Getting started with your home renovation is exciting. There's so much to plan and so much to do. If this is your first time taking on a home renovation project, you're in for a challenging treat.
You're bound to make mistakes. It's important that you try to avoid making significant ones. We're talking about the mistakes that will delay the project and throw hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the drain. Now, let's talk about some home renovation mistakes you should avoid.
1. Hiring the Wrong Designer
Unless you're an interior designer or home remodeler by profession, you should hire a designer to help you plan your home renovation carefully.
Believe it or not, you'll make dozens of mistakes if you try to plan out everything yourself. These mistakes could burn a big hole in your pocket, so be careful!
Don't be afraid of interior designers, even if you've heard bad news about them. They'll help you every step of the way to make your home renovation safe, functional, and beautiful.
You need to find the right designer - somebody who clearly understands what you're looking for and isn't trying to make a quick buck.
But what makes a good designer?
Well, a good designer will constantly ask you questions to get an accurate idea of what your ideal home renovation looks like. They'll provide you with several recommendations and alternatives for all aspects of your home. A good designer will be honest with you and let you know if they think you're making a poor decision.
Before hiring, talk to multiple designers to see which one truly understands your needs. Only then should you start working on your home renovation with a contractor.
2. Working with a contractor at face value
It's important to never forget that contractors are like salespeople.
They're trained to tell you what you like to hear. And like any salesperson, they know how to use their words to persuade you into signing a contract with them.
While you're speaking to a contractor, if it feels like everything's going too smoothly, it's probably because the contractor is in sales mode.
If your contractor is constantly making promises to ensure your remodeling project gets done perfectly, you best be on your toes. If they're just saying "Yes" all the time, it should raise a big red flag.
So, what should you do in this case?
Take your time, research, and look around for other potential and more reliable contractors. You could reach out to your friends and family and ask for a referral. A referred contractor is usually more trustworthy because they've already done work with somebody you know.
A reliable contractor is similar to a good designer. They should constantly ask you questions to fully grasp what you're looking for in your remodeling project. They'll provide you with a quote that precisely outlines the work that'll be done. They'll also tell you when something won't work and provide you with other alternatives that won't break your bank.
3. Underestimating costs
Home renovations are expensive.
If you've never done one before, it's crucial to understand that they can be far more expensive than you might've thought. It's usually because most home renovation jobs can take longer than expected. There might also be bumps along the way that'll require you to pay some extra money.
When it comes to renovating a home, it's inevitable to run into unwanted surprises.
That's why it's a good rule of thumb to increase your budget by at least 20% to cover any additional costs or changes you need or want to make.
Of course, you should already have a clear picture and plan of what you're trying to achieve. This will help you run into fewer problems and expenses on the way.
To make matters worse, if you made a deal with a cheap contractor who does a poor job, you'll most likely have to pay for additional expenses. Contractors who offer you a low estimate probably do so because they skip corners and secretly leave some parts out.
Always beware when an offer seems too good to be true. The price is low for a reason. Of course, this isn't always the case. It's just more than likely to happen.
At the same time, it's your responsibility to do your research to make sure that you aren't overpaying for services. Research, research, research!
4. Working on too many things at once
Dealing with home renovations is no easy task.
If you start to lose focus, you'll find yourself taking on too many projects at once. What was supposed to be a straightforward project suddenly becomes something much more complex.
If you want to stay on schedule, tackle one home renovation project at a time. Finish one piece before moving on to the next. This way, your home won't end up looking like a complete mess and feel like a massive headache.
For those with remodeling experience, you know how stressful and frustrating it can be to simultaneously juggle multiple home renovation projects. They take up all your energy and leave you feeling unaccomplished.
Be patient, stay on schedule, and most importantly, stay focused.
5. Blindly going the DIY route
Many people love to do things themselves, especially if it can save some money.
However, you should never try to DIY vital aspects of your home unless you have significant experience or knowledge.
