Home Renovation Don'ts

December 10, 2013 - Updated: December 10, 2013

It’s a lot easier today than it was a decade ago to check out contractors and home renovation companies online before you hire them for projects around your home. Even still, there are some important things you need to remember before you choose your contractors.

  1. If you are planning a large home renovation project that will need several types of skills and expertise such as electrical, plumbing, painting and tiling, hire a general contractor instead of a different company for each specialty. Hiring a general contractor to oversee the project will ensure that everyone working on your home renovation works together and in cooperation, without leaving you scrambling to find replacement contractors to finish the job if something doesn’t work out.
  2. Don’t neglect to consider the timeline of your home renovation, especially if it involves your bathroom or kitchen. These are areas of your home you need to use on a daily basis and it can quickly become very inconvenient and frustrating if you’re still waiting for the home renovation to be finished when it was supposed to be completed days or weeks ago.
  3. Don’t only research the contractor, but learn a bit about the home renovation job itself. If you know a bit more about how the job is done and what is commonly “forgotten” in certain home renovations, you can ensure the job is done right the first time. One example of this is when you re-do the flooring in your basement: a subfloor needs to be installed to prevent mold and mildew from excess moisture, but this is commonly forgotten. If you know about the project, you can ask your contractor if they intend to install a sub-floor.
  4. Don’t forget to fully plan your home renovations, and go over them with your contractors. This way, you (and the contractors) will know exactly what is being done and there will be no surprises later, such as appliances being too large or certain elements not being able to be installed where you want to put them.
  5. Don’t hire a contractor without references. As stated previously, research just isn’t enough. Some contractors pay for positive reviews on business review websites, so asking for references you can actually phone up can help you avoid running into problems later.
  6. Don’t hire a contractor without a contract. Even if the contractors come highly recommended by your family or friends or even if they themselves are your family or friends, have a contract that states the date of completion, the cost of the project and the scope of the project. An air tight contract is needed to protect yourself if something goes wrong.
  7. Don’t use the cheapest contractor. The cheapest bid is not likely to be the best contractor for the job. You might receive plenty of bids for your home renovation project, but the old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here, as it does with many other things in life. The cheapest contractors may cut corners elsewhere, such as in their choice of materials. Redoing the home renovation because of substandard work the first time around will cost much, much more than simply having it done right the first time.
  8. Don’t use unlicensed contractors. Unlicensed contractors can cause you a slew of problems, because if they do not bother to get a license it is also likely that they do not bother with insurance - leaving you in serious trouble and at the risk of being sued if they or one of their employees gets hurt on the job while in your home.

Home renovations can be an odd combination of fun and frustration all at the same time. They aren’t all easy to deal with and can create a temporary disruption in your home, but choosing the right contractor will make them much less of a headache for you and your family.

Tagged with: coldwell banker coldwell banker terrequity realtor real estate home renovation contractors home projects renovation companies contractor research article
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