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Avoid A Renovation Nightmare

People often ask how they can avoid a renovation nightmare when planning on remodeling their home. Despite all of your preparation and research, there are still plenty of ways that you can pick a terrible contractor, the timeline can be moved back and forth or the finished project isn’t anything like what you wanted. In New York City in 2017, there were 1,116 complaints and $1.5 million in fines issued to shoddy contractors who didn’t follow through. So what can you do to ensure that your home reno goes according to plan?

Make sure you know the regulations in your area.

Every city, town, state and even neighborhood can have different rules as to what you can build and when.  Whether it’s inside or outside, colors or materials can be dictated by your Home Owners Association.  Just make sure you are checking all boxes before you invest a lot of money. If you don’t take this one simple step at the very beginning, your job can get very complicated or may never get finished.

Avoid a renovation nightmare with these tips.
Avoid a renovation nightmare with these tips.

Do your homework on ALL elements.

Not only do you need to know the extent of the permits or approvals you need to get, but you need to verify the certifications of your contractor as well. Make sure they are sanctioned to do what they are contractually obligated to do on or in your home. Do your due diligence on Better Business Bureau, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List and Houzz reviews to see what problems or violations if any, other clients have encountered. LexisNexis is another great resource for lawsuits against all sorts of businesses, but also contractors. As a final note, honestly, the best review you can find is most likely word-of-mouth. Do you have a friend who has gotten something similar completed on their home?  They may help narrow your search.

Get multiple quotes.

Be as communicative and forthcoming with your budget, ideas and thoughts so the contractors you have narrowed your search down to can be more specific. Any builder or renovator worth their salt will be honest about pricing and timelines, but you MUST also give them as much information as possible. Trying to be dodgy with your true budget or expectations will just waste both parties’ time.


We mentioned it before but communication is key, from beginning to end. Once you choose your contractor, make sure they communicate with you about progress on a regular basis, so any complications can be nipped in the bud.  Maybe something came in less expensive and some more elaborate finishes can be added.  Maybe the timeline is being extended due to a shipment delay or inclement weather.  It’s important that both sides know what the other is thinking so the project comes through on budget and on time.

Sign a contract.

This might sound like common sense, but many people skip this very important element. Having a legally binding document when potentially thousands of dollars of work are being done on your home keeps everyone honest.  Do not enter an agreement with any company that doesn’t require this. This can be a huge red flag for a company that is likely to not finish, conveniently forget about your timeline or even skip town with your money. Make SURE you sign a contract before ANY work is done.

With these tips, you can come into the remodeling ring with a lot more ammunition to ensure you avoid a renovation nightmare. If your needs are covered on our Services Page, feel free to give us a call, read our reviews and let us prepare a quote for you here at Home Remedy!