6 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Home

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Home
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    According to a 2018 survey by Houzz & Home, around 72,000 homeowners renovated their homes in 2017, with each homeowner spending around $15,000 on average.


You may want to renovate your house for several reasons – the house is old and needs repairs, you want it to look more beautiful, or are planning to sell it and want to increase its value. However, a house renovation project can be expensive and the cost can become a financial nightmare if you commit mistakes.

Check out the most common mistakes that nearly everyone makes when renovating their house:

1. Choosing Aesthetic Fixes over Addressing Structural Issues

Everybody wants a cozy bedroom and a posh kitchen, but it doesn’t make sense to spend big bucks to customize your kitchen cabinets or countertops and ignore a leaking roof. Things that are not visible to the naked eye like cracks in pipes, loose wiring and deteriorating framing also require as much attention as the other details that make a house Pinterest-worthy.

Similarly, it is important to pay more attention to rooms where you and your family spend most of your time. These rooms include the kitchen and the living area, but not necessarily the bedroom.

Once you are sure that these areas are in good shape, move to the other spaces in the house.

2. Over/Under-Spending

The Houzz & Home survey revealed that 77% of people renovating their house created a budget, but 46% went over the budget, 6% spent under the budget, and only the remaining actually stuck to the budget.

Trying to cut corners in renovation can cost you more in the long term. For example, according to HomeAdvisor, the rule of thumb is that you should spend between 5% – 15% of the total value of your house on a kitchen renovation.

If you spend more than that, you may find it difficult to recoup during resale, while spending less than that could lower the value of your house.

To avoid over or under-spending, start with setting a budget for your project. Keep an estimated 15% – 20% in overages so that you have wiggle room to cover unforeseen costs. Buy quality tools and materials even if they are expensive. It’s always better to go the extra mile and get it right the first time than go back and redo everything. Moreover, allocate the budget so that you spend more money on areas that will make the most impact on your house (like the flooring).

3. Choosing a Contractor in a Hurry

The biggest mistake people make when renovating their house is choosing a contractor on a whim. We recommend you to do your research, compare prices and find someone who best matches your requirements and budget. Don’t hire someone only because they are offering the lowest bid as that may cost you more in the long term in the form of further repairs and replacements.

If your research does not land you a good contractor, talk to friends and colleagues who have had a home renovation recently and get recommendations from them.

Most home renovation projects can be assigned to any reliable contractor, but certain specialized projects require a licensed professional. Plumbing, electric installations, and asbestos removal should always be done by a licensed professional.

4. Attempting DIY

When it comes to home renovation, DIY works well only in theory, not practically. Certain tasks are best left to the experts and professionals. Complicated tasks like inspecting/replacing the heat flow meter in your HVAC system can bring you a lot of grief if things don’t work out as planned. Property owners who turn to DIY in a bid to save money can actually cost themselves more money. Some home renovation companies admit that around 25% of the work they do involves fixing problems created by house owners who failed at a DIY project.

5. Following Trends Too Closely

The tile design that you chose for your living area may be in this year, but might become out-of-trend in a few months. Home décor trends come and go like fashion trends. The best way to avoid your home décor from looking outdated is to invest in classics, use quality materials, and build for the future. Wooden and marble flooring are timeless designs that will never go out of fashion in home décor. A few examples of trends that can be avoided are graphic tiling, open shelves and specialty finishes on hardware.


6. Carrying out Renovation Despite Not Getting the Permits

Certain home repairs require a permit depending on the state where the house is located. Before you start the renovation, make sure that you have the necessary and valid permits to carry out the work.

You may find it difficult to claim insurance if a problem arises due to unpermitted work or when you try to sell a house that is not in compliance with state laws. Moreover, city officials may not take too kindly to the illegal constructions or modifications made to your house; and will probably demolish parts of your home for you to redo it in compliance with the local laws.

Inspections and permits are made to protect you from unsafe constructions and, therefore, should not be overlooked or violated.

other valuable tips:


A good renovation project does more than increase the value of your house; it improves the quality of your life. Plan the entire process effectively right from the start with the help of a professional. Renovating your house requires a lot of time and money. You will certainly not want to add to your bills with the above mistakes.

Author bio:
Ann Neal (twitter: @Ann_G_Neal) is a freelance writer who covers technology and business. She is passionate about music and loves to play guitar in her free time with her cute pooch listening quietly.

Image credit: Pixabay

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