Home renovation mistakes are stressful for homeowners. Not having a renovation plan may waste time and money and lead to hiring the wrong people because of the price tag, resulting in a bad, even disastrous, renovation.
When renovating, two primary goals are to increase a house’s value and make it suitable to the owner’s lifestyle. We all want to achieve both, but it’s possible to get neither because of common mistakes.
To help you avoid the stress of renovating and wasting your resources, we’ve compiled a list of the most common home renovation mistakes. Use it as a guide when you take on a new project.
29 Typical Home Renovation Mistakes Homeowners Regret Doing
We understand the effort and the number of resources you invested in your home renovation. There’s no doubt that you deserve a home renovation done meticulously, with little to no mistake at all.
To help you watch out for the possible renovation issues in the future, read these 26 common home renovation mistakes to avoid:
Not having a contingency fund.
Planning your budget is crucial even before the renovation takes place. But most homeowners forget to include the contingency fund.
The contingency fund acts as a buffer for unexpected costs. Add at least 10-20% of your total estimated budget to avoid financial strain if something goes wrong.
Disregarding the Homeowners’ Association’s rules and regulations.
If you live in a community with a homeowners’ association, follow the rules and regulations, as there are usually restrictions for home exterior changes.
You don’t want to end up paying fines or redo all the changes you’ve made. Worse, you may have to demolish an ongoing project because of this.
Following the trends too much.
Fads come and go. What’s popular now may not be in the future. When renovating, consider classic styles that will never go out of fashion.
You don’t want to waste your money on something you’ll have to change in a few years.
Expecting to get the best out of a small budget.
When renovating on a small budget, you’ll likely need to spend more time on the project, and the materials you use will be at the lower end of the quality spectrum.
Don’t rely on TV shows to determine how much your renovation should cost – get quotes from multiple contractors to get a better idea of what you can expect to pay.
Not including the appliances in the plan.
Appliances are essential in any home, yet they’re often an afterthought when renovating.
During the planning phase, you should include the appliances, the cost, type, and sizes. It will help you stay on budget, avoid going over your limit, and ensure that the space allocated for the appliances is just right.
Disregarding the house’s architecture
When renovating, keep the home’s architecture in mind. Making changes that don’t complement the other places in your home can make it look mismatched and cluttered.
Think about the style and research the upgrades that will match it. It will help make your home look cohesive and well-put-together.
Buying furniture ahead of the renovation plan.
If you buy furniture before planning the renovation, you run the risk of it not matching the home’s final look. You’ll also risk it not fitting in your home.
Disregarding the importance of permits.
Getting a permit before starting any home renovation ensures that the work adheres up to code.
If you renovate without a permit and the authorities find out, there’s a risk that they might force you to halt or demolish your ongoing project, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Not buying extra materials.
When renovating, always buy a few more materials than you need. This way, you’ll have extra if something goes wrong or you need to make repairs in the future.
Hiring a professional later in the process.
If you wait until the end of the renovation process to hire a professional, you may run into problems.
First, the professional may charge more since they need to catch up on the work. Second, there may be changes in the process that will require rework, costing you more money.
Hiring a professional will help avoid these problems as they can guide you through the process and ensure that the work is done correctly.
Renovating the wrong areas of a home.
When renovating your home, it’s crucial to think about what will be most beneficial in the long run. Some home renovation projects may seem like a good idea at the time but may not be worth the investment.
Think about the long-term effects of your renovation and if it will be worth it.
Many homeowners choose to do home renovations themselves. They commonly ignore safety measures, leading to accidents such as electrocution, injuries, and asbestos exposure.
But professionals know how to do their job safely, making it a better idea to leave the renovation job to the experts or have your property inspected first.
Another common DIY issue is incorrect measurements, leading to problems such as improper fitting of doors, furniture, and appliances.
Professionals have the right tools to measure the spaces of your home fast and accurately. They have also done measurements throughout their career, making them reliable in measuring lengthy distances and volume, such as your home.
Not considering the contractor’s soft skills.
