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Nothing beats the feeling of deciding to undertake a significant home improvement project and growing gradually more excited about the functional or visual benefits it will yield — and then running into a slew of common home improvement mistakes that clog the process and result in wasted time or money.

The good news is that often these mistakes are caused by homeowners themselves, which means they can be avoided. Before choosing to start a home improvement project, make sure you know what to expect, what steps are required, how to prepare for living at home during a remodel, and just as important, what mishaps to dodge. Here’s a look at common remodeling mistakes and how you can avoid them:

1. Inadequate Financial Preparation

Large-scale home improvement projects can be expensive and sometimes require financing if you can’t afford to pay out of pocket. You should figure out what you can afford for the project, both from your savings and through borrowing, before meeting with an architect or contractor. A couple types of home improvement loans to consider include:

  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC): A way of borrowing against your home’s value, you get a line of credit, accompanied by a draw period and repayment period.
  • Mortgage refinance: Refinancing your home can lower rates and free up funds for home improvements.
  • FHA 203(k) loans: Also known as rehab or FHA construction loans, these give you the ability to finance your house itself, along with needed/wanted repairs, which often means lenders are more willing to approve loans on homes they wouldn’t otherwise.

Once you’ve discussed a home improvement loan with your bank or other lending agency, you can factor in a more accurate budget as you move onto planning and designing the project with your contractor or professional remodeler.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen in Wilmington, Delaware

2. Not Considering Resale Value

When you’re trying to decide what to improve at your property, don’t forget to research how various home improvement projects may enhance your home’s resale value in Delaware. Talk with a contractor, realtor or other industry professionals to check databases for the value of comparable properties in your neighborhood. This competitive analysis can help you decide if your project will cost more than it is likely to be worth when you eventually sell the property.

3. Trying to DIY When You Shouldn’t

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to use your own two hands to care for and improve your house. But avoid the common DIY remodel fails. The problem comes when you undertake a project you don’t have the time, knowledge, or tools to execute properly or efficiently. There’s no shame in accepting that a certain project may not be a time- or cost-efficient DIY attempt and a contractor is necessary to ensure the home improvement is performed properly. 

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4. Not Shopping Around

An important part of preparing for a home improvement is procuring estimates from multiple contractors to ensure you’re paying a fair price for the work. Resist the urge to go with the first estimate without doing further research and talking with other remodeling companies.

When selecting a contractor, you should consider more than price, though. You should also factor in how long a contractor has been in business or their past experience; their professional reputation (check out reviews on Google, Yelp and the company’s social media pages); what warranty, if any, they offer on their work; and if they’re properly licensed, bonded and insured.

The price is a reflection of the amount of work and quality that will be found, so make sure you know what services are and are not included before signing on the dotted line.

Cost of a Kitchen Remodel in Delaware           Cost of a Bathroom Remodel in Delaware           Basement Remodeling Cost Guide

5. Forgetting About Necessary Permits

Homeowners sometimes forget certain projects require proper building permits. If you start work before permitting, you can be given a stop work order from your local city or county government that delays the project. As permits cost money and take time to pull, you should work on acquiring them as soon as possible. Fortunately, some Delaware contractors will deal with the local government to get necessary permits pulled for you as well as find out if you need to post them publicly or have them available on-site.

Related: How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take? What You Need to Know

Choosing the Right Contractor in Delaware

A trusted contractor can be your best friend when it comes to thinking ahead and taking adequate steps to avoid these and other common home improvement mistakes. Bromwell Construction Company, based in Delaware, specializes in kitchen and bathroom renovations and is dedicated to helping you achieve your desired home improvements to the highest standards.


“10 Major Construction Mistakes.” HowStuffWorks.com. Accessed online at https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/construction/planning/10-major-construction-mistakes1.htm

“25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes.” HGTV, March 14, 2012. Accessed online at http://www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/25-biggest-renovating-mistakes/index.html

“Common Mistakes Homeowners Make During Renovations.” Chrissy Kirkwood for Trulia. Accessed online at http://www.trulia.com/blog/nashville_real_estate/2011/03/common_mistakes_homeowners_make_during_renovations

“Licensed, bonded & insured.” Angie’s List. Accessed online at http://www.angieslist.com/contractor/license-bonded-insured.htm

“Home Improvement Loans.” US News & World Report. Accessed online at https://loans.usnews.com/home-improvement-loans