If you are getting ready to start planning a home remodeling project you want to make sure you get it right the first time. Protect your investment by avoiding these common pitfalls that can erode your timeline and budget:

Choosing contractors on a whim

Your remodel is a major investment, do your homework when choosing a contractor. Make sure they understand what you want and are clear with you about what to expect. Are they available for your questions and take the time to answer them? Reach out to their references and previous clients. Don’t make your choice just on price; make sure it’s someone you know will work with you. Most important: make sure they are licensed and insured!!!!!!!

Skipping a pre-construction consultation

You’ll be eager to get started, but taking the time to lay the figurative groundwork for the actual work will make your project more efficient in the long run. A pre-construction consultation will identify potential structure and safety issues, like checking the foundation or updating the electrical system. It gives your contractor the chance to get initial costs from subcontractors and materials – some may even offer you a Guaranteed Max Price (GMP) and/or a credit based on this upfront planning.

Not budgeting enough

When laying out your budget do not forget to expect the unexpected! Hold back at least 15% of your total as a contingency fund. The best-laid remodeling plans can get turned upside down once the work begins. Maybe the wiring behind the walls isn’t up to code, or there isn’t plumbing where you thought it would be. You’ll set your project up for success if you’ve set something aside for surprises.

Putting form before function

Sure, you want your renovations to look good, but don’t forget to think about how you’ll actually live in the space. Consider traffic flow through your home, and where the doors, windows, and outlets should go. This is especially critical for the kitchen. Think about how the refrigerator, stove, and sink go in relation to each other so your new space can be functional and efficient as well as beautiful.

Cutting corners on core elements

Choose high-quality materials that will last and invest in renovations that add long-term value. You don’t want to cheap out on the flooring or building materials or skimp on important elements like storage space. Be mindful of details that will make your remodel really work. Sure, you can always go back and add features later, but installing them the first go round will save you time and money.

Not considering your home’s original design

Your renovations don’t have to be in the exact same style as the original house, but they should complement it. And avoid the temptation to go past updated and straight to trendy. A fresh look can boost your eventual resale value, but fads are short-lived and can make a home look dated. Good design is forever!