A kitchen remodel is no easy feat. From meticulous planning and preparation to labor-intensive construction, cleanup and disposal, it is often a long-drawn-out affair that involves a lot of essential decision-making. With that said, running into a couple of setbacks here and there is not exactly unheard of during the process. It is, however, important to know these potential pitfalls before you start in order to save headaches and costs in the long run.
Asbestos is a mineral found naturally in rock and soil. Before the 1980s, the material was widely used in construction to reinforce and fireproof materials, such as concrete, bricks, pipes, drywall, flooring and insulation. However, it was known that exposure to asbestos for long periods of time can increase the risk for lung conditions like mesothelioma. Unfortunately, the mineral is still found in some residential buildings.
It is crucial that you get asbestos properly and professionally remediated during your kitchen renovation. You will need an abatement specialist to remove the material and submit a report on an air test that confirms there are no fibers in the air. If it is not in the budget, consider cutting the expense somewhere else.
2. Structural Defects
While most structural flaws cannot be detected until demolition is complete, there are clues to look for around you. These include cracked ceilings, exposed gaps between walls, settling floors, crooked door frames, crumbling concrete and more. If you see these defects, it will be best to calibrate your initial funds accordingly to prepare for structural repair and maintenance.
When there is moisture, especially when it is close to the foundation, termites are soon to manifest. Termites are insects that feed on wood. If termites have already caused considerable damage to beams and other supports, much of the residential house will turn weak and brittle, making the issue a serious safety concern. In a finished space, correcting this problem can mean fully renovating that part of the house.
Other effective solutions for termite infestation include the application of termite-killing products to the exterior, use of termite baits and use of boric acid on walls and floors. Remember, catching a problem early can mean the difference between hundreds and thousands of dollars.
4. Water Damage
Another thing not to take lightly when renovating your kitchen is water damage to the structural membranes of your home. Unfortunately, you might not discover it until the contractor starts ripping out your ceilings, walls and floors. For instance, dark-colored stains on your ceiling might turn out to be an indication of rotted rafters and moldy sheathing. Suddenly, what you thought was a simple renovation of your old-fashioned drop ceiling becomes an environmental hazard that requires a redo of your siding or installation of new sheathing – maybe even a roof replacement.
5. Floor Vents and Switch Covers
When you tear up walls and floors, it is inevitable that you will have to toss out some of the years-old finishing touches such as light floor vents, heating and air vents, and light switch covers as well. Whether these items are dingy due to age or were defiled during the construction process, replace them with shiny new ones that complement the rest of your newly renovated kitchen. Failing to include these costs — albeit smaller in comparison to costs of other fixtures — in your initial budgeting phase can stop you in your tracks down the line.
6. Unreliable Contractors
A kitchen remodel is a valuable investment, and it only makes sense to hire qualified contractors for the task. Be sure to do thorough research, and check references before you sign a legally binding contract or send over a deposit. Lack of licensing, extremely low bids, high-pressure sales tactics, no permanent place of business, no insurance and cash payments required in advance are common indications of a deceitful contractor who may be in it to swindle you. If you catch these warning signs, take a step back, and move on to the next remodeling business on your list.
Oftentimes, homeowners are surprised to learn that their kitchen renovations require proper permitting. The fact is that any remodel that involves moving or adding plumbing, electrical, mechanical or walls within the home will most definitely require a permit. Keep in mind, however, that, while permits cost money, there is no guarantee that the work will be carried out well. That still depends on the hired contractor.
Nonetheless, if you fail to acquire the necessary permits for the remodel, and a local representative becomes aware of the fact, you could get slapped with a serious financial penalty. After all, building codes are there for good reason – to protect public health and safety. Construction that does not comply with current standards only puts the structure at a greater risk for loss and damage.
8. Bank Issues
If you plan to finance your kitchen remodel, siding replacement or other renovations with a loan from the bank, make sure the loan is in place before you start the demolition and/or construction. It may be tempting to send a deposit into your contractor’s account while you wait on the paperwork to be processed, but if the loan does not go through, you may have just discovered that the demolition is the only part of the renovation you can afford, rendering it completely useless in the end.
9. Incomplete Plan
Make sure to work with a reputable designer and contractor to come up with a kitchen renovation plan that is detailed, affordable and buildable. If you believe that portions of your remodel are pretty simple and straightforward – refinishing or replacing outdated cabinets, for example – and intend to fill in the blanks once you start work, you may soon find that some of those unresolved concerns end up being a lot more expensive than you initially expected.
10. Portfolio Plan
When taking on a large-scale renovation project, it is important to set a realistic timeline and budget for the work. Ideally, a trusted remodeling company is consulted from the get-go for the in-depth process of crafting a blueprint and advising on ballpark figures and feasibility of the proposed ideas to develop a realistic scope and estimation of costs. If this does not happen, there is a big chance that you will end up with a kitchen design full of the most expensive elements.
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Breathe new life into your home with the premier home improvement contractors from Perkins All-Star Exteriors and Construction. Our experienced team offers high-quality kitchen and bathroom remodeling services to enhance the visual appeal and functionality of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin homes. You can also turn to our experts for roof replacement, siding replacement, window installation and more. Schedule a free consultation with us today. Call (847) 261-8892 or (262) 228-6822, or fill out our convenient online form.