We’ve already covered the 8 Steps for a Successful Renovation, but here are six additional things to keep in mind to make sure your remodeling project is stress-free:

More details make for a more accurate bid.

When compiling your concepts, keep in mind that more details equal more accurate bids from contractors which will ultimately allow you to better maintain your overall renovation budget. Ambiguous design concepts lead to greater variances in determining the construction costs.

Don’t forget to include a contingency budget.

It is imperative that you have a contingency budget of 5-10% of the total project amount for unexpected remodeling costs or design revisions. Even if you do not use these funds, the renovation will be much less stressful and you will thank yourself for having the funds available for these unforeseen occurrences.

Include time for securing financing in your plans.

Based on our experience, securing most types of financing for construction typically takes a little longer than expected. We recommend allowing 30-60 days to finalize the loan from application submission to closing.

Check your contractor’s references.

When making your final selection for a remodeling contractor, be sure to ask for a minimum of 5 references and by all means check them!

Avoid the trap of choosing a contractor based on price alone.

It would be a drastic mistake to select your remodeling contractor purely based on price. It’s very enticing to select the lowest bid, but when it comes to renovations you really do get what you pay for more often than not. We’ve encountered numerous situations where we had to make extensive (and expensive) repairs on projects completed by other contractors where the client selected the lowest bidder. Following this one step could save you a lot of heartache and thousands of dollars.

Bonus Tip: Be careful when paying for things in advance.

Be very careful when writing checks for deposits prior to starting the project. It is common to pay your contractor for materials up front before the job starts, but this amount is typically less than 30%-40% of the project. However, if the contractor is requesting 50% or more up front before the job starts, have them provide you with material quotes from the supplier. You can also opt to pay the supplier directly for the materials to reduce your risk.


If you have any questions regarding the above information, or if you would like to discuss Watermark & Company’s Design | Renovate process, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. In the meantime, good luck on your renovation and we’ll see you on the next project.