Home renovation projects aren’t something homeowners tackle very often, and for good reason. These projects usually entail a large scope of work intended to be completed once and then enjoyed for a lifetime. Some homeowners don’t have good experiences through their projects. This is why many myths and misconceptions about renovations can be passed from person to person.
Myth # 1: All Contractors are the same.
You always hear about the horror stories of client experiences with certain contractors. Whether they left the job unfinished, wanted more money, quality of work was poor or didn’t follow codes and guidelines. These are stories that no one wants to hear and could have been avoided. With that being said, do your research when deciding to hire a contractor for your next project. Verify that the have a solid reputation in the industry. Companies with an established reputation have worked really hard to get to that point so you know they are willing to do what it takes to make their clients happy. Any other outcome could ruin the reputation the worked so hard to build, that’s why they are usually willing to go above and beyond. That's what you want in a contracting company and there are many professional companies out there, you just need to find the right fit for you.
Myth # 2: Go with the lowest bid price.
Going with the lowest bid doesn’t mean you are getting the best price. Some quotes are missing certain key elements or portions of the project. As the project goes on, the contractor may realize that they are running out of money or that they made certain mistakes pricing the job. This means they will be going back to the client for additional money that now, you may not be prepared to spend. Some contractors will purposely price the project lower, so that the potential client will go with the cheaper price and try to increase the cost as the project goes on. In short, going with the lowest bid could be a sacrifice in quality or cost you more in the long run. On another note just because you receive multiple quotes, doesn’t mean you are comparing apples to apples. Make sure you receive a detail quote listing everything you are supposed to receive and that nothing is left out.
Myth # 3: It is more costly to hire a professional than to DIY the renovations yourself.
Hire a professional. DIY renovations can go very wrong and result in costly fixes. Just because you think you can renovate your home on your own doesn’t mean you should make the attempt, it is not as linear of a process as you may believe. Yes, professionals can be expensive at times but there is a reason why. Professional contracting companies have team of qualified skilled trades and connections to suppliers that can resolve the many issues that come up during a renovation. Contractors also have the tools, equipment, manpower and machinery to be able to complete projects in a timely fashion. Knowing rules, regulations and building codes can be very overwhelming to someone that doesn’t do this as an everyday profession. All in all, find a professional contractor in your area that you can trust with your next renovation.
Myth # 4: Home renovation projects leave your home in mess until they are completed.
This is something that you hear about often, but doesn’t need to be true. Contractors that are unprepared or are unwilling to protect your home during the construction process, just don’t care. They are only there to get paid and leave. Contractors that run a professional job site know how to organize the site and maintain a certain level of cleanliness. Professionals will find a way to protect your furniture and belongings, as well as protect the surfaces that could get damaged during the construction process. Protection against dust is number one, we all know renovations can be messy, but it's all about how you combat the mess and dust. Living through a reno should be as stress free as possible. You know you have found yourself a professional contractor when they going the extra mile to protect your home, maintain a safe job site and clean up at the end of each day.
Myth # 5: Renovation projects always run longer and cost more than expected.
Before any renovation begins, you should have a detailed quote with a set price and estimated timeline. In some cases certain projects will go over budget and you end up spending more than you wanted, or the project timeline has doubled. There are ways to be more prepared for these situations that arise. When you are budgeting for a renovation, set a value you are comfortable with spending. You should not max out the value you are comfortable spending. Plan the project so that you spend 10% to 20% less than your maximum budget. This way if the project has problems that come up or if you want to make upgrades while construction is under way, you have the financial flexibility to do so and still be below your maximum spending value. A similar rule applies for timelines. If you were told a project will take 6 weeks to complete, plan for 7 weeks just in case. With that being said, some contractors will work extra hours and increase manpower to still deliver the project on time.
Myth # 6: All renovations need to add resale value to your home.
Whenever people are looking to renovate, they are usually concerned if the project they are doing is going to add value to their home. This is a good thing if you plan on selling and moving. Certain projects will add value for potential buyers and increase the cost of your home, this way you can make money back on your investment. One thing people will over look is investing in themselves. If you plan on staying in one home for many years to come, then maybe you want to customize your renovation to better suit your lifestyle instead of worrying about the appeal factor to potential buyers. Make your home your own, if the renovation solves a problem for you and your family or lifestyle then it is still worth doing in some cases.
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