Not using a designer

Not using a designer

If you want your remodeling project to look polished and professional, you need a designer as well as an architect and general contractor. “Contractors are not designers,” says Katie Anderson, an interior designer in San Francisco. You need a good design to get an...
Playing general contractor to save money

Playing general contractor to save money

It’s tempting to act as your own construction manager and general contractor on a remodeling project and to choose individual contractors for each trade. But while you could save 10% of the project cost up front, the work might be poorly coordinated, take longer and...
Expecting your project to pay for itself

Expecting your project to pay for itself

Don’t expect your home’s value to increase by the amount you spend on the project, and you won’t be disappointed. Remodeling projects almost never pay for themselves, let alone make money when you sell your home, says Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report....
Failing to make a realistic budget

Failing to make a realistic budget

Remodeling always costs more than you initially expect, especially if you’re not familiar with all the things that might go wrong. Consulting with a professional before starting work will help you plan for contingencies and account for unexpected items like rewiring a...
Ignoring local building codes

Ignoring local building codes

Building codes vary by locality, and while most routine maintenance items don’t require permits, remodeling changes often do. You might not know that you need permits for jobs like adding a bedroom, replacing a window or modifying plumbing, or that while your friend...
Not knowing your DIY limits

Not knowing your DIY limits

Home improvement shows love to glorify doing it yourself as a way to save money and achieve a sense of satisfaction. The truth is, you might be better off hiring professionals. The cost to hire someone may be less than what your lost time is worth, and if you do a...