If you’ve ever watched Fixer Upper or Property Brothers or Leave It or List It or Flip This House or any of the approximately 75% of shows on television, you know how hot home remodeling is. It might feel appealing to find a bottom dollar home for sale, and then invest a few extra bucks in home remodeling to build your dream home. The stars of those shows you watch make home remodeling seem effortless. It’s a no-risk all-win situation, right?
In reality, the wise words of the great Charles Dickens in Tale of Two Cities describes home remodeling best: “It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times.” When you shop for older houses for sale that need some love instead of sticking with new homes, you’re getting a home with quirks. Those quirks can turn into raging nightmares if you aren’t careful. To help you avoid the whole “We regret buying a money-pit home” scenario, we’ve put together a quick list of common mistakes to make people make while remodeling their home:
Three Mistakes to Avoid While Remodeling a Home
- MISTAKE: Using Cut-rate Materials for Your Remodel
You get what you pay for. There is nowhere that this saying applies more so than in the home remodel industry. The cost of building materials and tools is directly tied to the quality of them. When you buy cheap supplies, it
might… will… wear out and look terrible in a short matter of time. Your cut-rate fake wood floors will warp and need to be pulled up within months (plus, it will look cheap from day one). Your bottom-dollar windows will leak air and turn your electric meter into a revolving door. Your cheap fixtures will fall apart and look cheap from the get-go. You don’t really save yourself any money if your renovations have to be replaced a few months later because they fall apart right away. Just do yourself a favor and spend a little more upfront so it’s done right the first time, and lasts you a lifetime.
- MISTAKE: Getting Too Trendy
Interior design can be thought of like fashion. A style will be all the rage one day, and then the next it will be the epitome of tacky. Think about huge bell bottoms in the 70s, and then foofy bangs in the 80s, and then high-wasted jeans in the 90s, and then low-wasted jeans in the early 2000s. All of these trends were so hot in their hay-day, and now they’re cringe-worthy.
Likewise, home designs are so hot one day and so not the next. Remember the shag carpet trend of the 70s? Remember the waterbed and mirror-walls rage of the 80s? Remember mauve wallpaper and gold fixture hit of the 90s? Now these interior elements make you queasy. Since you probably are doing your home remodel to last a few years, you want to avoid trends that are too hip, or you’ll grow to loathe them when they go out of style. As a rule of thumb, the more bold a trendy design element is, the more obvious it will be when it loses its popularity. Instead, go with classic design elements that are timeless: wood floors and neutral colors. If there is a design trend you really love, incorporate it into the decor, which can easily be changed out as your tastes change.
- MISTAKE: Losing Control of Your Budget
There is a significant chance that you didn’t buy a fixer-upper to rehab as a hobby but you actually have endless resources. Money matters to all of us, and we know that you probably have a limited amount of money to work with. There are about one million design choices to make in any single remodel project, if you spend just a little more than you intended on this, and a little more than expected on that, pretty soon you’ve exhausted you budget, but haven’t finished the work.
Instead, make a rough outline of your budget and what each element will cost, and then pay attention to how each costs compares to the budget. When you go over budget in one area, reassess what line items you can save on, so you don’t run out of money halfway through the project.
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