Home Improvement Blog

Top 7 Tricks Bellevue Remodeling Firms Tried to Cut Corners

Bellevue Remodeling and Additions

Don’t let your next home improvement lead to cut corners

Looking for a Bellevue remodeling company for work on your home? Worried you won’t get what you pay for or that your contractor will cut corners?

You may experience some hesitation going into this endeavor. This is understandable as any local, inexpensive builders have been caught cutting corners to get jobs done fast and make extra money. Therefore, doing your homework is what really counts. You will NOT be taken advantage of with these tips as your guide, so read on to learn the top 7 tricks we know some Bellevue remodeling companies have tried to slip by local homeowners.

Watch out for these top 7 corner-cutting tricks used by Bellevue remodeling companies

Tip #1: Unleveled Cabinets

Our first tip covers cabinets.  Have you ever walked into a kitchen and noticed the cabinets don’t look straight? They look like they could slide off the wall at any moment.  Is there a gap between the ceiling and the cabinetry trim? Cut corners are the culprit. Your cabinets need to be level. Naturally sloped ceilings require custom-cut trim to be installed to ensure the appearance of evenness across the ceiling line. Small gaps need to be filled with a thin bead of matching caulk.

Tip #2: Crooked Drywall Finished Corners

Drywall is cheap, so do not let any builder tell you it’s not. Even though this is true, many tradesmen who make a mistake when cutting for an inside or outside drywall corner will install it anyway, hoping the taper (drywall finisher) will fix it or that you won’t notice it. Inspect all drywall surfaces between and after each phase of installation. You can easily repair small issues with joint compound, sanding, and paint, but a crooked or wavy looking finished corner needs some real work.

Tip #3: Uneven Baseboards

Several Bellevue remodeling companies have been known to miscut baseboards or other trim and install it anyway. As a result, you must get down on your knees and look at the cuts to examine the joinery. If detected during installation this will be a quick fix.  Just do not let the issue go unaddressed or it will become quite frustrating.

Tip #4: Roof Seal/ Waterproof Membrane

It seems terrifying – and it is. Would you really want to forgo adding this protective barrier? Not only does this add to your peace of mind, but can consequently cause major problems down the road. Issues include rotted sheathing and a roof that needs to replaced sooner than later. Ask about roof waterproofing and watch your builder install it.

Tip #5: Building Codes & Permits

While you do need your project done, tread lightly. No one can afford to build something and then tear it down by the order of the city.  Therefore, take note of this general rule of thumb: if you are changing 200 SF of your home or more, call the building department to ask about permits.  Permits mean inspections must be passes, so your contractor needs to pull proper permits and know the codes.

Tip #6: Leaving Cracks

We have done repair work for contractors who are notorious for leaving cracks in all kinds of places; door jambs, windowsills, floors, drywall, etc. The majority of these cracks are an easy fix with caulk or other products, but some require a more intensive approach. If there are any cracks in your foundation or concrete sub-floor that seem severe, take them seriously.  If this is the case, you could need an engineer or inspector to analyze the issue.  Such cracks likely mean you need an expert, specialized repair contractor.  Lastly, as another rule of thumb, never put a finished floor on top of these types of problem cracks as your new floor can pull up, buckle, crack, or even separate as the substructure continues to worsen.

Tip #7: Cutting Down Doors

I cannot tell you how many times we have come across builders who shave down doors they have on hand and slap on some paint instead of buying custom options. Therefore, double check your contract, if you paid for new doors, do not accept anything refurbished.  Not only is this unprofessional, but if not done right they can look extremely sloppy. Remember, a custom-sized doorway needs a custom door.



We understand the stress that comes with the journey of making serious changes to your home.  Fortunately, not all contractors are out there trying to rip everyone off.  Armed with this list of the most common corners many builders have attempted to cut in your neck of the woods you can take control. Take this information and run with it, so you can get your next project completed on your terms.

Let this guide be a starting point for equipping yourself with the knowledge it takes to avoid issues and get what you pay for. As the person who is paying for Bellevue remodeling services, you need to hold your builder to certain standards. Make sure you are working through this list as your project progress and if you need assistance walking through a final inspection of a current project we can make ourselves available to help, just contact us and we can schedule an appointment.

We just listed the top 7 cut corners we have seen in the past.  Comment below and let us know what you have ran into.

About the author

Ken Reusser

Ken Reusser

After taking the reins as part owner and project supervisor for HTP Builders in 2011, Ken began to use his extensive industry knowledge to meet the needs of each individual he works with. He is a certified journeyman carpenter with over 19 years of experience and holds a number of crucial industry certifications.

Ken Reusser’s philosophy is simple: Your project is as much about partnership as it is craftsmanship.