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How To Avoid The 3 Most Common Remodeling Pitfalls

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1. Time. People generally underestimate how long it's
going to take to complete the project. It's best to allow
for a contingency of at least 25 percent to cope with
unforeseen problems. In many renovations, especially
with older homes, unexpected difficulties can arise and
you need to allow time and money to resolve them.

2. Design. People also tend to underestimate the
importance of he design process. It's crucial to work
with a design professional who can not only help you
create the end result that you want but also has the
foresight to articulate the details of the process, from
the structural to the ornamental.

3. Expense. There is a tendency to jump for the lowest
bid from a contractor, which in the long run often ends
up costing homeowners more. It's best to solicit bids
from a number of contractors and compare them
carefully. For a successful bid competition, you'll need
to provide complete and detailed specifications to
ensure that everybody is bidding on exactly the
same project.

Note: The more decisions you can make about materials,
finishes and detailing, before asking for bids, the easier it
will be to select a contractor and the fewer problems you
will have, once the job begins.

In the long run, homeowners who invest a substantial
amount of time in the planning phase can potentially save
between 20 and 30 percent in the overall cost of their

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