The Biggest Home Remodelling Mistakes, According To General Contractors

All it takes is one small mistake and your home improvement project can run way over budget. If you want to keep your remodel from eating up your savings, avoid these major missteps before construction even begins. In a recent survey, Consumer Reports spoke with 300 general contractors to find out what breaks people’s budgets when they remodel their homes. This video from the Consumer Reports YouTube channel lists some of the worst mistakes, as well as some tips to help you sidestep those errors:

  • Changing your mind after work has begun: Fifty nine per cent of the contractors surveyed said that altering your plans during construction is the biggest, most costly mistake people make when remodelling. Think through every tiny detail before you get started.
  • Hiring a contractor that isn’t licensed or bonded: Accredited contractors are better at holding down costs when the remodel goes over budget, and you’re guaranteed that they have the appropriate skills to work on your home. An unlicensed contractor could bail if the going gets tough.
  • Not getting a pre-inspection: Consumer Reports data suggests that most blown budgets are due to unknown structural damage, hidden mould or unaddressed electrical problems that existed before remodelling started. A pre-inspection can find these beforehand so you can create a more realistic budget and account for such issues.

The Consumer Reports survey also found that most contractors are at least somewhat willing to haggle prices, and many of them will offer discounts to repeat customers. So if you want to save some money, don’t be afraid to ask.

How to Avoid the Biggest Remodeling Mistakes [YouTube]


  • Beware solar panel installers who only do a “street’s-eye” inspection first. Because then the work-crew turns up, and discovers that the roof needs structural repairs to support the panels and they have to pack up and go home, wasting everyone’s day. And then you hear that this happens at least 25% of the time because the pre-sales inspection is useless.

  • After a relatively minor fire incident, my brother arranged for a crew provided by the insurance company to clean up the smoke damage.
    After arriving they said they are going to get some smokes and were never seen again.
    The insurance company were told about them.
    Had to wait for a week to get a replacement.

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