11 Common Home Renovation Mistakes And How To Fix Them

If you’re a first time home renovator, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices and purchases you need to make for your project. Whether its an entire home renovation, or just focused on one space, there is a lot you have to take into consideration. Unfortunately, new home renovators also tend to make a lot of mistakes along the way. If you’re getting ready to take on a home renovation, these are some of the most common diy mistakes new home renovators make along the way, and how to fix them.

Setting An Unrealistic Budget

One of the biggest diy mistakes new home renovators make is to set an unrealistic budget from the start. Whether they are simply shooting for too low of a total or don’t have any information to base their guesstimate on, setting an unrealistic budget can negatively impact the project and add a lot more stress to the work.

How To Fix It

Spend some time doing research and looking at examples of home renovation budgets for projects similar to yours before you set your own budget. You may consider visiting a home improvement store to look at materials similar to those you will want to use for your project to get an idea of cost. It’s also a good idea to build in extra money to budget in case of any surprises or unplanned costs.

Buying Materials Too Early

With all of the excitement of a home renovation, homeowners often jump ahead of themselves and start to plan for and purchase materials before the project is underway or even really finalized. For instance, you can’t buy the materials for generator installation without knowing how to install a home generator. This is one of the most costly diy mistakes a home renovator will make as measurements can easily change as the project is being planned for and in the beginning stages.

How To Fix It

Wait until your renovation plans and finalized and your project is well underway before you purchase any materials that can be affected by measurements. While overestimating materials will lead to overspending, underestimating could add to the timeline of your project as you wait for more materials to be delivered and could also lead to overspending as you’ll have to pay for shipping multiple times. For example, if you order custom cut stone for a countertop but then realize it was the wrong size, you’ll have to pay for a countertop replacement and wait for it to be delivered. Wait to order materials until you are sure of the dimensions of your space and how much you’ll need.

Not Ordering Extra Flooring

As previously mentioned, one of the more common diy mistakes for home renovators is to buy materials too early before they’re sure of measurements. However, the rules differ slightly for flooring. Beginners to home renovations often purchase exactly enough flooring to fit the measurements for their space. They then find that after cutting the flooring to fit, and mistakes, and other steps floor maintenance services companies take to prepare the floor material, they are not left with enough.

How To Fix It

Always order about 20% more flooring than you need for your space. It’s much better to have too much than too little. The last thing you want is to be left without enough and have to wait for the more to be delivered or even worse, have the flooring got out of stock before you have the change to order more. If you’re doing a floor refinishing for a space, buy more stain or whatever materials you’re using, than you think you’ll need.

Not Doing Proper Research On Contractors

If you’re taking on a larger scale renovation project, it can be common to hire a contractor to help organize the work and get the renovation done. Hiring a contractor, however, will require extra money to pay for time and labor. Many new home renovators make the mistake of hiring the cheapest or most readily available contractor to save time and money.

How To Fix It

If you’re going to hire a contractor for your home renovation project, make sure you do the proper research on all of your options before you sign any paperwork. Read reviews on their work, contact previous clients to hear how they are to work with, get quotes from a few different contractors, anything you need to narrow down your options to the best choice for your project. Contractors also have great connections with plumbers, electricians, carpenters, so the most carefully you select, the better connections you’ll have for your project.

Setting Unrealistic Timelines

Without any context to base a timeline on, many new home renovators set very unrealistic expectations, or don’t set up a timeline at all. Failing to set up a timeline can not only make a project take much longer than it should, but will also make ordering materials and budgeting difficult.

How To Fix It

Whether you’re doing the renovations yourself or working with a contractor, it’s important to set a specific timeline for the project. Your timeline will alter greatly based on the size and difficulty of your project. Entire home remodels can take up to a year to finish while single room projects can take as little as a month. Construction projects are notorious for having unexpected issues arise, but as long as you have a timeline set in place, you will be able to adjust accordingly and plan well.

