If you are thinking about remodeling your house, if you are in the planning stage of remodeling a house, if you're looking at liquidating equity to remodel a house, here are my 10 biggest mistakes people make before remodeling their home.
You don't use bank leverage. Use bank leverage. The banks are your friend in here, and I'm talking specifically about San Francisco because the price per square foot is just so expensive. When you remodel a house, the equity goes through the roof in a dynamic market like San Francisco, New York, Boston, something like that where there's barriers of entry. So you want to leverage the bank because you KNOW a great renovation will force the equity through the roof. Don't use liquidity to actually start funding the remodel, use the bank and come up with less liquidity. If I'm doing a remodel at $300,000, I'm giving the bank a small down payment and making small payments on it because I want the equity without from the new remodel without using up my hard earned cash. Any rich person or financially savvy person will tell you to use bank leverage.
You don't know enough about the contractor. This is huge, huge! You need to find the right general contractor and you need to know the due diligence. Most customers don't know enough about the due diligence process to actually find a great contractor. You want somebody that knows what they're doing, that has a track record that they can actually prove to you that they've been doing this for the trailing 24, 15, whatever months, whatever years. You want at least five years of successful projects, deadlines met, inspections passed, and satisfied customers. One great way, a little side tip that you can do to find this out a little faster is to use a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certification is where a third party will test your license, test the contractor's insurance and test the contractor's customers in reviews. They'll call them up. They'll say, "Hey, how was the service? What could they have done better? What did they do good? What did they do that you didn't like? On a scale of one to 10, where do you put them?" You can find out more facts about Dimond Certifications HERE
You don't have a clear vision of what you want for your remodel. You're not clear on the goal of the remodel. You're not clear on what's possible. You don't have any kind of examples. Having something to work with the general contractor will make it easier for the General contractor and yourself to bounce around ideas or expand upon your ideas until you get something that you absolutely love! And if the GC is not getting the vision, if he's just, "Okay, yeah, I got it. Yeah, I got it. Yeah, I got it," that might be a red flag. You want to make sure you can communicate your vision a hundred percent. And the contractor is going to help you fulfill that vision by helping out picking the nice floors, fixtures, color patterns, what looks good. Past projects they’ve completed are great ways to see the final product if you cannot envision it yourself. Some construction companies work or have an inhouse interior designer to pull everything together and make the final product a visual masterpiece you can see before you start the remodel.
You don't think far enough ahead in the remodel. You don't see the final product. You don't see yourself living in the remodel far enough to do a full remodel so you start doing little things. You start, "Let's do the kitchen first. Let's do the bathroom first." And you just want to do the bathroom and not the whole living room knowing you need more space, knowing your family's growing, knowing down the line you probably need a home edition. If you bundle all these things together with a full remodel that you need and know you will eventually need, you get a way better deal and you get a fully completed vision, and it's all done in one step.
You don't have a clear understanding of the timeline. The general contractor and the project manager are going to be very detailed on what the timeline is going to be. Now, depending on the remodel, it can take three months, sometimes it can take up to four or five, 9 months depending on what the construction consists of and delays that pop up. If the contractor is not being clear on delays, they are kidding themselves, most all construction projects have delays experienced setbacks, so the contractor should be very detailed with you on the worst case and the best case.
The payments work the same way and correspond to the deadline milestones. So you'll have a full deadline broken up into little subsections that fully completes the renovation. This is probably one of the hardest thing for a general contractor to do but if you know the timeline and the general contractor is clear about it along with seasoned expertise to gauge delays, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you. This is why professionals always hit the deadlines, because they're seasoned in hitting the mark all the time. You need a well-oiled machine here. When you hire a general contractor, when you do a remodel, you need a well-oiled machine that has a system for scale. Do they have people, do they hire people, do they leverage other people's time and skill sets and resources? Do they have something, a business that's actually scalable? So we're looking a little bit past the general contractor. We're starting to look into business practices here.
You don't think about layout changes. Layout changes are extremely important because the feng shui of the house can really set it apart from other remodels and totally fit the mood and function for you and your family. If you have a family, kids running around certain ways, if you're single, what does that look like? What's the flow of the house? And does the layout need to be changed? So a lot of people don't get creative enough here. Let your imagination run wild! This is your time. This is your remodel. This is a big deal! It's a massive deal here. So you want to make sure that the remodel you are thinking of is full of creativity, 100 percent creativity. I guarantee you, what you can think of, a company like Edri Construction can make happen.
You don't think about city requirements. When was your house built? Does it have an extra additional dwelling unit that's not permitted yet? Does certain electrical need to be upgraded? Does certain plumbing need to be rerouted? Did the city change things on you? And they don't apply to you yet because you haven't done any changes. This all ties back to getting creative with your remodel, the main thing you want to do as a customer please focus on the creativity and get with the right professional to make it happen.
Consult a professional at Edri Construction
You go too cheap. You try to skimp on the remodel. You try to skimp on the materials, which is not good for long term. Look, if you're going to do a remodel, do it right. There's an old saying, "Do it right. Don't do it twice." And this hundred percent applies to doing a remodel. We want to make sure that we're picking quality materials and we want to make sure that they're getting constructed in a quality way from a craftsman. So instead of doing hardwood floors, they go with laminate floors, which is okay, but the laminate floors sometimes customer will try and choose is a few millimeter thick. It's not enough. That's going to go away in a couple years and start scuffing and breaking. So don't skimp the remodels. Don't go cheap. Go all in.
You don't remodel as a whole. We talked about it a little bit earlier, just doing the kitchen, just doing the bathroom. Do the whole remodel so it makes sense. This way, the colors, the fixtures, the patterns, everything that you're putting together all makes sense. Materials go away year after year so if you go back and try to match a remodel you did a few years ago, the fixtures probably won’t be around. You don't want to do one room here and then have it totally different, and then have the feel of a house compromised. We talk about this all the time. Real estate is all about feeling, "Can I get the buzz? Can I get the feeling? Does it feel cozy?" Whatever look you're going for, whatever feel you're going for, make sure it reflects. And we do that by doing a whole remodel at one time.
Number 10 You don't trust yourself. You don't go with your gut when picking a general contractor and completely overthink everything. Always make sure that you go with your gut. Every construction company will tell you, "We do quality and we do great, and we can do this, and we can do that." Make them prove it and if you are not feeling 100% about the GC then move on and trust your gut. Make sure you go with who you feel would do the best job and make sure they're proven enough to do their big job. This is your remodel. You are worth it. Make sure that they put the customer number one.
So those are my 10 biggest mistakes people make before they do a remodel. Make sure you follow us on all the social channels. If you're getting value from this, please give us a like, give us a subscribe. If this is very insightful for you, we're going to continue to do this. We want to give you the behind the scenes of what we're doing as a company. We want to give you behind the scenes of what we're doing in the construction space. So make sure you follow us, subscribe to us. If you're in the market for a remodel, please, let us come out there, give you a free walk through and consultation. I've seen so many people get burned. You want to get quoted by a true professional that puts the customer first. Call us today. Hope you had some value. See you on the next one.