Before tackling a major remodeling project, take steps to avoid pitfalls that could lead to frustration, unexpected delays and dissatisfaction with project results.

Builder Grade?Avoiding Construction Pitfalls When Remodeling

For instance, you could find--to your chagrin--the contractor used builder-grade products during the remodeling project rather than quality supplies and materials you expected. To avoid that disconnect, create a project plan that identifies specifics for what type products and supplies you expect the contractor to use. To be even more precise, include pictures of those items you want when you discuss the project with your contractor.

Anticipating possible glitches in a project before you begin can help assure that you and the contractor proceed with a mutual understanding of what’s expected and how long it might take.


Your expectations should be outlined in a written contract signed by you and the contractor. However, before signing any documents, check with your state’s department of labor and industries to see if the business you want to work with has an active contractor registration, and an active and paid-to-date workers’ compensation account covering any employees.


Also check for safety violations, lawsuits and any liens the business may have against it. It is prudent to hire an attorney to review the contract and be available in case unexpected problems arise before, during or after the project is completed.

Communication and Guidelines?

As the project continues, make sure you provide any important communications with your contractor in writing. That way, you will have the proper documentation in case there are any misunderstandings that need to be dealt with.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the supply chain in so many areas, direct the contractor to let you know in writing when there will be delays caused by the unavailability of materials or products. If you are concerned these “delaying tactics” are not warranted, you can check with the manufacturer to see for yourself what is affecting the delivery of their materials or products to a contractor.


If your project requires major revisions to the existing structure, do not be surprised if the cost is far more than you anticipated. A wall removal, for instance, can cost between $6,000 and $10,000.

To avoid surprises about who will be assisting the contractor at your home, find out whether subcontractors will be used. Get their names and check for yourself to make sure they have the proper credentials. Ask to meet them before they begin coming to your home so you are personally aware of members of the crew whose services you are ultimately paying for.

If you follow these guidelines and “hire smart,” you are more likely be satisfied with the results when you and the contractor fill out the final “punch list.”

Need a great remodeling expert in Portland? Contact Three Rivers and for more tips for homeowners, check out the tips below.