• Home Improvement Gone Wrong


    Remodeling or renovating your home can be very exciting. Many save up for years to be able to design their dream bathroom. They decide that they’ve saved up enough money, found a good contractor, have a good idea in mind of what they want a room to look like, and are ready to go. However, with these projects, nothing is ever as simple as this. The first mistake is not checking out the contractor’s work or credentials. While you may think he is great because your friend used him and her living room looks amazing, that doesn’t mean you’ll like what he does with yours. Your friend’s budget might also differ from yours. Be sure that you have enough money saved to choose the materials and finishes that you like. If you don’t want to sacrifice high-end materials for cheaper ones, you should probably wait. There is no point in spending time and money if you aren’t going to be happy with the end result.

    You should be sure that you get a few different quotes. Just because your friend paid a certain amount for the same type of project, doesn’t mean thats a general idea of what you’re going to pay. Every project is different. During the process, a contractor could find that you have plumbing issues that need to be fixed. The contractor could find that the plaster has Chinese drywall. You never know. This is why you should also have a little extra money aside from your budget in case these things happen. If you don’t have the money, you need to hold off on the project for a while. A new kitchen isn’t worth going into debt.

    You must have a permit, depending on the nature of the project. You can get into serious trouble if you avoid this component. It is required by law, and so you must follow it. Understand that it is common for contractors to either not show up, be lazy on the job, or not finish the job. There are so many horror stories when it comes to contractors; however, don’t assume that all of them are bad. There are some great contractors out there. Do be patient though, and understand that they need several jobs to stay afloat, and your job cannot be the only one that they dedicate time to. Find out what areas your contractor specializes in. You may find that he is better with some things rather than others. You want someone experienced in what your project requires.

    You must also be sure that you communicate well with the contractor. When you interview them, look for good communication skills. See if both of you ‘speak the same language,’ so to say. Again, depending on the age of your home, you can expect to have internal issues if you have an older home.

    Sometimes, when a project is over, the homeowner is not satisfied with the end result. This happens frequently. It is important that you continually monitor the progress. When they are installing the backsplash, if you notice some are darker gray than others and you wanted them to be all the same color, tell them to hold off, while you go to the store and pick out the grays that you want. A contractor is not a designer; they use the materials you supply them with, and install them where you want. Be sure you are present when electricians are there, installing lighting. Again, they follow where they are told to put it. Sometimes, where you first planned to put it, might not look right when you have the product in person and hadn’t seen it yet. If you expect your contractor and other workers to be interior decorators and designers, you will for sure be disappointed.

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    2 thoughts on “Home Improvement Gone Wrong

    • Kurt says:

      Is a building permit really all that necessary? I mean I get that its important, however, the project is small it seems silly to have to pay for the permit and go through that process.

      • Shirley Wright says:

        Yes, Kurt, a building permit is necessary. I do hear you, and that is why so many people don’t get the permit. You should also know that they end up getting in trouble later on with the city. Even if the project is small, if the city requires it, you need to obtain one.

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