When it comes to remodeling your home, there can be a variety of reasons you’re considering a change. Perhaps you’re ready for some small alteration or a major update, or your home doesn’t function well for your family and it’s time for a fix. Whatever the reason behind your remodel, Ascent Architecture & Interiors has rounded up several of the most common mistakes made during remodels and tips on how to avoid them.

Exceeding Budget

Your budget can mean the difference between a great remodel or one that doesn’t happen at all. In many instances, the older the property, the more likely you are to run into surprises. Think: asbestos abatement, lead paint remediation, and inefficient windows, all of which can add significant costs.

Also, if you’re spending time and money on a renovation, you should get your dream features as a result. “Often the cuts you make to your wish list can result in less satisfaction with the final renovation project,” said Sara Bergby, Project Manager and Architect. Bergby suggests that if it’s a feature you really want you should definitely try to make room in your budget for it.

The fix: The Ascent team recommends setting aside roughly 15 percent of your total project budget for any surprises that appear along the way, also known as “contingencies.” If you’re planning on spending $50,000 total, for example, set aside $7,500 at the beginning, and consider the remaining $42,500 to be your construction budget. This way, you’ll be more prepared to handle any unexpected issues that might come up.

Incorrect Measurements

Home owners will sometimes come to us with home measurements they’ve done themselves. They may even draft their remodels prior to meeting with a professional. However, there’s a lot of detail involved in space measurements, and it’s easy to miss things, which is where hiring a professional comes in – they know to look for things that might not be obvious to the untrained eye. For instance, some houses will have walls with double studs – two sets of studs running parallel to each other in a single wall – that will throw off the measurements of adjacent rooms if not properly documented. Some homeowners may locate the walls correctly but won’t realize that some of them are load-bearing or shear walls which must remain in place to keep the structural integrity of the home intact.

The fix: Ascent Architecture & Interiors’ professionals are experienced at correctly measuring homes and buildings. Based on these measurements, we can develop “as-built drawings” that document current conditions and create a starting point for redesign. We’ll work with you on your ideas for design to make sure your vision is well incorporated into the project.

Missing Details

 How will your carpet transition to tile? Will the window over the sink be centered? Can you get that door to open without hitting the washing machine? These are the details that mean the difference between a great remodel and one that doesn’t work.

The fix: A collaborative architecture and interior design approach that focuses on both the big picture and the details will help avoid the need to develop costly—and often unsightly—design solutions in the field during construction.

Hiring the Wrong Contractor

It can be hard to find the right contractor for your project. You need a contractor who’s experienced with your project type and has excellent recommendations from past clients. But how do you find them?

The fix: As architects, we work with general contractors every day and have a list of qualified companies we can recommend based on your project needs. We’re also adept at reviewing bids and comparing scope. Additionally, as your architect, we’re happy to help you interview and select your contractor.

A Design That Doesn’t Fit Your Lifestyle

There are a lot of different finishes to choose from when it comes to a renovation. You should take the time to consider your lifestyle before you select final layouts and finishes. Will this kitchen suit your needs? How will hardwood floors fair in your home with kids? Will white carpet work with your dogs? Think about how the renovation will improve the functionality of your space and life. If you’re building a large kitchen or dining room but you have a small family, you might want to consider using the space for something different. “Design a space that will support how you live now and in the future,” said Lynn Baker, NCIDQ Cert. No. 29584.

The fix: At Ascent, our designers have years of experience designing home remodels. While a home owner might renovate once a decade—or once in a lifetime—we do this type of thing every day. That means we stay current on materials, design theory, and trends. Our interior designers are in constant contact with manufacturers and keep an up-to-date product sample library of interior materials (e.g., lighting, paint, flooring, etc.). For those dream finishes and features beyond your budget, we can often turn to our library and recommend lower-cost alternatives that offer similar character and quality. We can spot possible pitfalls and make recommendations based our past experiences so that your redesign is meets your needs.

To learn more about how Ascent can help with your residential remodel, please contact us to schedule a one-hour complimentary design consultation.

We used Ascent to remodel the two bathrooms in our 38-year-old log home and to assist us in choosing new flooring for our great room. We are extremely happy with their design and the contractor they helped us find to complete the work! Lynn our designer was so helpful in choosing styles and colors. Highly recommend them!

Georgia Merrifield

Homeowner, Bend, Oregon

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