Mistakes To Avoid When Doing A Home Renovation

Last Updated: 

April 26, 2024

It can be exciting to renovate your home to make it a more functional and aesthetically pleasing space. However, as with many major projects, there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Here, we look at some of the most common home renovation mistakes you can avoid. 

Key Takeaways on Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Home:

  1. Research Your Contractor Thoroughly: Ensure thorough vetting and background checks on your contractor to avoid costly mistakes.
  2. Plan and Schedule Carefully: Avoid rushing; detailed planning and proper scheduling are crucial to managing phases and costs effectively.
  3. Be Realistic with Costs: Conduct detailed cost research and prepare for unexpected expenses to avoid financial overruns.
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1. Not doing your research into your contractor

One of the most common and costly errors homeowners make during home renovation is failing to perform adequate background checks on the team carrying out the work.  If you are considering a significant renovation to your house, you should ensure that you allot enough time to perform the necessary research. Create a list of questions that you will ask each contractor or designer that you speak with, and take notes on your findings.

Have they been vetted by the appropriate authorities? When it comes to projects similar to the one you want to do, what kind of experience do they have? When did they first start operating their business? What are their reviews like?

Think about how you heard about this contractor. Was it through a reputable home improvement marketing agency? Meaning did they have a great website or show up high on Google rankings? That’s usually a good sign. Were they a referral from someone you trust? Also a good sign. If they’re advertising cheap services on Craigslist or Facebook, that might be a red flag.

2. Poor planning and scheduling 

Your home improvement project, whichever one it may be, will consist of a number of phases, and you will not be able to move on to the next one until the one before it is finished.

If you rush through the process, you risk missing crucial elements, missing the deadline, and even having to go back to the drawing board with your architect. If you are going behind schedule on a minor job, such as remodelling your kitchen, you will likely have to reschedule the plumbers, local electricians, and tilers, which will result in additional expenses.

In the meantime, if you allow things to drag on without a schedule, you will end up with dead time during which you will incur additional costs with your builder, live in disarray, and possibly spend money on a rental property if you are unable to live with the renovations, or you will not receive any rent from your rental property if that is where the work is taking place. It is a good idea to rent a storage unit while you have work done.

Do not just hand over the scheduling to your builder and cross your fingers that everything goes according to plan. Even if the contract stipulates that they will manage the project, you still need to keep a close check on what is going on and when it is happening.

3. Not being realistic with costs

Carry out detailed research, including an investigation into the prices of the necessary labour and materials, and carry out any necessary calculations as precisely as possible. You should not rely on economies of scale or estimates you have not had in writing. Additionally, you should not fail to include in your calculations the fees for planning and building control, fees for arranging any funding, and, most importantly, VAT.

You absolutely must have a backup plan for your backup plan. If you put every penny you can afford into your budget, even the money you set aside for unforeseen costs or contingencies, you may find yourself in a difficult financial situation if those costs turn out to be more than you anticipated.

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