Most homeowners dream about the end result of their remodel. It’s normal to turn to social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz to see pictures of beautiful remodels and gather inspiration. The fantasy of a beautiful home is so attractive it’s the theme of several popular reality TV shows. These shows hone in on the elusive state: The experience of a perfect home remodel. Even going as far as having homeowners leave the house and come back to a completed “better than I dreamed” reality of their remodel.
Unfortunately, these shows don’t capture a true “Before and After” remodeling experience. They don’t even explain the process accurately. That’s why, we thought it a good idea to help pull the veil off the process and reveal truths.
Myth #1: Remodeling is Easy
Reality television makes it look so simple. Major remodels are done in the space of 30 or 60 minutes while the homeowner is out. What the viewers don’t see are the hundreds of people working on those projects 24/7 to make it happen.
The truth is that it takes longer to complete a home remodel, and that it requires time and emotional energy from the clients. What the clients don’t always realize is that the process is going to be unavoidably messy and will intrude into their lives, although a good contractor will minimize that as much as possible.
Myth #2: Remodeling is Inexpensive
Reality television and articles on budget remodeling have conditioned homeowners to believe that renovations can be done inexpensively as well as quickly.
A common practice amongst homeowners is to get 3 bids. It’s the approach that’s taken with other purchases such as car shopping, furniture and electronic purchases. However, remodeling is not a commodity, it’s a service. Therefore, comparing “apples to apples” is next to impossible. Every Contractor uses different products, has different costs and a slightly different approach. No two hquotes will look the same when placed next to each other.
We suggest interviewing three Contractors rather than gathering three bids. By interviewing Contractors and choosing the right person and company for your home remodel, you should start to feel comfortable that the job will be completed within your budget and specifications. And in the end, this is really what you are looking for, isn’t it?
Myth #3: You Can Do It Yourself
If you’re not a professional interior designer, architect or engineer, then your ability to understand all the nuances that go into doing a safe and proper remodeling project is limited. Along the way it’s inevitable that you’ll run into a snag.
Myth #4: Products That Look the Same, Are the Same
Homeowners have come to us in the past excited to make a purchase because the price is a “steal”. Here’s one instance: A client had their eye on a Moen faucet, but it was $200. After doing some price shopping, they found what looked to be the same thing for a price of $89. The difference is one is metal and brass and the other is mirror-covered plastic. In the lifecycle of the product, the less expensive one will end up being more expensive because you will have to repair and ultimately replace it. When it comes to products, thinking long-term (if you plan on staying in your home) is the best call.
Myth #5: Remodels Always Cost More Than Bid
The trick is to decide what you want and stick to it. A few change orders are normal, but if you buffer them into your home remodel investment, you’ll end up being at the price point you want to spend. Homeowners needing design assistance to pull their goals together benefit greatly from a Design/Build Project.
In his mind, leaving as little to chance or imagination as possible is how to end up at the figure you expected. That said, all the planning in the world can’t eliminate the element of surprise.
Myth #6: Good Planning Can Outwit Surprise
The only way to combat the unexpected is to, well, expect it. Every home, new or old, can hold a surprise. Undetected slow leaks, pests, mold—any of these can end up in hidden flaws that you don’t see until you pull a floor up or take a wall down. The only way to deal with surprises is to try and budget for them. If no surprises come to light, then you have extra cash to use towards other things.