Residential Remodeling: Avoid These Costly Mistakes

Residential remodeling can be a blast. Not only can it help improve the appearance and usability of your home; it can also provide an exciting challenge, raise the value of your home, and give you a whole new perspective on the space in which you live. But before you make a trip to the local home improvement store and cinch up that tool belt, here are some common mistakes that many first time DIYers should avoid.

Using Cheap Construction Materials

Residential remodeling can be costly, so many homeowners look to maximize their efforts by scrimping on the cost of construction materials. In some cases, cheaper construction materials function just as well as their pricier counterparts. But, for the most part, cheap construction materials will generally make for a more difficult installation process and less durability in the long run. Plus, nobody wants their home to look cheap. Instead, budget your home improvement project so that you can afford quality materials. For instance, as any general contractor will tell you, buying cheap kitchen cabinets is usually a nightmare. But if you want to remodel your entire kitchen, you may have spent most of your cash on appliances or recessed lighting. Instead of opting for cheap cabinets, hold off until you can afford to spend a little more. Spacing out your projects incrementally can also help you offset the cost of better construction materials.

Skipping Building Permits

It may be tempting to avoid the hassle of city inspectors and fees in the short term, but you don’t want your residential remodeling to violate the building code. Every general contractor knows that although the chances of a building inspector showing up at random are rare, building without a permit can lead to serious problems down the road. Not only will it affect your ability to sell (in some cases, remodeling work will have to be brought up to code before a sell can take place), but any additions you have made without a permit will not factor into your square footage during appraisal. Add in the cost of fees and fines, and suddenly the cost of a building permit seems like a pretty good deal.

Being Your Own Contractor

Home remodeling projects usually have a general contractor for a reason: subcontractors can be difficult to schedule unless you have a background in managing them. Chances are, you’re not going to handle your residential remodeling project all by yourself. But if you hire a plumber and a tile installer to help with the more difficult aspects, you may run into unforeseen scheduling issues. If the backsplash is tiled before the sink is finished, for instance, you can run into a world of trouble. Hiring a general contractor helps ensure your home remodeling is on schedule and done right the first time.


It’s perfectly fine to handle those home remodeling projects that you’re experienced with by yourself. But for big jobs, there’s just no substitute for a general contractor. They can recommend the best materials, handle the city inspectors, and coordinate your project with maximum efficiency.