The Home Remodeling Guide

Avoiding Bad Decisions and Costly Errors


Home renovations are one of those undertakings where you can expect the result to be much more satisfying than the process of obtaining said result. Organizing a remodel is hard work – you have to stay on your toes, be involved, and plan things out carefully to avoid problems like missed deadlines, overspending, poor-quality remodels, and absentee contractors. To help you avoid bad decisions and costly errors, Agi Anderson with Brevard County Real Estate Services offers this mini-guide on what to expect from your planned project.

Are You Sure About Your Planned Renovations?

First, ask yourself if you truly need all the renovations you’re planning. For instance, a swimming pool may sound like a dream come true, but it requires serious ongoing maintenance. It also has several other drawbacks and, arguably, only makes sense if you’re going to regularly use it. Making a list of must-have renovations and good-to-have ones could help you avoid something that’s a burden long-term.  

Estimate Costs First and Budget Accordingly

Renovations can be incredibly expensive. According to NextAdvisor, a small whole house remodel could cost up to $45,000, and major ones $76,000 and up. To avoid a bill shock at the end, you should estimate costs first. Budgeting and creating an emergency fund can help. 

Also, consider which projects are most important to complete. For instance, a kitchen remodel often brings a bigger ROI (return on investment) than other projects. So keep your end goals in mind as you plan. To keep costs down, choose fixed-rate contractors, avoid add-ons, get your planned upgrades in writing, and require changes to be approved.  

Keep Digital Records of Expenses

Setting up your budget is a great time to also establish a digital filing system to keep track of your renovations. Save or convert your files to PDFs and then group them together in a way that makes sense to you. It could be by project time (i.e. kitchen reno) or contractor, etc. Then, you may consider this option: it’s a free tool that allows you to easily combine related documents so that they are easier to find. Many have drag and drop functionality, which makes it incredibly simple to stay organized. 

Make Sure Your Contractor is Capable and Trustworthy 

Your contractor’s work experience, work ethic, and skill set will determine the success or failure of your project. There are bad contractors out there who will overcharge, not keep to deadlines, do shoddy work, and generally let you down in various ways. Good contractors, needless to say, will do good work. Moreover, they should be able to assist you with everything, from the design and acquiring permits to setting schedules and cleaning up.

Don’t Assume Your Contractor Can Read Your Mind 

Even when you team up with professionals, it’s crucial that you communicate your expectations clearly from the outset and focus on building a solid working relationship with them. Most contractors will be happy to work with you to bring your vision to life – but it will require active input and direction from your end. 

Understand that Remodels Take Time  

Remodeling your home can take longer than you expect. Minor modifications can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Major modifications can take several months or over a year to complete. Then there’s the unpredictability factor – your remodel may not go to plan, which could push back the completion date further. 


Where Will You Stay When the Renovations are Happening? 

If you’re remodeling your current home, you have to choices: move elsewhere or continue staying until the renovation work is complete. With the former option, investing in a smart lock or number lock will save you countless trips to let workers inside. If you choose the latter option, you (and your family) will have to deal with noise and disturbances. You may need to section off a living area, put your valuables in storage, and cover your larger possessions to avoid damage. 

Make Sure Your Home Office Upgrade Makes You Productive 

When you’re making new upgrades, it’s a good idea to consider their impact on your overall health and comfort. If the upgrade is functional, make sure it works as intended. For instance, your home office may not necessarily make you more productive unless you design the space for productivity. You could locate the office near natural light, a known productivity enhancer, or invest in overhead lighting. Other ideas are painting the walls in bright colors and bringing in the outdoors. 

Should You Get a Home Warranty after Renovating Your Home?

Home warranties are annual renewable contracts that cover home systems and appliance breakdowns. Common use scenarios are damages to heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems, and appliance repairs. If your house (and everything in it) is getting on in the years, a home warranty could help you save money, instantly put you in touch with a reliable handyman, and offer peace of mind. Looking for the best home warranty company will bring you the most benefits. 

Make a Plan for a Successful Remodel 

Carefully planning your home remodel, whether you’re getting a new kitchen or a home office, will help you save time and money. Getting a home warranty afterward could be a worthwhile investment if you’d like to get more mileage out of your home systems and appliances. Last but not least, work with professionals to avoid problems, delays, and overshot budgets! 


If you’re looking for a home to renovate or want to sell your property once it has been upgraded, contact Agi Anderson with Brevard County Real Estate Services!

Guest Post by, Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom