Completing major home renovations is always exciting. You dive into the project with your energy levels high, ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, there are several pitfalls along the way — and avoiding them can be extremely challenging for both new and seasoned DIY-ers. If you’re hoping to avoid some common home renovation mistakes, take the advice of those who have gone before you!
The 6 Most Common Home Renovation Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
Mistake #1: Failing to Set a Clear Budget
If you have a reasonable disposable income, you may think that you can take on whatever home renovation project you like with nothing more than a vague estimate of how much you can spend. You dive into the project without making your budget clear, and then before you know it, you’ve overspent — and the project is only half done. The remedy: Set a clear budget before you begin. Do some research online, then decide whether or not you have the money set aside to complete the project right now. Then, write out your budget. Be sure to include some extra in case things don’t go according to plan: ideally about 20% of the overall budget.
Mistake #2: Trying to DIY
If you aren’t an experienced home contractor, one of the most common home renovation mistakes is deciding to do it yourself instead of working with a professional. You might be able to figure plenty of things out on YouTube, but you can also end up with a big mess and no idea of how to fix it. The remedy: Work with a professional contractor on your home renovation project. They’ll be able to get better deals on your materials, steer you away from choices that won’t work well for your home or your budget, and see to it that your project is completed in a more timely manner than you could have managed on your own.
Mistake #3: Using Cheap Materials
When it comes to building materials, you’ll discover that cheap is almost never the way to go. It may look great when your project first goes up, but before you know it, you’ll see everything falling apart around you. “Cheap” materials often end up costing more to replace or redo than choosing a more expensive option to begin with. The remedy: You don’t have to completely break the bank to get great, high-quality materials. Choose materials that run somewhere in the middle of the road. Make sure you check reviews and know that you’re choosing a company or product that will work well for your project.
Mistake #4: Starting Without a Clear View of What You Want
One of the most common home renovation mistakes is getting started on your project with no idea what you want it to look like when you’re finished. You’ve decided that you don’t like your bathroom, so you start updating it by choosing random items that you like with no view to whether or not they fit together. Your kitchen needs an upgrade, so you start picking out new appliances before you even decide whether or not you like the way the cabinets look. The remedy: Have a clear plan in mind before you begin your home renovation project. Take the time to think through exactly what you want and need before you get started. Take advantage of design-build companies offering a 3D rendering of your home improvement project. Browse through some pictures of projects that look like yours to get a good picture of exactly what you’re trying to pull off well before you start buying.
Mistake #5: Ignoring Layout
There are plenty of great ideas out there to help transform your home. You might fall in love with one and decide it’s going to be the template for your renovation, completely ignoring the fact that it doesn’t work with the existing layout of your home. That means a finished product that simply doesn’t look like the picture on Pinterest–or worse, a project that you’re unable to finish without even more costly renovations, including electrical, lighting, and more. The remedy: Walk through your existing room and take a good, hard look at the layout before you start your project. In many cases, you can adapt your design to fit your layout. Doing this before you start, however, will save you a lot of headaches during the process.
Mistake #6: Ignoring the Small Stuff
You’re so focused on the big picture that you’ve forgotten all about the little — yet significant–details — that help make up your project. This leaves the overall project looking and feeling unfinished. The remedy: Take the time to consider all those small details that really pull your project together. Look at drawer pulls, cabinet handles, and light fixtures. Consider the faucets you’re using for your bathroom. Don’t forget the small stuff, and your project will look even better than you imagined. There’s nothing like a home renovation project to make you realize just how little you know about construction and renovation. By avoiding these common home renovation mistakes, however, you can find that great balance and create the perfect home renovation project. Whether you’re fixing up your home to sell or simply upgrading it, avoiding these errors will save you time, money, and frustration.