You could end up paying a lot more than you'd ever imagined, making your home renovation project more troublesome. Something as simple as using the wrong style or material and then deciding to replace it can burn a deep hole in your pockets.
Simply put, unless you're 100 percent confident in your DIY abilities, hire a professional. Even if you believe one of your projects turned out successfully, are you sure that it won't break down later?
We understand that you want to cut down on your expenses, but blindly going the DIY route is not the way to go.
6. Aiming to just get things "done"
As you know by now, renovating a home isn't easy.
You can't just aim to get things done using a quick or easy solution. Your goal should be to get things done properly because any shortcut you take will come back to haunt you later.
Let's take, for example, a bathroom renovation project.
It seems straightforward at first, right? Installing a new bathtub, toilet, and sink. Maybe change the flooring and install a couple shelves or cabinets here and there.
Well, there's actually a lot more you have to do and components you have to check. You need to check out what's going on behind the walls, the plumbing, the electrical, the insulation, etc. Then, you need to take down the studs and make sure that everything is up to code after installing the vanity and new fixtures.
Even though you're trying to remodel your bathroom, everything needs to be done correctly to avoid issues in the future. Simply getting things done won't cut it.
7. Ordering new furniture, decor, and appliances too early
With most remodeling projects, you're likely going to fill your home with new furniture and equipment.
You should always wait to buy anything new until the home renovation plan is complete. A good practice is to wait until the project has progressed enough for the measurements you've taken beforehand to be accurate. Remember, everything doesn't always go according to plan, especially if you decide to make changes along the way.
Everything needs to be measured at least twice, including the surrounding space and measurements of the new furniture and equipment.
This helps to make sure that you don't end wasting money on the wrong quantities or materials. You don't want to go through the hassle of returning pre-ordered furniture and appliances that were supposed to fit but no longer do.
8. Buying the exact amount of flooring you need
When it comes to underestimating costs, flooring is a common culprit.
Similar to increasing your budget by 20%, you should also increase the amount of flooring you plan to install by 20%.
Have all the flooring delivered on the same day of the home renovation. It can be frustrating having to stop working on the flooring because there isn't enough to make up for wastage and defects.
You should also be careful to assume that you want hardwood floors. Although it seems easier to maintain, hardwood flooring gets damaged easily.
Here's a great insider tip for you.
Aim to redo your carpeting or flooring sometime in November or December. During these months, you're likely to find great discounts for flooring before the holidays, as it's usually a slow time during the year for contractors.
If you're keen on budget, check around with several home improvement chains to find the best deal possible.
9. Prioritizing appearance and trends over practicality
Of course, you want your home renovation to turn out beautiful, especially if you're pouring your heart, soul, and money into the project.
However, you shouldn't prioritize appearance and trends over the practicality of your home.
Safety should always be number one. This means having an updated electrical system and ensuring that the foundations and subflooring are installed correctly.
Even if you think something looks ugly, if it can't be avoided, you need to leave it be. You don't want to damage your new and beautiful home, do you?
When it comes to remodeling trends, sure, they look great at first. However, if they're not practical, meaning they don't follow a good design, they can significantly decrease your home's resale value.
This is something to consider if you ever plan on reselling your home.
10. Trying to save too much money
Everyone wants to save money, especially when it comes to home renovations.
It's good to be careful with money, but you don't want to skimp out when it comes to quality. This includes everything from the contractor you work with to the new appliances you're installing. Even a paint job should be done very carefully using quality materials.
Something that seems like it would save you some money early on may need to be replaced sooner than you'd hope.
Regardless of the home renovation project you're looking to do, it's essential to consider how it will hold up long-term. In other words, even though you're saving some money now, determine whether you're actually putting yourself in a more significant loss in the future or not.
However, just because something is more expensive doesn't mean it's of higher quality. Although this is the case for many situations, it's not always true.
Thoroughly do your research to make the right decisions based on your situation and budget.