1. Not understand what your needs and wants are
Very often, home owners get into a renovation without creating a priority list. We meet a lot of clients that want to renovate out of necessity, and start adding onto it with things that they would LIKE to have. Creating a “Needs list” and “Wants list” really helps you make decisions especially when it’s time to start crunching numbers.
2. Not starting with a design
Putting your ideas down on paper is CRITICAL when starting a renovation. This will allow you to have a clearer picture of what the end results will be, but also help your contractor create a scope of work from what is on paper. Do not start getting quotes without a design, this is a common mistake a lot of people do. The reality is it is impossible you for to determine what the differences are between the quotes, and can end up getting very confusing and complicated.
3. Not inquiring about financing
Most people go into a renovation with a budget in mind which is a great start, but depending on the size of your project, you may not have all the cash on hand, and will most likely need to find some sort of financing. Do this before you commit to anything. Also if you have an older home, expect to run into some unforeseen situation which will end up costing you more money, so have at least a 20% contingency fund available. I know 20% seems like a lot, but the reality is most of the issues will be discovered once the demo is done, and it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
4. Not getting it in writing
Unfortunately a simple handshake won’t do the trick. We are not saying that other contractors will rip you off, but it is important to know exactly what you are getting before you move forward. People have different views and expectation, and you want to make sure that you contractor know exactly what you are looking for and to itemize you scope, so you know exactly what is included and what is not.
5. Not getting permits
Permits are very important, and ever municipality has different criteria of when a permit are required. Do your research and reach out to your local municipality and explain what you are thinking about doing, and confirm it you will need them or not. All too many times we see people getting STOP WORK ORDERS from the city, because their contractor told them they don’t need permits. Remember you as the homeowner are liable not your contractor, and this is a legal issue which could come back to haunt you in the future is not executed properly.
6. Expecting no delays
If you are moving out of you home for the renovation, and you expect the renovation to take 4 months. Plan that you will be out of your home for 6 months. Again this is more for older homes as there might be items that come up during the project that your local building inspector might require to be upgraded or updated. So give yourself a little breathing room.
7. Hold 10%
Make sure that when the project is complete that you hold back at least 10% for deficiencies to be rectified. Do not make the final payment until your contractor has completed the work to meet local building standards.
Does this help? Would love to give you more insight and learn about your goals. Inquire below and we’ll be in touch.