Home renovations are on the rise. In fact, over half of homeowners in the U.S. reported that they were in the process of remodeling at least one area of their home, according to the 2022 US Houzz & Home Study.
Remodeling isn’t just becoming more popular–it’s becoming more expensive, too. According to the same study, homeowners spent 20% more on renovations last year than they did in the year prior. In addition, high-budget projects, which represent the top 10% of spending, increased from an average of $85,000 to over $100,000 in 2021.
Because remodeling is already so expensive, it’s important to avoid mistakes that will increase the total cost even further. If you’re planning on redoing an area of your home, make sure you avoid these five expensive home remodeling mistakes:
Choosing the Cheapest Materials
Because renovation costs are on the rise, many people choose cheap materials for their home improvement projects in an effort to save money. This may seem like a smart way to renovate your home without breaking your budget, but in the end, it will cost you.
In general, cheap materials won’t last nearly as long as high quality materials. If you choose cheaper materials, you may need to replace them much sooner than anticipated. As a result, you may end up spending more than you would have spent if you had chosen higher quality materials in the first place.
To avoid this mistake, make sure you thoroughly research the materials you are choosing. You should select durable, high quality materials that will stand the test of time.
Making Niche Updates
It’s understandable that homeowners typically want to make renovations that will fit their needs and suit their lifestyle. However, it’s important to avoid making niche updates to your home that won’t appeal to a lot of other people. This is because niche updates make your home harder to sell, so whenever you’re ready to put your house on the market, you may need to redo any areas that won’t appeal to a large group of buyers.
For example, say you convert a spare bedroom into a knitting room. Unless you are able to find a buyer who shares your passion for knitting, this renovation will make your home a hard sell. To sell your home, you may need to pay even more money to convert your knitting room back into a spare bedroom.
Hiring the Wrong Contractor
It’s important to do your research when searching for a contractor who can handle your renovations. Before you hire a contractor, make sure you ask for at least three references. This way, you can contact previous clients and learn more about what it’s like to work with the contractor.
If you hire the wrong contractor, they may make expensive mistakes that you will need to pay to fix in the future. An unreliable contractor may not even finish the job, which means you will have to pay another contractor to step in and pick up where the first contractor left off.
Issues like these can drastically increase the total cost of your renovations, which is why you need to take the time to find the right contractor for the job.
Changing Your Plans At the Last Minute
Your contractor will ask you to sign off on a detailed description of your renovation plans. Make sure you are completely satisfied with the renovations you have requested before you sign on the dotted line. Why? Contractors often charge an additional fee for “change orders,” which are last minute changes to the agreed upon renovation plans.
For example, let’s say you initially signed off on white marble countertops for your kitchen, but at the last minute, you decided to switch to black marble instead. The contractor will need to order the black marble, which could delay the completion of your project and prevent your contractor from taking on other work. It’s also possible that the contractor could have already ordered and paid for the white marble, which means you may be stuck footing the bill for materials you no longer want.
For these reasons, it’s crucial to avoid last minute changes to your renovation plans.
Failing to Prepare for Unexpected Costs
When preparing your renovation budget, it’s important to expect the unexpected. Most contractors recommend adding an extra 10-15% in your budget for unexpected expenses that may arise throughout the course of the renovations. If you fail to do this, you may end up scrambling for more cash at the last minute.
Keep this list handy so you can avoid these mistakes and stick within your budget while remodeling your home.