Over the last couple of years more money has been spent renovating older homes than building new home. We’ve seen the Atlanta renovation market grow considerably. Spend some time at Home Depot or Lowes on the weekend and you will see a mix of professionals and Do It Yourselfers (DIY’ers) loading up on supplies.
For those of you choosing to do your own home remodeling here are some mistakes that you should think about.
5 Atlanta Renovation Mistakes
Failure to Get A Permit
To most homeowners it seems silly to have to obtain permission to renovate your kitchen or bathroom. You know what you want, that you want it yesterday and money is tight. Why should you have to get a permit if you’re going to do the job yourself?
We can appreciate the that, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. And besides yourself there are a few others that can be affected by how you do your Atlanta renovation …the insurance company that insures your house, the bank that finances the mortgage, potential future buyers, and of course your family that lives in the house.
The permitting process is designed to ensure that all work is done based on standards and guidelines developed by professional those who likely know a lot more than you do about home renovations. It isn’t always efficient, or convenient, but it is necessary.
If you get caught in Atlanta working without a permit it is a misdemeanor violation punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and/or thirty days in jail. If a Stop Work Order is issued you will have to halt your Atlanta renovation and take the steps necessary to be in compliance. In such cases that the work is permitted to continue a double fee up to $1,000 may be assessed. Any illegal work that is not in compliance with the law must be removed.
Not Having a Real Plan
When a construction professional does renovation work they first draw up a set of plans to guide them through the work. These plans help your contractor budget, determine materials needed, schedule the project and factor in time delays for permits and other items.
Your plan should outline all work that will occur, set expectations, and provide a means for tracking work as it is done. Most importantly a renovation plan is more likely to keep your project on time and on budget.
Not Having a Budget
It is so easy for a remodeling project costs to double or triple without a budget. Individual decisions made without considering the overall project can turn a project into a financial nightmare. Consider the decisions you have to make when renovating a kitchen.
You have to decide if you will use the existing space or expand it, do you refinish the existing cabinets or replace them, do you keep or replace appliances, go with granite countertops or a less expensive option, hardwoods, laminate or tile floors, keep existing lighting or add new lighting and more.
The voices for each can vary significantly in dollars and without a budget you can find that your kitchen remodel has suddenly tripled in price. A budget keeps you focussed on the trade offs in decisions to allow you to get the best kitchen at the best price.
Going the Cheap Route
Now we’ve just discussed staying on budget, but there are times when you may need to rethink your budget. Spending a little bit more can at times make financial sense. It can also be the difference between having a renovation that your love and enjoy verses one that you tolerate.
Some things you should consider in your budget and project planning are what effect will your purchase decisions have on the value of your home, how will they impact the usefulness of your renovated space and how will it impact you from a comfort perspective. Somewhere between cheap and high end you should be able to find quality products that make sense for your project.
If you’re doing it yourself that also extends to the tools you purchase for the project. About 10 years ago a neighbor decided to put crown molding up in their house. To cut the angles for the moldings he bought a cheap plastic miter box. Needless to say there was about a ten degree difference in some of the angles and the project wasn’t going so well. I was able to help him finish the project using a mitre saw.
For about a $100 more he could have purchased a mitre saw instead of a plastic box and the project would have gone a lot smoother. The quality of your tools definitely will impact the quality of your finished project.
What You Don’t Know Will Cost You
Which brings us to our last mistake. What you don’t know can cost you money. For just about any project you can now go online and find written instructions or even a video on how to do it. That’s great for specific tasks such as laying a hardwood floor, installing a dishwasher, etc. But when you talking about something like a bathroom remodel, you have to consider each piece as part of the whole and how everything works together for your space.
Written instructions or a video can’t account for unique aspects of yours or anyone else’s project. Each has it’s own challenges.
There are projects that can be done by your average DIY’er and projects probably best left to a professional. You’ll have to put some time thinking about your Atlanta renovation to decide which way to proceed.