Most Common Home Renovation Mistakes

by Rachel Laurendeau on March 27, 2012

Taking on home improvements can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. Do the research, get informed and make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of making the most common mistakes that people make when undertaking large renovation projects.

7. Rushing in. Sure, you’re excited and want to get things going but take the time to plan and research your project and get the design decided upon before you get started. Flying by the seat of your pants during a home improvements is not advisable!

6. Taking on more than you can handle. Many people want to do the work themselves either to cut costs or simply because they think DIY will be easy to do. Do the work you know how to do and leave the rest to a trained professional. Hire a general contractor to take care of anything that you can’t handle yourself.

5. Ignoring rules and regulations. Building regulations are there for a reason, and are enforced strictly in most areas. Get to know your local by-laws, and find out which permits are required for your renovation projects. Better to deal with this beforehand rather than deal with the consequences down the road as this could involve paying fines or undoing the completed work.

4. Hiring the wrong contractor. Whoever you hire is going to be in and out of your home and your life for the next while. Be sure that you can live with that and also that you are on the same page when it comes to the work that is to be done. See our blog Tips to Working Well with Your General Contractor for more on this topic.

3. Cutting corners. Trying to cut costs by using cheap materials or doing only cosmetics and avoiding important elements like windows, electrical and plumbing is ill advised. If you can’t afford to do it right, wait until you’ve saved up enough money and take the time to plan and dream while you’re saving.

2. Under budgeting. It is easy to under budget when it comes to home improvement projects since often one thing leads to another as you open up walls, pull out floors or ceilings and find hidden structural problems that have to be addressed right away. Don’t splash out on high-end finishes before the major work has been done and try to have a contingency fund in place if at all possible.

1. Underestimating the time requirement and the chaos involved. Renovations can be stressful, time consuming and even frustrating at times. They are rarely completed as quickly as you’d like, especially if you are living without a kitchen or a bathroom.

Preparing for your home renovation well ahead of time and talking to a home improvement specialist can help you avoid the biggest pitfalls of home renovations.

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