Costly Remodeling Missteps that New Homeowners Make

After the negotiations are over, the keys are in your hand, and the excitement sets in...and then the nervousness starts to take over. You have all the freedom, YOU hold the reigns, now what do you do with them? When starting the remodeling and process of getting your dream home in the works, make sure not to be too eager and make one of these common new homeowner mistakes.

1. Going with the Lowest Bid

Double-check that all bids include the same project scope — sometimes one is cheaper because it doesn’t include all the actual costs and details of the project. The contractor may lack the experience to know of additional steps and costs. 

2.  Submitting Small Business Claims

Submitting a claim or two, especially in a relatively short period, can trigger an increase in your premium. Save your insurance for something catastrophic! You don't want to increase that premium right off the bat, lay low and be smart. 

3. Making Improvements Without Checking the ROI

Improvements on your home can be a great investment if you plan on sticking around for awhile. Although, just because you might personally value an upgrade, doesn't mean the market will see it that way. Always check with an appraiser or agent before installing those $30,000 windows. 

4. Going on a Furnishing Spree

We get it; when moving into your new home you want to feel at home and settled, BUT you don't want to rush into buying a ton of discount items all at once. Take your time, get to know your space, and invest in high-quality furniture over time. 

5. Throwing Away Receipts and Paperwork

When it comes time to sell, improvements as small as this are like a resume-builder for your home that can boost its price. And, if problems arise down the road, warranty information for something like a new furnace could save you hundreds.

What to do: Stow paperwork like receipts, contracts, and manuals in a three-ring binder with clear plastic sleeves, or photograph your documents and upload them to cloud storage.

6. Ignoring Small Items on Your Inspection Report

It is important to use your inspection report as your first home to-do list, even before you start painting and doing small upgrades here and there. Over time, loose gutters can yield thousands of dollars in foundation damage. Get the opinion and estimate of a contractor and then make an informed decision. 

7. Remodeling Without doing the Research 

Before beginning a project, thoroughly research it. Ask neighbors. Ask detailed questions of contractors so you can get your timing, budget, and expectations in line.

8. Buying Cheap Tools

You need some basic tools for your first home, a hammer, screwdriver set, ladder, and lawnmower. Be careful when picking up an inexpensive off-brand item, or "novelty" kit, the likeliness of them breaking right away is very high. Thinking if it as another investment in your home.


This blog post was inspired by the original posting on

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