Being skilful in home renovations is a crucial requirement when looking for a contractor to work with, but don’t disregard the soft skills. Contractors should be able to work harmoniously with you, accept reasonable complaints, and work under pressure.
When your builders are highly-skilled but lack professionalism and ethics, they will cause you headaches and stress. These can affect their attitude towards work and the renovation outcome.
Not placing importance on the lighting.
Many people forget to plan the lighting in their renovation, resulting in a poorly-lit home that feels small and cramped.
Consider the lighting as it can affect the ambience and functionality of the space, and if you get it right, you may save from paying hefty electricity bills in the long run.
Having no master plan.
Creating a master plan for a home renovation can help eliminate possible mistakes and disasters. It is a blueprint that includes the layout, design, and schedule.
It helps to keep you organised and on track, ensuring that the renovation goes smoothly. Having a master plan also makes communication with your contractor clearer.
Renovating without thorough planning or research.
Many homeowners think that a DIY job can save them money. While it’s true that home renovations can be expensive, think about the risks involved in doing them yourself.
If you want to DIY, make sure to research and plan out the renovation. It will help you avoid making costly mistakes.
Do not jump into the action at once. Inspect what’s behind the walls or what’s hidden in your eyes. You might regret it when you hammer down your walls without knowing that asbestos or live electrical wirings lurk behind.
Buying unnecessary stuff.
It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement when renovating your home. Because of this, many homeowners buy unnecessary things, such as expensive cabinets and furniture, leading them to overspend and feel regretful.
Prioritising aesthetics over function.
Many homeowners focus too much on aesthetics and forget about functionality. One example is when you use the wrong tiles for the toilet only because of their aesthetic purposes. Bathroom renovation mistakes, such as this, can lead to accidents.
Find a balance between form and function when renovating your home. Think about what you need and want before starting the renovation.
Narrow halls and doorways.
Some home renovations result in narrow halls and doorways. It’s a problem when you’re moving furniture or appliances in and out of the house and may also make your home look small and cramped.
Be careful when planning your home renovation layout. Make sure that there’s enough space for people to move around freely.
Hiring the contractor with the cheapest offer.
We know how costly it is to renovate a house, but you shouldn’t sacrifice its quality by hiring the wrong people for the job. When it comes to hiring a contractor, be meticulous. Besides their price offer, ensure that they are licensed and insured.
Say that you’ve gotten your hands on the list of the best contractors in the world. It isn’t enough to choose randomly, and you hope they’ll do the renovation well.
Compare their quotes and skills, as even the best contractors have strengths and specialisations. Check their portfolio and determine if their work suits your preference.
Because of this, there’s no way you should hire a contractor just for the price offer. Most of the time, contractors who offer their services at a too-good-to-be-true price are commonly unlicensed and uninsured. It’s because obtaining these credentials requires hefty fees, which drives up the rate of accredited builders.
Ignoring window quality
Investing in high-quality windows is a home renovation worth your money. Windows can make or break the look of your home. They also affect your home’s energy efficiency.
When buying windows, choose those that are durable and can withstand bad weather. The last thing you want is your windows to break during a storm.
Customising a lot.
Many homeowners go overboard when customising their homes. While comfort is a crucial consideration, don’t forget the possibility that you may sell it in the future. Over-customising can make it difficult for potential buyers to imagine living in your home.
Strike a balance when customising your home. Think about your wants and needs. Consider your home’s resale value before making any significant changes.
Choosing the wrong paint finishes.
Choosing the wrong paint finishes is another common home renovation mistake. It happens when homeowners choose the wrong colour or a finish that’s too glossy or too matte.
When choosing paint finishes, always test it first on a piece of plywood. See how it looks and feels before painting the entire wall.
Doing the whole renovation yourself.
Don’t believe everything you see on TV and on home renovation shows. These shows make it seem like DIY is enough to give your house a makeover, but that’s not the case in real life.
