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5 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Remodeling

Neglecting To Get Permits:

  • Acquiring permits is a small price to pay to ensure the project is completed properly
  • Homeowners insurance policies may not cover damages or accidents related to work done without permits. In the event of a claim, insurance companies may deny coverage if the homeowner cannot demonstrate compliance with local building codes
  • If the homeowner is caught without permits during construction, it can lead to project delays

Starting The Remodel Before All Decisions Are Made

  • With a complete plan, accurate cost estimations can be made for labor and materials. This helps homeowners set a realistic budget and avoid financial strain during the remodel
  • Having a plan allows for efficient allocation of resources. Time, materials, and labor can be optimized, which helps keep the project on-time and on budget

Hiring the Wrong Contractor

  • Always hire licensed, insured & bonded companies
  • Be sure to read their reviews
  • It is tempting to go with the low bid but typically that means they have lower overhead - - maybe because they do most of the work themselves. If they get injured a month into your kitchen remodel, is the company large enough to continue on? Or will you be left without a kitchen for an unforeseen amount of time? Select an experienced contractor with enough employees to get the job done, no matter what may come up

No Contingency Budget for Unexpected Items

  • The reality of construction is it’s hard to budget for what you can’t see
  • It is advisable to have 20% more money available than the projected budget for the renovation
  • Rotted beams, failed drains, dangerous buried electric wires and a variety of other issues can show their face when you start opening up walls


  • Always be sure to discuss questions, comments, or concerns with the project manager of the General Contractor directly
  • Communicating directly to the tradesman can lead to miscommunication and potentially expensive mistakes
  • You hired the General Contractor to make sure everything was done properly, it is important to keep them in the loop on all changes

Note from the author:

My father, Richard, started his business as a General Contractor in 1989. He got started doing cabinet work and has developed a reputation for high attention to detail. Word of mouth referrals has enabled us to keep over 90% of our work in our hometown of Huntington Beach, CA. We have never lost track of our roots as a local kitchen and bath contractor. As trust grew in the Huntington Beach community, the remodel projects began to get larger and larger. Eventually, in early 2000’s, Richard was given the opportunity to build his first new custom home. Ever since then RJ Murphy Construction has built a new home every other year or so in addition to the remodeling business. The other 10% of our general contracting business has been developing in Newport Beach over the past 2 - 3 years. We have done large scale projects on Harbor Island Drive and Kings Rd in Newport Beach. Our goal is to always limit the number of projects we take on at any one time to make sure we have superior project management on each and every remodel or new home construction.

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Kevin Murphy
Kevin Murphy is a second-generation general contractor and a key driving force behind the success of R J Murphy Construction, Inc. With humble beginnings sweeping floors during the summers of high school, Kevin's journey in the construction industry has been marked by dedication, resilience, and a commitment to excellence.
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