Making a mistake when it comes to your renovation can have consequences for your home, safety, and finances.
To save time, money, and frustration, make sure you aren’t committing these three common mistakes below.
1. Not Getting the Right Permits
You can do some small renovations without telling anyone, but for the larger structural revamps, you’ll need to get the city involved.
If you plan on tearing down your home to studs or rehabbing out of code wiring, you’ll have to get the right permit for the work involved.
Talk to your city hall to find out what you need to get started. Sometimes, giving them a head’s up of future work is all you need.
Other times, you need to file and pay for an application to renovate.
What you’ll need to file this paperwork, and what it covers, varies from state to state, so someone living in Kansas could face different rules from someone living in California.
The rules for permits could even vary greatly between Kansas City and Wichita, KS!
2. Not Planning for Unexpected Complications
Household renovations are notorious for going off-script. You can plan as well as you can with the information you have, but you won’t have all the details of your home until after you start working.
Halfway through ripping up old flooring, you could find substantial rot in the structural supports.
Or maybe after tearing down a few walls, you could realize you’re breathing in the original asbestos insulation.
Both rot and asbestos removals are unavoidable emergency expenses you can’t ignore.
While there’s no guarantee you’ll run into unsafe building materials, there’s a good chance you will face some other kind of surprise.
That’s why renovation experts recommend increasing your budget by an additional 25–50 percent.
Saving a little extra can help you tackle these unexpected emergency expenses with more confidence, and if you fall short, having a line of credit may be a convenient backup when these expenses exceed your cushion.
A line of credit, just like a permit, is specific to your location. In Kansas, line of credit loans may have different rates and terms than what’s available in other states.
So, you should stick to researching personal credit lines in Kansas City rather than personal loans sourced from other parts of the country.
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3. Forgetting to Factor in Time Off Work
Next to underestimating how much money your renovation will cost, miscalculating how much time it will take you is another common mistake.
You may not realize your project will take twice as long as your first anticipated. That’s why another rule of thumb is to expect your reno to take 50% longer than planned.
This rule will help plan your Renos around your days off. While some things you can do after work or on the weekends, you might have to take time off for bigger projects.
Do you have paid sick or vacation days? If taking a day off would mean losing a day’s wages, you might want to build this cost into your cushion so you can “pay” yourself when you stay home to renovate.
Plan Around These Mistakes
Now that you know how your reno can go wrong, you can plan to make sure it goes right. Remember to pad out your budget, factor in time off, and get the appropriate permit!