What Not to Do When You're Remodeling a House

The process of preparing yourself to remodel your home is stressful by itself, but when you actually start the works and begin to collect all the pieces of paperwork, you really need to find enough strength to hold it together. But the good thing in all of that is the fact that, the sooner you start, the sooner you can finish. Chances are that you’re already familiar with all the things you need to do, but if you check out this list – you’ll know what not to do and how to avoid any lurking mistakes that might rear up along the way.

  • Try not to postpone the work that needs to be done.

Just talking about remodeling isn’t enough – the talk won’t do the work instead of you. It’s never a perfect time to start and the reasons to delay remodeling just for a little bit more will always exist, but there will be enough time to deal with them later. The first step you should take is to start gathering and materializing your thoughts – make everything seem more realistic.

  • Don’t forget about permits.

If you don’t want to be intruded by any inspectors or local building officials who could stop all work until you collect all necessary paperwork, better do it before you start doing anything. It’s not difficult to get them – many towns make either applying or at least the proper forms available online. You may to need to stop in to the local government office and they’ll explain to you what’s the easiest and the fastest way to get them completed. Alternatively, many contractors can help with this process.

  • You shouldn’t live in your house during the remodeling.

Depending upon the extent of your remodel, try to find a place where your family and you can stay during that time – when the work is being done. There are several good reasons to do that – you won’t have any privacy because you’ll have a full house of construction works, and constantly being in their way means that everything can last much longer than planned.If you do stay or when you are visiting, take some extra precautions around the construction area to protect your family so you can avoid any accidents that may occur.

  • Don’t hire the first person you see.

Before you hire a contractor, you should be completely sure that he or she is capable of getting the work done exactly how you want it and within the precise time frames you find most acceptable. This is the right time to learn from someone’s experience, so ask your friends and family who recently had to hire a contractor about it. Also, be extra kind and use your finest social skills when you’re negotiating with a contractor – he or she is the one person on who the final appearance of your house depends. If you get them in a really good mood, they could be willing to negotiate the price.

  • Don’t do things you’re not fully familiar with on your own.

It’s important to consult a professional about something this big. You shouldn’t experiment with electricity or plumbing without having someone in that area of expertise check it out first. And before you make the final version of your construction plan, make an appointment with an architect and consult him or her about your plans to see how doable they actually are.

  • You shouldn’t leave the people you hired alone for too long.

The people you hired aren’t your friends and you shouldn’t rely on them unreasonably. Try to make a balance with this – don’t get in their way but always be informed about the progress. It’s not too bad to pay them a visit from time to time when they’re not expecting it, just to see what’s going on when you’re not there.

  • You shouldn’t start remodeling without a precise construction plan.

This is the one thing where you shouldn’t be cheap – it’s not like you’re buying a piece of clothing. You should hire a professional to put your ideas into reality and make a construction plan that’s completely environmentally friendly. Take this part of construction seriously – who knows when will be the next time when you’ll have enough time and money to do construction work on your house. Think about it this way – do it once properly and maybe you’ll be so satisfied with it so you never have to do it again.


Kurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he's learned from his experience. When he's not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning for Professional Home Cleaning Inc.

Sylvia Kahlon

Sylvia Kahlon

CENTURY 21 Coastal Realty Ltd.
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