How to Avoid a Home Remodel Horror Story

Who doesn’t love a good horror movie with masked killers, dark cellars, terrified victims, and chainsaw-wielding villains? The first Halloween movie aired in 1978. Forty years and ten Halloween movies later, the 2018 Halloween movie opened to long lines and record-breaking earnings. We obviously find horror stories very entertaining.

Experts say we are drawn to the suspense, the shock, and the fear because we know it’s fictional and we can control it at any time by simply covering our eyes!

You’ve probably heard some scary home remodel horror stories. Past remodels not done to code, homeowner DIY projects that didn’t involve permits, poor quality workmanship done by a friend who is a jack-of-all-trades, the horror of a health threat caused by mold from incorrect plumbing, scary things that pose immediate danger like improper removal of load-bearing walls or non-GFI outlets near sinks and tubs, and other frightening situations that could impact your ability to sell your home or obtain a bank loan.

old house basement floor renovation in process
old house basement floor renovation in process

Unlike a horror movie, these scary scenarios aren’t fictional. We can’t always control them or cover our eyes.

When a home is built, inspectors visit multiple times to ensure the house meets code requirements for that area. Plans and permits are required for every step so homeowners can be confident that plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, and walls are constructed to standards before occupancy is allowed. However, with an existing home, you don’t always know the frightening things that may have taken place after the original occupancy date.

You could hide your eyes and pretend the scary stuff won’t happen to you or you could avoid the horror story altogether by selecting only a reputable builder with the proper credentials for your next home remodel or renovation. Keep your eyes open and look for these qualifications:


Look for a full-time professional who does home remodel and renovation all day, every day. Chances are that when they encounter a problem, they will have the expertise to offer solutions.

A permanent
business location

That’s not to say that someone who works out of their home isn’t qualified, but a permanent business location will help ensure that the contractor has a stable business and can be located should future issues arise.

Appropriate insurance

For your protection, make sure the remodeler you select carries worker’s compensation and general liability insurance.

Be aware of low bids

Many home remodel horror stories begin with the selection of the lowest bidder. Pricing reflects the significant investment that reputable contractors make in equipment, tools, and training their team. A low bid could mean that the bidder is lacking these necessary components.

Registered Remodeler

A registered remodeler meets an extensive list of qualifications and brings many benefits to a project:

• Submits to a Code of Ethics
• Knowledge of new products
• Meets continuing education requirements
• Access to a network of industry professionals on the local, state, and national level
• Proven financial and on-site responsibilities
• References of previous customers
• Acceptable credit history
• Passed a personal interview before a committee

• Ability to address special building issues and techniques
• Access to a conciliation process if necessary to resolve problems
• Experience in home or commercial construction for a specified period of time
• Sponsorship of other Registered Remodelers or Builders who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s remodeling and construction activities and business integrity

Bailey Remodeling & Construction has been providing clients with high quality residential remodeling for over 13 years. We were excited to be named Building Industry Association’s 2017 Remodeler of the Year. If you have been following us on social media, you know that we are hard at work on our new permanent business location in the St. Matthews area of Louisville. Our goal is to give your home remodel story a happy ending.

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