February 12th, 2017 10:43 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
Don't Sweat It host
Steve Watson says, "One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it
comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy
materials. The bottom line is, you're going to get what you pay for."
Carpenter Jimmy Little adds his two cents: "If you're going to do it, do
it. If you can't afford to do it, wait."
Soriano, former editor in chief of Country Living magazine says, "I can't emphasize
enough how an inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And
if your dimensions are off and it's not equal and symmetrical, you're not going
to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you're not sure about how
to measure or you can't follow the directions, don't hesitate at all to call
somebody. Ask them to come over and take the measurement for you."
it the right way, right away," says Carey. "You shouldn't avoid your
prep work. You want to take the time to do it right and right from the
Contractor Jim Collins says, "It's a horrible, tedious process, and nobody
likes it, but it saves so much time later on down the way. And that's what
you're trying to do: save yourself money and time."
sure you have a well-set plan before you start your renovations, because you
don't want to go in there and just clear everything out, when you might be able
to work around some areas," warns Carey Evans of Don't Sweat It.
"I see this time and time again where people just start, and they think
they're going to pull a piece of wallpaper off, and by the time the process is
over, they've completely gotten themselves into a deep, dark hole that's very
difficult to get out of," adds Eric Stromer of Over Your Head.
the duct tape for decorative purposes only. "My esteemed colleagues, duct
tape is not a permanent solution. It is merely a temporary fix," says Eric.
"People use duct tape because it's cheap and it's quick and it's easy, but
it's definitely a temporary solution. Don't leave it up for more than a couple
hours, ever," Jimmy adds.
are really three problems with using the wrong tool: You can wreck the tool,
you can wreck the project you're working on and you can wreck yourself,"
notes Spike Carelsen, former executive editor of Family Handyman.
you need a small bathroom, pick the right fixtures," says Jimmy. "You
can buy low-profile toilets and narrower sinks. Don't try to put full-size
fixtures in a tiny, tiny bathroom. It's just going to be crowded."
"I'm a real believer in using bold colors and bold prints, because
boldness in small spaces actually makes it feel better," Nancy adds.
Hammer Heads carpenter
Carmen De La Paz says, "Another mistake that homeowners will often make is
not taking into consideration the lighting in their home. The lighting in your
home can completely change the colors, the feeling, the ambiance."
Designed to Sell's Lisa
LaPorta adds, "There are really three main types of lighting: general
lighting, task lighting and drama or accent lighting. You need a combination to
have a really good end design."
often make the mistake of wanting to be too hip and trendy in their new home by
picking the latest, hottest, coolest things," says Carmen. "What they
don't take into consideration is that trendy means that it's short term."
"You want something that's going to stand the test of time, and you want
something that's going to last for years and years," says Jim.
sure you're looking at the entire floor plan of your home when you're planning
your doorways. Look for, and make sure that every room has multiple exits. Or,
if those doorways are in high-traffic areas, make sure they're wide enough to
let multiple people pass through," Carey says.
think it's really important to anticipate the time and the pacing of your
renovation," notes Nancy. "You probably want to do that up front, get
it over with and then you can slowly start to piece your life and your home
Bartolomeo of Save
My Bath says,
"You should always store materials in a cool, dry place."
Steve adds, "A roll of plastic will save you a lot of time and a lot of
money, when it comes to wood and concrete. When it comes to tools and stuff
like that, keep them inside."
will often make the mistake of not going green with their home project for two
reasons: 1. They don't know how to, and 2. They think that it costs more
money," Carmen says.
"If you're doing your renovation green, you're really ahead of the market right
now. So going green is a very smart investment," Carey emphasizes.
often make the mistake of picking the wrong paint for whatever particular
project they may be working on," says Carmen. "You don't realize that
there is paint for just about every surface."
"Flat is for your ceilings and sometimes for your walls," adds
carpenter Jeff Devlin of Spice
Up My Kitchen. "Whereas your semigloss would be for trim in a
bathroom or in a dining room. The glossy will give it a more upscale
you're renovating, bigger is always better when it comes to hallways and
stairs," Jim says.
are really expensive, and a lot of people try to (save) money on them, but
that's not where you want to save your money," Jimmy says.
"You can always put more emphasis on the windows in the front of the house
that face the street. That's one way to save on money, but do not skimp on
quality," Nancy says.
most important things you can have on a job site for your own personal safety
are goggles to protect your eyes, ear protection to protect your hearing and
gloves to protect your hands from splinters, nails and such," says Jim.
"(Also) a good set of boots because there are nails and sharp objects
everywhere. The last thing is, you must have a first-aid kit."
have to know what you're getting into," Jim says. "Even if you're not
doing the work yourself, know what to look for, what your contractor is doing.
That way you can keep a close eye on the project and know when something's
getting out of hand."
"I think it's really important to do at least some preliminary work. You
want to be able to have enough information to know what questions to ask,"
think people sometimes forget about electric when they've been renovating
because it's costly and it's hidden," Nancy says. "You want to walk
through the house with the electrician before you start to talk about outlets,
where they are, where you want new outlets, three-prong outlets. You want to
make sure everything's up to code."
bought that Spanish home or that Craftsman home for a reason, because you liked
that style. So keep your new design, your new build projects within that
style," Steve insists.
bottom line is "if you do perform work without a permit and something
serious happens, your homeowner's insurance will not cover it," says Marc.
need to make sure that the contractor is right for you, because he's going to
be in your home, and you want to make sure it's the right contractor,"
Stephen Drucker, former editor in chief of House Beautiful adds, "When you interview
contractors and you check references, the thing you want to find out is, how
fast do they return phone calls? A contractor who returns phone calls fast has
nothing to hide, and it's going to reduce your anxiety level."
people make the mistake of not knowing their limitations, they often take
shortcuts," Carmen says.
Eric explains, "You really do have to know up front where you're going,
and you can't jump into things without having a plan."
biggest mistake people make when they're trying to figure what the payback is
going to be is they overbuild for their neighborhood," says Jimmy.
"They have a $100,000 house and they put a $100,000 addition on it, so now
they have a $200,000 house in a $100,000 neighborhood."
think that people often underestimate what it's going to cost to do a big
renovation, and part of that is because they don't realize the biggest cost in
a renovation usually is the labor," Nancy says.
"You never know what's going to happen once you start the demolition
process. As soon as you open up a wall, you never know what you're going to
find behind that wall, so you need to pad your budget, and you need to be
realistic," Jeff said.
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