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The Five Mistakes All First-time Remodelers Make

The Five Mistakes All First-time Remodelers Make

Though most first-time remodelers want to make sure they do everything the right way the first time, they’re bound to overlook something important enough to make them go back and redo the job they thought they had completed. This, of course, costs time and money. Here are the five mistakes that first time remodelers tend to make:

Overlooking the Building Codes

It’s crucial that a remodel be done according to the local building codes. Some of these codes may seem fiddly to a homeowner. One type of code may require that fluorescent lights be put in the kitchen or that insulation for the attic have a certain R value or that a certain energy efficient glass be put in the windows. However, these codes are there for the safety of the family, the house and even the neighborhood. If work is out of code, the inspector will insist that it be done over until it complies with code. Remodeling can’t continue until the problem is fixed.

Insufficient Budget

Though a first-time remodeler might have budgeted every item down to the last penny, delays and glitches are inevitable. It’s a good idea to add at least 20 percent on to what seems to be the final budget just to cover emergencies and wholly unforeseen expenses.

Forgetting to Turn Off the Utilities

It’s not enough to switch off a lamp or close a faucet. Water, gas and electricity need to be turned off at the source before work begins. This means turning off the electricity at the circuit box or finding the main water or gas valve in the house and turning it off. Not doing so can lead to a mess or worse.

Cutting Through Pipes or Electrical Wires

This is one of the reasons why utilities need to be cut off before work begins on a remodel. But this can be avoided if the homeowner knows what is behind his or her walls and what’s in his or her ceiling. Ideally, there should be blueprints and charts showing the remodeler where all the wires and pipes are in the home so that they can be avoided. Repairing pipes and wires that have been cut or breached can be expensive. The work of repairing them will at least hold up the overall work of the remodeling.

Taking Down a Load Bearing Wall

Whether you’re buying a home or are currently a homeowner, you should know where the wires and pipes are. He or she also needs to know what walls bear loads and what walls don’t. Taking out a load bearing wall will make that part of the house unstable at the very least. If a load bearing wall needs to be taken out, the remodeler will need to put studs or other structures in place to take up the load that the wall had to bear. Overall, it’s a good idea to leave a load bearing wall alone unless it absolutely must come out.

Keeping these often forgettable things in mind can go a long way to making a remodeling job less stressful.

Mike ThomasBio: Mike Thomas is a writer for He is a contractor and home improvement expert with more than 20 years of experience.

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