5 Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling
By Barbara Pronin
• Not getting a permit – A room added without a permit may not be counted as part of your total square footage when you sell. It may cost you a few bucks in the short run, but check with your city about zoning restrictions and necessary permits before you begin any project.
• Being too trendy – Home design trends go in and out of fashion. Today’s popular vessel sinks for example – the ones that sit on top of the bathroom counter like a salad bowl – could be out of favor down the line. Unless you love them unconditionally, err on the side of the more traditional when choosing colors, patterns and designs.
• Lowballing – Inexpensive is good. Cheap is not, and there’s a difference. Choose quality materials from roofing shingles to kitchen cabinets because you may be in for a major disappointment when shoddy materials don’t perform as expected.
• Inaccurate measurements – If you’re doing it yourself, measure everything three times before the fabric, lumber, or granite is cut or the new refrigerator is selected. Best choice? Have a licensed contractor do the work or consult with experienced installers.
• Counting on too big a payback – While it’s true that great kitchens can sell houses, be careful of over-investing. Do the work that’s needed, but understand that your beautiful new kitchen will represent no more than 15 percent of your home’s actual resale value. New windows? They will look great and reduce draftiness, but don’t expect them to “pay for themselves” in energy costs in just the first few years after installation.