uninsured or unlicensed contractors: To lower their costs, some contractors may not carry the necessary insurance coverage or have the required licenses. This can expose you to potential liability in the event of an accident or damage to your property.
  4. Communication and Professionalism: A contractor who provides a low bid may not prioritize communication or customer service. They may be difficult to reach or unresponsive, which can result in delays and added stress.
  5. Reputation and Referrals: A contractor with a good reputation and positive referrals is a good indicator of their ability to deliver quality work. Low bids may indicate that a contractor has a poor reputation and lacks a track record of successful projects.

How to Avoid: While a low bid may be tempting, it's important to consider the factors mentioned above and weigh the cost against the potential risks. A contractor who provides a competitive, fair bid and has a proven track record, insurance coverage, and good communication skills is more likely to deliver the results you expect and ensure a successful outcome for your project.

Mistake # 2: Not considering ROI in your unique neighborhood

Obtaining a positive Return On Investment via your home remodel should be a top priority both for you and your contractor. Making this a reality involves not only considering the quality of work put into your property, but where your property is located and the value consideration provided by your neighborhood. Don't forget to factor in the following pieces of the ROI puzzle: 

  1. ​​Neighborhood Market Conditions: The real estate market in your neighborhood can significantly impact the ROI on your property. Understanding the current market trends, housing demand, and home prices will give you a better idea of what to expect from your investment.
  2. Home Improvements: Understanding the ROI of specific home improvements in your neighborhood can help you make informed decisions on renovation projects. Not all home improvements are equally valuable in all neighborhoods, and some may not add as much value as they cost.
  3. Resale Potential: Your property's resale potential will depend on the demand and competition in your neighborhood. By considering the ROI in your neighborhood, you'll be able to make informed decisions that will help increase the resale value of your property.
  4. Location and Amenities: The location and availability of amenities in your neighborhood will play a significant role in determining the ROI on your investment. Properties located near shopping, dining, and entertainment options will likely have a higher ROI compared to those located in areas with limited amenities.
  5. Competitor Properties: Understanding the competition in your neighborhood is crucial when considering the ROI on your investment. Knowing what similar properties in the area are listed for, their features, and the time it takes to sell them will give you a better understanding of the local real estate market.

How to Avoid: Considering the ROI in your unique neighborhood is essential when making real estate decisions. By understanding the local real estate market, home improvements, resale potential, location and amenities, and competitor properties, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions that will maximize your ROI and ensure a successful outcome for your investment.

Mistake #3: Setting unrealistic budget expectations for your project

When you start your remodeling journey with unrealistic budget numbers in mind, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and disappointed as quotes start coming in. And when you think that the lowest quote can get the job done, it can lead to a whole host of disappointments:

  1. Overages Mid-Project: if the budget is not enough to cover the costs of materials, labor, and other expenses, you may end up spending more money than you initially planned, causing financial stress and disappointment.
  2. Cutting corners: to stay within budget, you may be tempted to use lower quality materials, or cut back on certain features, which can negatively impact the quality and durability of the remodel.
  3. Delays: if the budget is not adequate, the project may need to be postponed or scaled back, causing delays and frustration.
  4. Unhappy contractors: if contractors are not paid fairly for their work, they may become unhappy and less motivated to do their best.

How to Avoid: Setting unrealistic budget expectations can lead to multiple problems that can cause the project to fall short of your expectations and create dissatisfaction and stress for everyone involved. Working with a contractor who is honest about costs from the beginning, and taking the time to educate yourself on what an accurate remodel budget looks like in your region, is key to confidently tackling your project.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to design for the space you're in

With Pinterest boards galore and hours of HGTV watched, it can be tempting to just copy and paste your favorite ideas into your home. But designing for a remodel needs to incorporate the existing space. You need to keep in mind any elements that are staying the same, and also account for the floor plan and flow of your home. Neglecting to do so can lead to the following pain points: 

  1. Inadequate storage: if you don't consider the unique storage needs of each room, you may end up with a lack of space to store items, causing clutter and frustration.
  2. Poor traffic flow: if you don't plan for the way people will move through the space, you may end up with awkward or cramped areas that are difficult to navigate.
  3. Uncomfortable spaces: if you don't take into account factors like lighting, ventilation, and insulation, you may end up with spaces that are too hot, too cold, or too dark to be comfortable.
  4. Wasted space: if you don't plan carefully, you may end up with spaces that are too large or too small for their intended purposes, leading to wasted square footage and a lack of functionality.

How to Avoid: Failing to design for a home's unique spaces can result in spaces that are uncomfortable, inefficient, and poorly suited to meet your needs. It's important to take the time to understand the unique characteristics of your home and plan your remodel accordingly.

Mistake #5: Trusting a contractor that doesn't provide a firm project schedule

When a remodeling contractor does not explain their scheduling system and provide a detailed schedule from day one, you could be in for a never-ending project. Unfortunately, there are horror stories aplenty about projects that pause mid-project, have team members that never show up, and ultimately leave the house in chaos for what feels like an eternity. A lack of a schedule can lead to: 

  1. Uncertainty: without a clear timeline, it can be difficult to know when the project will be completed, making it challenging to plan for daily life during the remodel.
  2. Delays: if the contractor does not have a firm schedule, they may be less likely to meet deadlines and the project may drag on, causing frustration and inconvenience.
  3. Cost overages: without a clear timeline, the contractor may take longer to complete the project, which can result in higher labor and material costs, putting pressure on your budget.
  4. Missed opportunities: if you don't know when the project will be completed, you may miss out on opportunities to use your new space, host gatherings, and bring your family together in the way you'd envisioned. 

How to Avoid: A lack of a firm project schedule can create uncertainty, cause delays, result in higher costs, and cause missed opportunities in your home. It's important to work with a contractor who can provide a detailed and realistic project schedule to ensure that your remodel runs smoothly and meets your expectations.

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Avoiding Remodeling Mistakes is simple when you work with a team your can trust.


We would love to answer any and all home remodel questions you have, and help make the prospect of transforming your home and exciting endeavor you can feel confident in.

Contact us today to set up a personalized phone consult where you can share all of the dreams you have for your space, and we can start the process of making those dreams a reality.