You carefully plan your remodel project, hire what you hope is a solid contractor, and obtain financing to fit your rigid budget. If you’re one of the lucky ones, your project will cruise along with no unforeseen glitches or bumps in the road; but, as is often the case, costly problems will arise.
One of the most common money drains lies with the contractor himself. Unless you have a clearly defined contract ahead of time, you will undoubtedly be charged for the extra time the project takes. Whether he is working for time and materials, or realizes partly through that he underestimated his time, the price will go up. Selecting the right contractor is imperative; only request estimates from certified professionals.
Another common area is the unpleasant discovery of dry rot, mold, and water damage. Not to mention the dreaded discovery of asbestos, or lead paint. All of these problems require careful removal and disposal, as well as extensive correction. In some cases, your contractor may be justified in requesting additional funds to deal with a big problem.
There are some specific rooms that end up being money-draining updates; and they can make it difficult to recoup your investment when selling. A home office, upscale master suite addition, family room addition, and an upscale kitchen remodel can all be expensive updates without a high rate of return. Not that these areas shouldn’t be remodeled, but just be careful as to the extent of your investment.
Remember the movie “The Money Pit”? Many of us can empathize with that scenario. An important way to avoid that situation is to have a clear understanding of what your house needs in advance, even before you purchase it. Once you have begun remodeling, know when to quit. Sometimes, the further we go, we just can’t stop until we’ve updated every nook and cranny. Know when to draw the line, unless you’re positive you’ll be able to recoup your investment.