Skimping On The Important Aspects

Many home renovators take on improvement projects purely for the aesthetic upgrade. While renovations are great for helping your home look more modern and beautiful, they are also great for upgrading important features. Unfortunately, one of the common diy mistakes new home renovators make is to focus on the aesthetic features and push aside the more important aspects.

How To Fix It

When you are planning for a home renovation, while you will definitely be excited about the aesthetic upgrades, don’t push the important aspects aside. In fact, you should budget for and plan the timeline for the important features first. For example, if you need roof repairs done on your home, you should figure out the necessary steps to get that project done well before you start planning paint colors and furniture layout. Aesthetic features will only take your home value so far if there are important underlying issues that still need to be fixed.

Forgetting About The Exterior

Among the diy mistakes home renovators make, forgetting to account for the exterior home is a big one. Home renovators tend to focus on the home, the actual building when they are making their plans. So projects like asphalt paving repair or landscaping often get pushed to the backburner.

How To Fix It

The exterior of the home is the first thing people will see when they come to your home, whether it’s a potential buyer or just friends and family. When you are planning a home renovation project, don’t neglect the exterior of your house. Landscaping can do a great deal to boost the value of a home and it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. If you just add some greenery, hire a company for tree removal to clear some space, and take care of the grass and plants already there, a lot can be done on a small budget.

Skimping On Quality

A common mistake some home renovators make, especially those who are flipping a home is to skimp of quality of materials to save money. They’ll spend more money on the bigger aspects and skimp on the details, such as faucets, paint quality, wallpaper, things that can still look nice but be less expensive.

How To Fix It

While there’s something to be said for shopping on a budget and getting a good deal, you shouldn’t skimp on quality for the price. The last thing you want is to spend money on materials only to have to replace them in the near future. For example, you may find a low price for bathroom items such as a faucet. However, if you have to get a bathroom faucet repair only a year after purchasing it, you’ll end up spending just as much money if not more than you could have for a better quality item.

Expecting Everything To Go To Plan

Of all the common diy mistakes new home renovators make, this is one of the worst. New home renovators who don’t have a lot of experience with renovation projects aren’t familiar with all of the moving parts and different people involved in a project. So when problems start to arise, they are often surprised and haven’t planned for them, which can completely derail a home renovation and the budget.

How To Fix It

While it’s impossible to know exactly what problems will arise before you start a project, it’s important to expect them to happen. Especially if you’re taking on a large scale renovation, things are bound to come up. You don’t know if you’ll find mold or asbestos behind a wall that will drag out the timeline. You don’t know if the material you order will go out of stock or if you’ll end up needing more. Be prepared for things to not go exactly to plan.

Making A Lot Of Changes Along The Way

While it’s normal to have to adjust and make changes during a home renovation project, making small changes, such as moving where a light switch is located, or changing your mind on paint color, can add a lot of time, work, and money to your home project. In fact, it’s one of the most common diy mistakes new home renovators make.

How To Fix It

Stick as closely to the plan you made at the start as possible. If it means taking extra time to start your project just so you can really finalize the details it’s worth it. Even something as small as moving a light switch or outlet a few feet can cost you over $1,000. A specific laid out plan will save you and the workers a lot of time and effort.

Renovating Or Replacing Where It’s Not Needed

When you start a renovation project, you’ll likely be excited thinking about the possibilities and changes you can make to upgrade your home. Without seeing price tags, you may start making plans without realizing how much it will cost or the effort that will go into it. One of the more common diy mistakes new home renovators make is to renovate or replace unnecessary things.

How To Fix It

Think seriously about the things you decide to add to your renovation project. Replacing bigger items like windows or doors that don’t necessarily need to be replaced can be outrageously expensive. Unless the items are falling apart or not working properly, focus your efforts on projects that are more important and will help your dollar go farther to add value to your home.

In Conclusion

Taking on a home renovation project is a big task. You may start to feel overwhelmed with all of the planning and purchasing that needs to happen as well as communication with contractors. Especially if you’re a new home renovator, there are a lot of new things to consider and mistakes to avoid. However, if you learn from these common diy mistakes and take the right steps to prepare for and execute your project, you will have much more success.

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