Homeowners often wonder what they need to know before remodeling their home or how to even begin the remodeling process. Just as important, however, is what you should not do when remodeling a house. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can save yourself time, energy, and money.
Looking for a Contractor Before Knowing What You Want
When remodeling your Florida home, what comes first are ideas. This is the fun part, where you can troubleshoot ideas using different smartphone apps, browse designers’ online portfolios, and take notes from your friend’s home that you’ve always admired. Some of the best apps that are available for both iPhones and Androids are MagicPlan, Houzz, and Pinterest. Make a floor plan you can drop virtual features into, connect with real home improvement professionals, or create virtual idea boards. Each is designed to make communicating and organizing ideas easier. After all, without spending time considering what you would like, you may choose a contractor without the skillset to get the job done well.
We’re not saying that you should know exactly what you want before talking to a contractor. But having an idea of what kind of style you are going for and which areas of the home you want to remodel is essential.
Hiring Professionals Not Fit for the Job
This is a very important step that, when approached incorrectly, is where home renovations can go very wrong. There are several considerations for choosing the type of professionals needed for your remodel. Primary is the logistical considerations. You will also want to weigh the value of hiring an interior designer and a contractor separately or a design-build firm.
The contractor you choose, whether hired independently or as part of a design-build team, should be specifically licensed to work in Florida. This is because licensing requirements and building codes differ from state to state. Additionally, having a contractor’s license in Florida allows the contractor to secure permits and insurance in Florida.
Not making sure the contractor is properly licensed before agreeing to do business makes you vulnerable to scammers. To recognize a scam, be sure to check references, match their contractor’s license with another form of identification, and be aware of unusually low pricing for your project. There are many other ways you could get caught in a construction scam, which is why working with a reputable design-build firm, as opposed to an interior designer and contractor separately, is a great step in ensuring your contractor is also reputable.
Sinking Money into Projects with a Low Return on Investment (ROI)
Investing in projects that offer very little ROI is a mistake only if ROI is important to you. If the intrinsic value holds more weight than the monetary value after a project is complete, then that is reason enough to move forward.
With that being said, there are remodels that are shown to add to the resale value and others that have very little effect. Among the top remodel values in Florida homes are an updated kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces. The updates required in a living space are usually new floors, paint, and perhaps built-in shelving. Kitchens and bathrooms, however, are more complex and expensive to update. If the kitchen and bathroom remodel is done well, you should see a positive impact on your home’s resale value. The projects with the least effect on ROI are sunrooms, an additional bathroom, and a backyard patio.
Keep in mind, the best ROI is the pleasure you get from having the home features you love. So if you have a project in mind that may have low ROI, it’s not a deal breaker. But if resale value is important to you, you should keep the numbers in mind.
Forgetting to Pay Attention to Function
In the design process, it is easy to get swept up into how your remodel will look and forget to pay more attention to how your remodel will function. The two rooms this would have the greatest impact are the kitchen and bathroom, with the biggest element being the layout. How all of the important elements are arranged, both for flow and for a function could make or break a space. Is there enough storage in the right places? How many people will need to use the space at one time?
In the kitchen, think about how much counter space you require, both for everyday use and special occasions or entertaining. Be sure that there are enough electrical outlets where you’d use them the most. Also, consider where and how much lighting there should be in different workspaces. Finally, splurge on quality appliances. These are the items that need to be most dependable, and when you spend more on them, they often perform more efficiently longer.
In the bathroom, be sure to keep proper ventilation in mind to avoid mold and mildew. Lighting is, of course, also very important in the bathroom. Choose materials that are hearty enough to stand up to steam and standing water, like porcelain and ceramic tile. Finally, don’t cut the bathtub out of the picture. It may feel like saving on space at the time, however, designers have noted homeowners regretting the decision more often than not.
Not Preparing for the Interruption
Life without a kitchen is difficult and can be expensive. So much life happens in the kitchen beyond cooking, so before the project begins, be sure to have a plan in place. Do you have family nearby for home-cooked meals? Do you have a budget for dining out more than usual? Do you have backup smaller appliances you could use elsewhere in your home, like an electric hot plate, a toaster oven, and a coffee maker? Make these arrangements ahead of the project so you’re not stuck wondering how you’ll survive without your kitchen for the duration of the project, which could take a few weeks to four months.
The same goes for remodeling a bathroom, which could take from four to eight weeks. If there is a spare or an additional full bath, it may be feasible. However, if there is only one bathroom in your home and it’s being remodeled, it would be impossible to live in your home during construction.
Gilbert Design Build helps homeowners avoid these kinds of mistakes and more, so you can feel confident that after construction is done, you’re left with the remodel of your dreams. Contact us to handle every step, from design to planning and installation. We are with you every step of the way.