Home renovation is a great way to give your home a facelift, increase its value and make it more appealing to buyers.
But just like any other project, there are many mistakes you can make in your quest. From poor choice of materials to setting unrealistic budgets, lack of proper planning to the wrong contractors, home renovation is fraught with many challenges.
If you can identify and avoid some pitfalls before getting started, the process will be smoother and the investment rewarding. So, whether you are a seasoned pro or it’s your first time to renovate a house, spare a minute to learn some of the mistakes that could ruin your entire project.
1. Lack of planning and budgeting
Home renovation may sound like a straightforward task but it’s actually a daunting one. You can’t just wake up one day and decide to give your home a facelift without a proper plan or well thought out budget.
If you want to make the project smooth, document everything before the renovation commences.
- What materials are required for the project and how much do they cost?
- How long will the project take?
- Do you plan to DIY the project or need an experienced contractor?
- Will you need specialised equipment such as high pressure spray systems for painting?
- What is the general cost of the whole project?
These are just some of the things you need to document before you even think of starting the project. Remember, the costs aren’t real but it’s just an estimate – they could be more or less than your budget. The budget must be realistic – so do your homework.
It is advisable to add 10- 20% on your estimated costs to take care of any adjustments or emergencies that could occur during the project.
We cannot emphasize this more; have a timeline for completion of the project – it will motivate you to finish the project as fast as possible.
2. Rushing the Project
There is no doubt you want to complete your home renovation project as soon as possible – but that doesn’t mean you should rush it.
Some contractors want to finish the project as fast as possible so that they can get their money and move on to the next client – this can compromise the quality of the work. Others may slow the project down to increase labor costs.
Shop around to see what timelines (and quotes) different contractors are proposing. Armed with that information, sit down with your chosen contractor and come up with a reasonable timeline for the project.
Be a little flexible and provide for unforeseen hiccups. If it means stretching your timeline by a day or two, so be it.
3. Cheap is Expensive
Home renovation is undoubtedly an expensive project, which is why most homeowners will be tempted to reduce costs by going for cheaper materials and labor – with some choosing to DIY the project.
However, cheap is not always the way to go – especially if your needs are long term. It is better to invest in proper quality materials now that will save you time and money in the long run than to buy cheap materials that will require constant maintenance.
When it comes to choosing the right contractor for the project, take note of the cost. It doesn’t mean you should go for an expensive contractor – but the cost should be reasonable. Some contractors will charge cheaply and deliver poor results.
To help you choose the right contractor, take quotes from three to four contractors, and compare them. From this, you can choose a contractor offering quality services at a reasonable price. Ask around and familiarize yourself with prices to avoid being conned.
4. Going with the Trends
Are pink and lime green bathrooms all the rage this year? Ask yourself “will I still be happy with the pink bathroom 10 years from now?
You’ve seen many advertisements on televisions and the internet about the trending home designs and renovation tips from experts that caught your attention. It is very easy to get carried away but do resist.
Keep it classy, as opposed to trendy. Your home will not only be easier to decorate and but also sell faster, should you wish to put it on the market.
Remember, trends will only last for a short time but a good design will last longer.
5. Not Doing Enough Preparation
Preparation is critical in a home improvement project.
Now, let’s say you want to paint a particular wall – you have to clean the surface and remove any coatings and other obstacles. If you skip this process, then the new paint will not stick well to the surface and will look shoddy.
You might want to move some of your household stuff to a separate room or another building to give space for the home renovation.
You may have to rent a house for a few weeks or months to minimize disruptions to your family, while the project is ongoing.
All these and other details must be sorted before the project begins.
6. Ignoring the Paperwork
Dealing with paperwork and local authorities is not something most of us like to do but it’s worth sparing some hours and extra dollars to get the necessary permits for your home renovation.
If the renovation is likely to alter the structure of your home or property, you will need a home renovation permit for the project. Some of the home facelifts that require a permit include;
- Plumbing work
- Siding projects
- Electrical work
- Structural work
- Home additions
Some may see this as a waste of time and money but wait until you want to sell your home and you are asked to produce a certificate of occupancy. To get a certificate of occupancy, someone from the local government will have to inspect your home to determine if it is in good condition – and that’s how they will notice the renovations.
A property assessor may visit your home once in a while to inspect its condition. If it is found that there are some upgrades that needed a permit but were conducted without it, then you will be in a load of trouble.
If you are found renovating your home without the necessary permits, you could be slapped with serious fines. You may not be able to put up your home on sale – despite all the effort you put in to increase its value.
However, all this can be avoided by visiting your local building department or municipal offices and getting the right permits for the project.
Identify Mistakes to Avoid Them
The best way to increase the value of your home and find the right buyer you’ve been looking for is through a home renovation. However, you must be aware that things could go wrong during and after the projects. The only way to avoid common mistakes is by identifying them before commencing your project. Try our tips above and let us know what other mistakes we make during renovations.