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6 Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

Over the nearly 20 years T.W. Ellis has been remodeling Maryland homes, we’ve gotten the chance to work on lots of great projects. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen many homeowners make bad remodeling decisions that later require an experienced pro to come in and fix mistakes.

Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid for your next remodeling project.

1. Trying to do it all yourself

We just wrote about this last week, so we won’t belabor the point, but it’s important to work with a professional for most remodeling projects.

2. Not hiring the right remodeler

We can’t emphasize this enough. If you have the right partner for your project, the entire process will run more smoothly. We recommend looking for a licensed, insured remodeler who is also a member of one of the industry’s trade associations. In Maryland, any contractor performing home improvements is required to be licensed.

T.W. Ellis is a licensed and fully insured local contractor, and long-time member of the Maryland Building Industry Association and National Association of Home Builders. Our team has earned multiple certifications, including Certified Master Remodeler, Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Master Green Professional and more.

T.W. Ellis works on a variety of home projects, but many remodelers only have experience in one or two types of remodels. Make sure you choose the right remodeler for your project. Just because someone has built a great deck for you in the past doesn’t mean they’re the right choice to remodel your kitchen.

Read More: 9 Tips for Choosing the Right Remodeler

3. Setting an unrealistic (or no) budget

Starting a project without a clear budget is a recipe for disaster. You know how much you can reasonably spend and we’re going to work with you to stay within that budget.

Most remodels cost more than people expect – there can be unforeseen obstacles that arise from hidden problems under the floor to material shortages. We generally recommend putting an additional 10 to 15 percent of your budget aside for surprises.

Make sure the budget and how changes will be handled are clearly delineated in your contract(s).

4. Ignoring hidden problems

Any home – especially older ones – can have hidden problems in the walls, floors or ceilings. If something pops up, whether it be mold, lead paint or other issues, it’s important to take care of it. A reputable remodeler will always address these issues as required by law, but just because you’ve decided to tackle the remodel yourself doesn’t mean you should ignore these issues. A small leak or other seemingly minor issue can lead to big problems down the road.

5. Moving forward without plans

Detailed plans help your project stay on schedule and on budget. This includes choosing finishes, appliances, flooring, etc. The more decisions that are made before the project starts, the better. While there may be a need to make adjustments along the way, waiting on key product decisions could result in delays (and increased costs) for the project.

Beyond construction, discuss with your remodeler items such as access to the home, work hours, parking and how their crews will protect your home and family. These days, that includes a discussion about what precautions they are taking related to COVID-19. (You can read more about our precautions here.)

6. Not complementing your style

Oftentimes a remodel is prompted by the desire to drastically reshape and upgrade the look of your home. That’s a great reason to remodel, but it’s important to make sure your project fits in with the rest of your home. Mismatched styles could make it difficult to sell your home in the future and may age poorly.

For example, if your home is traditional, remodeling your kitchen with a contemporary style may result in a disjointed look. However, it is possible to blend styles to give you the appearance you want without creating a jarring difference. By mixing finishes and other elements, a fusion of styles can create a solution that flows seamlessly. This is where experienced designers like the team at T.W. Ellis can make all the difference.

T.W. Ellis is ready to help you get your next remodeling project going. Contact us today to discuss any of your remodeling needs!

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