What are the top 10 home renovation mistakes to avoid? What can go wrong when you decide to update your home? Everyone has faced the need to make repairs. True, nowadays there is a wide choice of building materials for every taste, you can hire a contractor to perform all the work, the Internet offers numerous photos and guides. However, when you think about updating your bathroom or remodeling your kitchen, you should remember Murphy’s laws “Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget” and “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
As much as we quote Murphy’s laws for a laugh, the bitter truth is that DIY home renovations can be disastrous. There are various mistakes that people make in the process and we shall list some of the most common ones, so that you try to avoid them.
Top 10 home renovation mistakes to avoid
Home renovation is quite a responsible task. We want the perfect result. Or very good. Or acceptable. Or at least one that allows to live comfortably. For people who are involved in this for the first time, repairs can lead to a number of mistakes that can bring to nothing all the efforts. To make mistakes during repair is very expensive – both in terms of finances and time, as well as nerves and efforts for their correction. Many people, having completed the repair, understand that they have made annoying mistakes, despite the availability of modern materials, as well as technology. Read the list of the top 10 home renovation mistakes to avoid and hopefully you will not fall into these traps.
Home renovation mistake No 1 – Not having a plan
A plan is different from a wish list. It is also different from a “to do list”. Make sure you have a repair plan, as well as schemes of the rooms that you want to remodel. These plans will help you to accurately calculate the proportions, the routes of power grids, securely hide the wiring, etc. In addition, it will help to calculate the estimate of repair as accurately as possible. It can be either a design project by a professional or a plan for placing partitions, electricity, furniture and light, made by yourself. The more precise and detailed the plan is the better. Not all of us are experienced DIY-ers, nor experienced engineers and decorators. This is the reason why it is much better if you trust a professional designer for your project as this can save time and money. Do not rush. It is understandable that you have been planning your dream kitchen for years, but the result may be far from your expectations and vision without a detailed plan, which will also help you stay within your budget. One thing to remember is that there will always be something unexpected so you need to be prepared that, even with a good plan, it may take longer than expected to complete the project.
Home renovation mistake No 2 – Not obtaining the right permits
When planning a home renovation, you have to make sure whether you need permits for the planned job. Many homeowners do not realize that it is their responsibility to obtain any building permits and authorizations required for performing renovation work on their home. Getting all the documentation right gives you a guarantee that your renovations meet local building codes. Typically, a building permit is a must for any renovations that involve structural changes of the home, additions and extensions, reconfiguration of space by moving or removing walls, new window and door openings, etc. In addition, you may need electrical permit, if you plan to change the electrical system, plumbing permit, gas permit, so make sure you have secured these before starting your project.
Renovation mistake No 3 – Wrong sequence
Once you have a plan, sequence is important. You cannot lay new flooring before removing walls, right? Think of your project as a list of tasks and repair works that need to be done in a certain order and make sure you follow it.
Home renovation mistake No 4 – Buying cheap materials
A home renovation can be costly but saving on materials can be more costly. Cheap materials are not a good substitution of high end natural materials and you may find out that your just finished renovation needs amendments. It is much better to postpone all the projects until you can get high quality materials and finishes. When you buy cheap materials or finishes, you get what you pay for. Cheap materials of artificial origin may contain toxic substances which are harmful to human health.
Home renovation mistake No 5 – Inaccurate measurements
Accurate measurements make all the difference. It may seem that half an inch or a centimeter is not of much importance and then realize that this same centimeter seriously affects all the work. This mistake is one of the most popular ones and if you do not want to join the people who ordered new cabinets and then realize that the appliances do not fit, make sure your measurements are precise. In case you are not sure how to measure, ask your contractor or call somebody who knows how to do that.
Home renovation mistake No 6 – Wrong budget
Budget is essential for any home renovation whether cosmetic or major. Plan expenses smartly. Research the prices of materials, communicate with builders and sellers, do not forget labor cost, etc. A good budget should have a “buffer” which will cover all unexpected expenses and unforeseen issues do happen. It is best if you have 15 to 25 surplus amount in the budget that will cover any potential surprises and emergency expenses.
Home renovation mistake No 7 – not knowing your limits as a DIY-er
Even if you are a fan of DIY projects, you should know your limits. Accepting the fact that you cannot do all the work alone, especially when we talk about major home renovations, will save you money and time. Yes, a new coat of paint is not a challenging task, but plumbing is. Professionals have the knowledge, experience and tools for the job to be done perfectly, so trust them.
Home renovation mistake No 8 – Choosing the wrong contractor
Choosing the wrong contractor can be one of the most expensive mistakes. As much as you have to comply with your budget, hiring a contractor who gives the lowest price may be a wrong decision. Take the time necessary to find all the information, ask for references, ask to see photos and examples of similar projects, make sure the contractor is licensed for the work that will be done. Do not forget that communication is important. You need to discuss your plans and ideas with the people who are going to do the work. Remember that all your agreements should be in writing and sign a contract before the start of the renovation
Renovation mistake No 9 – Lack of control
When you hired a contractor you need to control the work, even if you trust him. As we mentioned, during the home renovation a lot of unexpected issues come up, so you cannot shift all the responsibility on the contractor. You have to take an active part in decision making as this is your home.
Renovation mistake No 10 – Misunderstanding trends and colors
Misunderstanding trends in interior design is a huge mistake. On the first place, trends come and go, but you will have to live in your home for a long time and realizing that purple is a hot color this year and completely out of fashion in one or two years will save you not only money. Changing your kitchen cabinets can be very expensive if you wanted to follow every new trend. Yes, trendy is cool… for the moment. If you decided to sell your house, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find out that your bold kitchen is pushing customers away.
Choosing the wrong color scheme is another huge mistake. You may be the biggest fan of scarlet or bright orange, but you should know how colors affect human psyche and what effect they have on human mood. Interiors in beige look very elegant and sophisticated, but people seldom realize that they are carefully though of and include additional shades. In addition to all that, paints are designed for specific surfaces. Discussing your interior design ideas with a professional designer can save your renovation and allow you create a balanced and harmonious interior in the dream living room, bedroom, dining room or kitchen.
As we said in the beginning, many things can go wrong with a home renovation. We listed the top 10 home renovation mistakes that you need to avoid, but the list can go on. Bad choice of flooring, furniture and lighting also affect the final result but with a good plan and help from professionals, you will complete your project and enjoy the result!