Because of the influence of these shows, many homeowners attempt to DIY, thinking that they can save tons of money with it. But what they don’t know is that there are some renovation jobs that they should leave to professionals. While YouTube can be an excellent resource for free tutorials, it doesn’t give enough information and hands-on experience to do a professional’s job.
Attempting to DIY all the renovation work often leads to costly and dangerous mistakes. An example is when you try to install an electrical system without professional help., it may lead to fire and accidents.
And even if you think you have experience in home renovations and are comfortable doing the work yourself, hiring professionals is still best to avoid any mistakes. These people can give you an extra hand to do the job quickly and efficiently.
Letting your architect, interior designer, or contractor do the entire planning.
Be involved in the planning process. You shouldn’t leave everything to your architect, interior designer, or contractor. While they may have the experience and skills to do the job, they do not know what you want.
Have a clear idea of what you want before starting the home renovation and share your visions with them. It will make it easier for your architect, interior designer, or contractor to do their job and avoid making mistakes.
Poor water drainage.
Adding on to your home is a great way to increase the amount of living space, but it can often come at the cost of your home’s water drainage system.
The original water drainage system is often sacrificed when adding a home addition. It can lead to water flooding, especially during heavy rainfalls.
To avoid this, talk to your contractor about adding a new water drainage system that can handle the volume of water. It is often a costly home renovation, but it’s worth it to avoid the extensive damage that water flooding can cause.
Going for cheap materials.
Many homeowners go for cheap materials to save on costs. While this may be a tempting option, it’s not the best decision. Cheap materials often lead to low-quality results, costing you more in the long run.
Instead of going for the cheapest materials, invest in high-quality ones. They don’t have to be as luxurious as marble. But some alternatives are lower in price but durable enough to withstand the test of time.
Ignoring structural issues.
Ignoring structural issues is another common home renovation mistake that most homeowners make. It happens when they focus on the aesthetics rather than the hidden underlying problems.
While it may be tempting to update only the appearance of your home, don’t forget to address the structural issues before starting the renovation. Some of these problems can be expensive to fix, but it’s worth it as it avoids bigger issues in the future.
How to Avoid These Home Renovation Mistakes?
Renovating a house with no experience can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible.
To avoid making home renovation mistakes, consider the following:
Leave the complicated job to the professionals.
Don’t attempt to do the job yourself if you’re not experienced or skilled enough. Hiring a professional will save you time, money, and effort in the long run.
Hire the right people for the job
Choose someone with experience and credentials. Don’t just go for the cheapest option—instead, go for someone you can trust to have transparent communication and transaction with you.
Before starting the home renovation, take some time to plan everything out to help you avoid making mistakes. Planning will also make the entire process smoother.
Be involved in the process. While you may not have the experience and skills, you know what you want for your home.
Communicate your vision to your architect, interior designer, or contractor. This way, they can avoid making mistakes that will cost you time and money.
Invest in high-quality materials.
Don’t be tempted to go for cheap materials—they often lead to low-quality results. Instead, invest in high-quality materials. They may cost more upfront, but they will save you money in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to prioritise in renovation?
Always start by inspecting what’s hidden in the eye. It could be your house’s structure or utility system. Ignoring or addressing issues in these areas will affect the outcome of your other renovations and your safety.
What is the best month to renovate a house?
There are many considerations for knowing which is the best time to renovate a home.
One is the time of year. Many people think that the best time is in the summer when it’s warm and there’s less chance of bad weather interfering.
Another is the availability of good builders near your area.
Special events are a consideration. Many homeowners may want to present their new home to relatives and friends on big occasions, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or other significant events.
Why is renovating a house stressful?
If you do the renovation yourself, it can be stressful and challenging, as you’ll have to oversee the entire process and make sure that everything is done correctly.
But if you work with a contractor, such as MKJ, you’ll have a project manager who will handle the management job. You have a go-to person to communicate with if you want to check the status of your renovation.
Therefore, hire a professional building company, such as MKJ Projects, to do the complicated renovation job. When you work with the right people, you can sit back, relax, and wait for your renovation to finish.