Are there some renovations in store for your immediate future? Building maintenance is an important factor for homes and businesses alike. Sometimes you want to put a new spin on the house and give it a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. Businesses need a touch of something new from time to time to help them stay hip and trendy. Whatever reason it is you’re doing the renovations, it’s important to do the job right.

Hiring the right building contractor is the first step to making sure the work is done right. However, building jobs can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re new to it. It can be easy to make mistakes somebody with more experience might make. A little input from your contractor can help you avoid the biggest pitfalls, but it doesn’t hurt to know a thing or two yourself before going in. Here are some common renovation mistakes to help you escape any snags in the way of your new renovations.

Always inspect before starting work

1.Skipping inspections – Before you start with any upgrades, it’s a good idea to perform some inspections first. Take this as an opportunity to find out needs upgrading the most (e.g. structural, roofing, HVAC, or electrical). With an inspection, you can pinpoint the areas that will benefit most from a renovation, allowing you to make a more informed decision about what you want from the project, especially concerning costs. Take advantage of the bird’s eye view to help you find out how to update your building for maximum effectiveness and minimal cost.

2. Going DIY – If you’re good with your hands, you may be tempted to do the renovations yourself (particularly if it’s a home-based project). However, the work can be tough to get done on your own. Take stock and ask yourself if you’re up to starting (and, more importantly, finishing) the work by yourself. If you’re not absolutely confident in your handyman abilities, it’s probably safer to leave the work to the pros. Some important questions to ask yourself include, “Do I have any experience with large-scale home maintenance projects?” or, “Do I have the specialized knowledge to tackle jobs like electrical work or plumbing?” Recognize your limits and know when to call for help.

Leave room in your budget for the unexpected

3, Underestimating costs – Having a well-defined budget is part and parcel of any building project, but it’s a task that requires some nuance. It’s a general rule of thumb to expect that costs will exceed your initial estimate. The standard advice is to add an extra 10 to 20 percent to the budget to work as a safety net. In many cases, it can be difficult to predict any unseen issues around the building, even for an experienced contractor. These unexpected issues (e.g. extensive termite damage, corroded pipes, outdated wiring, and mould) can represent considerable costs to the project. Be conservative with your budget to ensure you have all the funds you need to get the project off the ground.

4. Going for the lowest bid – When it comes to potentially costly jobs like renovations, it can be tempting to look for what look like good deals. One shortcut many novices take is hiring the lowest bidder in an attempt to save on costs. However, going for the lowest bidder may not be a guarantee of cost-efficient service. Instead, be willing to spend a little on the renovations, including for a good contractor. Quality work is worth the money, especially when planning for the future. Take the time to get estimates from different contractors to help research the best price for the job.

5. Hiring a contractor who’s a bad fit – Who you hire matters, especially since you’ll be working together for a while. It’s essential that you hire a contractor that’s a good fit for you. Simply because a contractor is a good designer is no guarantee of a perfect fit. It’s generally wise to sample contractors first to find out how well you can work together.

Look for one that has similar priorities and aesthetic tastes as yourself to make sure you’ve on the same page. One sign you have the right contractor is if they ask plenty of questions about what you need from the renovation. Use that insight to find a contractor with good listening skills who can give you just what you’re looking for in a partner.

6. Being too trendy – There’s something to be said about following trends, especially if you’re renovating a restaurant to make it more attractive to the “it” crowd. However, while some restaurant trends might be in right now, they may not be forever. Trends are like fashion; they come and go. What’s trendy today might be passe tomorrow. Trends might be short-lived, but good design lasts forever. The ideal solution is to invest in classic designs and quality materials to make sure your building stands the test of time. These approaches will last for years to come. Use this strategy to plan for the future and improve the building’s resale value.

7. Failing to order enough flooring – It’s vital you order enough flooring to see the project through. Many novices make the mistake of ordering insufficient flooring before the project starts, which can lead to delays and other issues down the road. As a rule of thumb, buy 20% more flooring than your estimate suggests you’ll need for the project. Flooring is prone to cuts and breakage during installation, so it’s prudent to have a little extra to account for those factors. Some major retailers also let you return unopened boxes for a refund, allowing you to save on leftover flooring. Alternatively, keep the leftovers in case the floor needs repairs in the future.

8. Neglecting to ask for references – When looking for a contractor, it’s wise to take it slow and review your choices carefully. Take the time to ask for their references to ensure you’re getting a contractor known for quality work. As a rule of thumb, contact the contractor’s last three clients to get an idea of how they work. Do the same with other figures related to the renovations. For example, when you’re screening for architects, check with your general contractor for their references. Consider visiting prospective contractors’ job sites to gauge their cleanliness and work ethic. If you like what you see, you’re more likely to find them a good fit for your project.

Building or upgrading your home or business doesn’t have to be a difficult or tedious task. At PT General Contractor Inc., we offer a wide range of building services to help you design the perfect space for your needs. With our services, we’re able to assist you at every stage of a project, from design to construction.

Drop us a line at (416) 757-9100 or visit our contact page for a free estimate.