Q&A: Tips for homeowners looking to do indoor or outdoor remodels before selling a home

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Chris Degen
Founder of The Woodlands Home Repairs LLC

Chris Degen founded The Woodlands Home Repairs in 2009 for homeowners in The Woodlands and surrounding areas.

The company offers indoor and outdoor home remodeling services and general maintenance work.

What are some misconceptions people might have about home repair and remodeling specialists?

For the most part, we are redoing spaces, making them better, up to date, and a lot of times larger or completely new by adding on.  I think a big misconception in remodeling is that doing it yourself will save money. That is not always true and can end up costing more in the end.

Is there a typical “problem” room or area that typically causes the most headaches? What are some important features of such areas, and how can homeowners or remodeling workers prepare them?

A lot of the remodeling that we do is because a leak initiated the process.  I cannot tell you how many times something from original construction has failed, causing a leak somewhere.  This can cause a lot of collateral and underlying damage.  There is usually no way to know when this will happen.  You just have to address the problem as soon as it presents itself, whether it is on your own or through insurance.

What are some mistakes you see most often when homeowners are looking to start the renovation process? How can those be avoided?

Do-it-yourselfers are probably the biggest mistake I see.  Sometimes people think they can do it themselves and bite off more than they can chew.  This can actually cause damage and make our job more difficult, which ultimately ends up costing more.  Another mistake I see is people accepting bids that are way too low.  This usually never ends good, and we have been called in to finish several jobs that were started by others who could not do the work for the price they bid.

What are the difficulties associated with renovation and remodeling work? Is indoor or outdoor work more difficult?

I think the most challenging part is figuring out how to move things and have everything look like it was supposed to be that way.  If a wall is load-bearing, it must be supported by a wall, column and/or beam.  Both outdoor and indoor renovations can present their own unique challenges.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start remodeling work on their property?

It is better to get [an estimate]before getting started on your own only to find out later the job is more than what was originally expected.

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