Avoid These Common Renovation Mistakes

Renovating your home is a big adventure to say the least. Whether you’re the DO-IT-YOURSELF kind, or you are considering hiring a contractor to take care of the details, it’s important not to fall into these common renovation mistakes. You might be surprised how often these crop up, and they’re all avoidable. Let’s check them out.

  1. Buying Inexpensive-Cheap/Unrealistic Budget – Having an unrealistic budget is a surefire way to set up your renovation project for failure. One of the major reasons people fail is in their expectations of material costs. Buying inexpensive is not necessarily buying a poor product but the chances of getting real quality for a low price is slim at best. Take the time to research quality material costs to create a budget that will provide you with the level of quality you desire in your project. If you can’t afford to do the work yet, wait until you can. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. Inaccurate Measurements – There’s nothing worse than having to waste good materials and it can become very costly. One of the simplest mistakes is measuring incorrectly. Always double check your work and if you’re unsure how, call in someone who can help. Remember the old saying, “measure twice, cut once.”
  3. Skipping Prep –Not many people understand the importance of a well thought out plan in preparation for their project. Some consider that preparing in detail for a project is tedious and unnecessary, but it’s essentially the most important step. Don’t get in a hurry. Take your time to think and plan out every step of your project. One should even try to consider unseen conditions and have a plan of attack in the event you actually run into something unplanned or unknown. By having a thorough plan, and following through with all the prep work necessary, you’ll save time and money. If you skip or take short cuts on this very important step you may find yourself in a situation that appears to have no solution. These circumstances can cause you a lot of stress, time, and money.
  4. Wrong Tools – Trying to perform the work without the proper tools for the job can result in poor quality workmanship and can also result in personal injury. You could damage the tool, damage materials, or hurt yourself. Don’t do it. Invest in what you really need, or rent the proper equipment from a local tool rental outlet.
  5. Ignoring Lighting – Indoor or outdoor, light matters. It can completely transform the look and feel of your home. When you’re taking the time to remodel, take a few moments to think about how you can light the various areas to your liking. This is one of the items you should be considering even in the planning stages.
  6. Chaos Happens – Renovation means a little bit of chaos. At least, until the work is all finished. When you’re not prepared for the dust, debris, and noise, you’ll find yourself wondering if this was actually a good idea. Think about what you’re getting yourself into before you get started and be prepared for the things that go along with a project of the nature you are considering.
  7. Not Going Green – One of the biggest trends these days is building green. If you’re not considering how you can make your renovation project more green, you’re missing the boat. We’ve touched on some of the uses in commercial construction, but the same rules apply for homes, too. Check out what we said.
  8. Not Updating Electrical – More than likely, your home’s electrical system should have some updating. Many homeowners will bypass this step thinking it shouldn’t matter since it’s mostly hidden, it works, and updating it can be costly. However, you’ll want to make sure everything is up to code. Each year there are hundreds, if not thousands, of changes in the various building codes. In addition, this will enable you to update and add current technologies in to your home. Have an electrician walk through your project before you start so you can explain your project and what you would like. Electricians can also provide you with additional ideas and thoughts to improve your end result.
  9. Avoiding Permits – Never try to avoid the cost of the proper permits required to do your project. You could be fined and in some cases the inspector will require you to demolish and remove everything you have done. Another consideration is that inspectors look for faulty structural areas, electrical, and so on.  If you do not have a permit and your work does not go through the various inspections, it could result in damage. Your ability to prove the damage was not your fault will be difficult, which may result in loss of claim from your insurance company.
  10. Hiring the Wrong Contractor – Should you choose to hire a team to come in and do the renovation work for you, make sure they’re the right one. Interview your contractors and check their references. Find out how their work flow is maintained and ask about their communication style. Hire the contractor that will be around in a few years. Get to know your contractor. Remember to ask about each of your potential contractors at local lumber yards, hardware stores, electricians, flooring people, and any others that may have worked with them. Good Luck.


We’re Here to Help

If you’ve found yourself in over your head on a remodel project, Baratto Brothers is here to help. Maybe you’re looking for a contractor to make your next renovation match your vision. Either way, contact us today by filling out our contact form, stopping in to say hello, or by giving us a call at (218) 692-1070. We’re here to help come up with an affordable plan for your renovation dreams. We’ll do all we can to become your Builder for Life.

8 Ways to Prep for Your Next Remodel

Remodeling an existing home can offer many advantages; from increasing the value of your home, to giving you the opportunity to transform your home over time. However, there are a lot of things to consider when preparing for your home remodel and we’d love to share some of our tips with you. If you plan on living in your home for the duration of the construction work, it’s important to know there will be plenty of upheaval. Luckily for you, we’ve got your bases covered so you won’t be completely blindsided.

  1. Get your decision hat ready. If you’re working with a construction team, from the moment you sign the paperwork, be prepared to make decisions about the direction of your remodel. This is your home, after all. You’ll be asked questions about anything from counter tops, to where electrical outlets should be placed, to colors the walls should be painted, floor coverings, and everything in between. We’ll offer advice along the way, but the decision rests with you, the home owner.
  2. And then there was dust. Quite frankly, remodeling will kick up a lot of dust and debris. Covering up furniture with tarps, sheets, or removing them all together is a way to protect them from the dust in the air. This is particularly important with electronic devices that could get clogged up, and with furniture.
  3. Move stuff out. Particularly when you have a large scale remodel happening, it’s important to consider removing items you’d rather not get damaged. If you have a crew coming in, your team will be in and out with tools, supplies, and tromping feet. As much as all contractors try to be as careful as possible, accidents do happen. Remove pictures from walls, breakable or sentimental items, and furniture from the home before work begins. Not only will it keep your stuff safe, it will open up a clearer path for your construction crew, too. This keeps everyone happy.
  4. Noises happen. If you plan on continuing life as normal while your home is under construction, be prepared for all the noises that come with power tools, demolition, and creation. For example, if you have a baby in the house, think about how this is going to affect nap schedules, etc. If you work from home, this could pose problems as well. Be prepared for a lot of noise and distractions.
  5. A word about pets. Your pet’s safety is important and with your work crew going in and and out of the home, pets can get scared, hurt, or make a grand escape. Have a plan in place in advance to kennel, crate, or enclose your pet in a room during the remodeling hours. This will ensure their safety and help keep your team focused on their task at hand.
  6. Prepare for surprises. Even in the best of circumstances, you’ll want to be prepared for surprises along the way. This is particularly true the older the home. Having extra money set aside just in case and a mindset that surprises do come up is extremely beneficial before work is started.
  7. A special note on kitchens. If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen while you’re still at home, consider how it will impact your life. Deciding where to set up a “temporary kitchen” will help you get through the transition process much more smoothly. Your crew can move your refrigerator and a microwave to another room so you can function during the remodel. Another thing to consider regarding kitchen remodels is timing. Summer kitchen remodels work much more smoothly because you can break out the grill and enjoy some time out in the yard while your kitchen is being transformed.
  8. Large remodels. If you plan on remodeling more than one room, or overhauling your whole house, staying at the residence may not be an option. This in turn has added costs beyond the work itself that you’ll need to consider. “Trying to live in a home that is being remodeled can be next to impossible so you must consider the added cost of storing your furniture and living expenses while your home is remodeled,” says owner, Jim Baratto.


If you’re looking to start a new commercial or residential construction project, renovation, or just curious about what we offer at Baratto Brothers, contact us today by filling out our contact form, stopping in to say hello, or by giving us a call at (218) 692-1070. We’re here to help you sift through your options, and come up with an affordable plan that delivers the results you’re looking for. We’ll do everything we can to become your Builder for Life.