It can be hard to know where to start with your North Shore home remodel. You’re likely getting opinions from family and friends, reading about different ideas in magazines and websites, and feeling overwhelmed by all of the design and construction options available.

With so many decisions to make, costly (and time-consuming) mistakes can happen. In this month’s post, we’ve outlined some common home remodeling mistakes we see. Make sure you avoid these problems when planning your own home remodel.

Ignoring Expensive Problems

Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean you should ignore it. No one likes to pay for things they didn’t even know had to be fixed. Unfortunately, when undergoing a home remodel, unexpected problems often pop up.

If a plumbing issue comes up during your kitchen remodel, for example, take care of it. If you wait until after your bathroom renovation, it’s only going to cost more. You’ll want your project to be done when it’s done. You don’t want to revisit the project a couple months later because you initially ignored a problem.

Fixing problems as you go will save you time and money in the long run.

Low Balling Your Budget

Remodeling your house is a big deal. Invest accordingly.

The biggest place we see North Shore residents low-ball their budget? Behind the scenes.

For instance, we find that in In 9 out of 10 bathroom remodels, we find that floor joists are uneven and often have been compromised by plumbing cutouts.

That’s why we often include the cost of ripping up the subfloor, sistering the joists, and installing new structurally sound subfloor in our proposals. It won’t be seen, but it’s an investment that can mean the difference between a problem free space or cracking tiles and an improperly draining tub. Investing in both the structure of the space and the bathroom design will be worth it in the long run.

You can make what you see as beautiful as you want, but if the room is not structurally sound then it won’t be worth it. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not important!

Not Thinking Big Picture

If you’re investing in your home, chances are you want to stay there for a while. Make sure the choices you are making will fit in with the short and long-term plans for your family.

Before deciding on the design of your remodel, ask yourself:

  • Will this work for me and my family long term?
  • Does this remodel fit into my long-term budget and remodel schedule?
  • Will any future buyers of the home also find this useful?

Just because you answered no to one of these questions doesn’t mean you should not move forward with the remodel! For instance, if you plan on staying in your home for another decade it’s not as important if future buyers will like the addition.

Does it Fit in With the Style of My Home?
You’ll also want to consider if the style and functionality of the remodel fits in with the rest of your home’s aesthetic. Ideally, you want your home to be in visual peace, so your home renovation should be in synch with the rest of your home.

This doesn’t mean things cannot stray slightly, just make sure to consider the overall theme of your home and make sure nothing clashes.

Always Choosing the Trendiest Option

One of the great things about home design is how new and old styles can merge to create beautiful spaces. A trend that was popular decades ago can reappear with a modern take to create something great.

That said, it’s important to not just automatically choose the trendiest option for your remodel. It can be easy to pick up a magazine at the grocery store and go with a design that looks great in the moment, but whose luster may fade with time.

In general, a timeless and functional design will always be in style. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will I use this?
  2. Does it fit into my lifestyle?
  3. Will this look good in 5 years?

If the answer to one or both of these questions is yes, then the design will probably work for you! Make sure you will be happy with your remodel in a few years!


Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold
While you need to consider the functionality and longevity of your design decisions, ultimately you are an individual with tastes and preferences. Tailoring the design of your home to what you love and makes you happy is what home remodels are all about. Don’t be afraid to go for something even if it seems a little bold.

If you fall in love with a design you think works well for you and your budget, go for it! You know yourself more than anyone.

Changing Your Mind Too Much

While things are always going to pop-up and change throughout a remodel, try not to stray too far from the plan once you’ve started down a path.

Obviously, if you hate something and don’t think you could live with the design it may be necessary to stop. But, costs overrun in a hurry once too many changes are being made in the middle of a project.

Make sure you fully consider a design before starting construction and serious work. A good design-build contractor will ensure you have a good sense of the finished product before you head too far down any path.

Skipping Permits

One of the key benefits of remodeling your home is that you’ll recoup a lot (if not all) of the cost when you sell your house. One way to prevent yourself from recouping these costs? Not procuring the proper permits.

When you are selling your home, buyers will be looking into all the details of your home. If you don’t have permits for work done, it makes your home illegal, increasing the likelihood of your home sale not going through.

While the permit process can often be cumbersome and slow, they are put in place for a reason. Be it safety or aesthetic cohesion, it’s important to acquire permits to ensure your remodel is legal.

A good design-build contractor will know the codes of your local area and obtain the necessary permits.

Not Hiring Professionals

Whether it be you or your handy brother-in-law, the job will never be done as efficiently or effectively as it would if you hired professionals to design and build your home remodel.

While it can be tempting to save labor costs and do it yourself, the process will run more smoothly if done by a professional. This includes:

  • Obtaining permits
  • Picking materials
  • Choosing a layout that actually works
  • Completing the job on time

In the end, you may even pay more to fix issues that could have been solved in the first place had you hired a professional.

Not Using a Design-Build Contractor

Even if you hire professionals, only the best design-build contractors can work with you to bring your vision to life can lead to cost overruns, bad communication, and a inferior finished product.

Design-build allows for the design and construction to be handled under one roof, easing communication and allowing for a cohesive approach to your home remodel.

Design-build contractors will:

  • Offer an initial consultation
  • Manage your entire project
  • Work with you, adjusting the project based on feedback you give
  • Hire a team of construction professionals
  • Manage permits, logistics, and schedules

Home Remodels Done Right
Work with an Experienced North Shore Design-Build Contractor. At Godfrey Design and Build we’ll make sure your home remodel is right from the start. Contact us today to get your initial consultation