I have lived through two remodels previously. The first belonged to my parents. Seriously, I think my mother woke up one morning, decided this 60's kitchen needed to go, (the year was actually 1992.) She hired a contractor, who turned out to be a disaster, and started down the road to perdition.
The problems with her remodel:
1. They didn't really think things through. They didn't have time! They were raising 3 kids, my dad was in graduate school part-time, and they were raising 3 kids. I also think it is my parents' pattern that they tend to rush through any issue related to real estate. They are people minded, not stuff minded, and remodeling a house is about stuff, and that is just not their thing.
2. Because they are people minded, they hired a 'contractor' who really needed work. The reason he needed work was because his work was shit. Really, it was.
3. Because the contractor was incompetent, the sink, skylight, and window, did not line up. None of these three items lined up. It was really ridiculous.
4. Because my mom is not into stuff, she was not into micromanaging stuff. Therefore, she didn't catch #3.
5. They ended up firing that 'contractor.' I actually should just say that they fired the guy. The guy was actually not a contractor. They had to find a new contractor.
6. The whole thing took FOREVER. FOREVER.
Thankfully, because my parents had decided to obtain permits for all the work, the house has not collapsed. The house also got sold a few years ago, so that the misaligned kitchen now belongs to someone else. When I drove by last year, the skylight and the window were still misaligned.
This is the only picture I could fine on the web of its exterior, see how the skylight is just so slightly off?
My second experience with a remodel was at the townhouse we owned prior to buying this abode.
My mistakes of that remodel.
1. The 'contractors' were really just a bunch of guys pretending. Do you see a theme here? You would think I would have learned. To my defense, I didn't pick the contractors. (The short version is that my father-in-law was going to remodel his rental property and sell it, and we enthusiastically said that we wanted to buy it, so we went with the contractor he was referred to by the realtor.)
2. I didn't know anything about remodeling. For instance, these guys put down laminate flooring and lined up all the seams. Seriously, it was ALL lined up, so that you have this glaring line down the middle of the room. The problem wasn't aesthetics, but that hello! Laminate flooring, when lined up like soldiers, will buckle. Oh, and did the floor buckle. About 3 years after the work, we had to replace it all. These guys' work was really just shit.
3. Because we didn't know anything, all the problems were found AFTER we moved in. And we had to hire Mr. L to fix just about everything. He fixed the leaky shower, he fixed the plumbing.
Do you see why my sweet husband thinks this is all just a great hassle?
Although, that kitchen did turn out quite cute. And after we fixed the floor, see how smooth and flat it is?