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5 Biggest Home Remodeling Mistakes

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The five biggest home remodeling mistakes are completely unavoidable yet, manage to plague so many homeowners. With the local Sarasota real estate market favoring sellers, now is a great time to update your home to sell or to stay put and enjoy increased value, as well as equity. It's well-known certain home improvement projects help to sell a home and/or increase its market value. But the mechanics behind getting from drab to fab are entirely different, eluding the majority of homeowners. Over-personalization, is just one of many makeover pitfalls, causing an otherwise sellable home to linger longer on the market than comparable properties. Going overboard on landscaping is yet another error, as buyers see it as a maintenance headache rather than a plus.

5 Biggest Home Remodeling Mistakes


In a recent survey of 300 licensed general contractors, Consumer Reports magazine found the five biggest home remodeling mistakes. What's most remarkable about these blunders is a clear demonstration of stressed, myopic homeowners. Not seeing the forest for the trees might be a cliché expression, but it most definitely fits when it comes to remodeling a home. For instance, taking on a do-it-yourself project that's out of a homeowner's skill set is one of the more common occurrences.

Remodeling a home is more stressful for many people than buying one, according to a new survey. A whopping 85 percent of homeowners say remodeling is stressful, which edges out the number who say taking out a mortgage is stressful by 5 percent, according to a Harris Interactive study commissioned by Bolster, a New York-based company that offers remodeling insurance in the state. Budget woes, problems with contractors and even relationship issues plague homeowners looking to remodel. Nearly half of remodelers went over budget. With that much money at risk, and that level of disruption to your home, no wonder remodeling is the most stressful thing a homeowner can do. --CBS News.com

Though going the DIY route is typically thought to be a money-saving measure, it ends-up costing considerably more due to unintentional errors and/or poor quality work. Moreover, this often takes more time to completion because some work must be totally redone. If you are considering selling your property and know it needs some TLC to get it in showable and sellable condition, you should completely avoid these five big home remodeling mistakes:


  1. Changing plans after work has started. Of the three-hundred general contractors participating in the survey, 59 percent said homeowners who change their minds make a big-time mistake. In fact, doing so usually results in a 10 percent cost increase, on average. For the average kitchen remodel costing $20,079, according to Home Advisor, that's just over $2,000 out-the-door. A couple of thousand dollars could certainly be put to better use.

  2. Hiring an unlicensed or bonded contractor. In their rush to get the work done, homeowners who hire unlicensed, unbonded contractors commit a huge error. It not only often results in less than desirable or outright shoddy work. Conversely, accredited contractors are better at holding-down costs, even when projects begin to go over budget. What's more, licensed contractors are legally obligated to guarantee their work.

  3. Opting to forgo a professional pre-inspection. The Consumer Reports survey reveals unknown structural issues are the single biggest budget-busting blunder. Homeowners who do not get a pre-inspection are risking a lot, generally discovering unpleasant surprises, such as mold, out-of-date electrical wiring, and other costly repairs. Getting a pre-inspection gives homeowners the opportunity to make budget and schedule adjustments, as well as alter project plans.

  4. Not asking the contractor about discounts. A surprising home improvement mistake which costs homeowners more money is not inquiring about discounts. The majority of contractor respondents stated they were "somewhat" willing to bargain. In addition, 30 percent stated they are "very" willing to discount jobs. Most contractors also stated they are willing to drop their price for repeat customers or for customers who have multiple rooms renovated.

  5. Over-improving a home for the neighborhood. Large room additions, putting in an over-sized, custom swimming pool, or other lavish creature comfort amenities in a neighborhood of homes lacking these features is a serious no-no. While it might be a "must-have" for you, realize you will not recoup the cost at resale and will have to set your listing price in-line with comparable homes without your upgrades.


The fact of the matter is when you are ready to take-on a home improvement project, carefully planning is an absolute must. Take time to look at least expensive alternatives with the same look and be sure to get at least three quotes from licensed contractors with portfolios of past work. Do your homework by checking the local Better Business Bureau, searching through the clerk of the court's public records and checking out previous projects firsthand. These proactive steps will help you to avoid money wasting mistakes for your home remodeling job.