Plenty of homeowners blessed with power tools and a little experience contemplate remodeling rooms in their home or building an addition. Some have what it takes, others discover somewhere in the midst of the project that they don't. Avoid these six common myths about homeowner renovations, so that you don't rip your hair out mid-project.
Myth 1. You can do it yourself.
While renovations aren't exactly brain surgery, it can sure feel like it sometimes. No doubt, some things can be done without a professional, but when they involve plumbing, electricity and heating, doing it yourself can be hazardous. Even the demolition portion of a remodel can be a chore more nuanced and substantial than simply destroying things due to wiring and pipes. Creating a refined space demands intricate care. If you've never worked in construction before, you're likely to find that the project will take far longer than you anticipate.
Myth 2. You can save money buying materials yourself.
Experienced contractors develop relationships with suppliers and wholesalers to which the general public does not have. With their network in place, professional remodelers can acquire materials and fixtures of a higher quality at a lower price, and if they find defects, they'll handle the returns. Also, the professional will know exactly how much material will be needed. If you buy too much, you're stuck with it. If you buy too little, the time spent going after more will be charged to you.
Myth 3. Any remodeling project will add value to your house.
A good project could add value; a poor one will certainly subtract from your sale's potential. Not every project will be seen by a buyer as worthwhile. For instance, empty-nesters combining smaller bedrooms to create a dream of a master suite may have difficulty selling when the market is filled with growing families. Attic space turned into a crafting niche may fetch no extra dollars, but a nicely renovated kitchen or added bath may net you more than eighty percent return on investment.
Myth 4. Adding square footage always adds value.
A well-designed and executed addition or basement finish could easily increase the worth of your home. However, if the projects are obviously the handiwork of an amateur, don't count on recouping costs, much less making a profit. While you might tolerate the space's flaws, buyers will see renovation dollars fleeing from their wallets as they consider elevating those spaces to professional quality. Also, any leaks or dilapidation from poorly-designed additions could result in a failed inspection come time to sell.
Myth 5. Professional remodels always take longer than planned.
Most reputable experts make every effort to estimate schedules accurately and complete on time. That said, every renovation presents unforeseen problems. Additionally, homeowners often request change orders that entail a recalculation of the time frame. Keep in mind, though, that when tackling your remodeling projects yourself, you're quite likely to run into surprises and frustrations that will set you back even further. You may not realize the level of skill required for a certain element of a project and end up needing the advice or services of a professional when you reach whits end.
Myth 6. Always choose the lowest bidder.
Most people who automatically select the lowest bidder soon discover why their prices were so far below the other contractors. That discovery is seldom pleasant. Skilled contractors pay close attention to the project details and know what to expect regarding costs. They keep their overhead as low as possible and their profit margins such that they can compete with other proficient companies. After receiving three or more bids, any that come in well under the others signal one or more irregularities ahead. Once the project begins, the contractor might present new items not written in the contract but which are necessary to successful completion. They may not pull the necessary permits. The contractor may severely cut corners on the quality of materials and labor. The finishing craftsmanship may be substandard. At worst, they may take your deposit and run.
Everyone understands the impulse to save money on renovations. Yet DIY projects can end up costing more in the long run if you fall victim to the myths. If you would like to consult a professional before you decide how to handle your addition or remodeling project, please call us at Owens Construction for a free, no obligation consultation. We've been renovating since 1982, so we can answer any question and help you make an informed choice.