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These Are the Top Renovation Mistakes (And Tips for Avoiding Them)

Renovating is tough. It’s easy to fall into tricky — and costly — mistakes. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back. Below, we’ve listed four of the most common renovation mistakes, plus tips on how to fix them. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your renovation safe and sound.

renovation mistakes

Stick to one project at a time. Image: Design Shop Interiors

Mistake #1: Tackling too much at once

This one is most common among new homeowners who are coming into a fresh space wanting to decorate from scratch. In this case, one renovation project becomes two. Two becomes three. Then, before you know it, the entire house is in disarray. Usually, rather than leading to satisfaction at a job well done, this leads to frustration, tears and a sense that the house is a never-ending mess.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Instead of trying to tackle multiple home renovation projects at once, it’s better to focus on one at a time. The reality is, renovating is stressful. Focusing all of your energy on one area keeps your house clean and your budget intact.


Hire the appropriate professionals. Image: CMF Homebuilders

Mistake #2: Going DIY (without experience)

There’s no getting around it: Renovating is expensive. Couple the price tag of hiring a contractor and the prevalence of renovation shows on TV, and it’s no surprise that most of us think that going DIY is the solution. However, it’s only the right choice if you have the proper skills. If you’re going mainly on guesswork, you could end up causing major problems later on.

This fix is all about recognizing your own limits. Have you ever done any large-scale home maintenance projects before? Would you consider yourself “handy”? Do you have the specialized knowledge required to tackle tasks like electrical work and plumbing? If the answer is “no” to any of the above, do yourself a favor and bring in professionals.


Stay away from the lowest estimate. Image: Serene Hills

Mistake #3: Choosing the lowest estimate

When you decide to bring in professional help, one of the first things you should do is collect estimates from a handful of reputable contractors. Once the quotes finally come in, it can be tempting to go with the lowest one to try and save some money. However, that low cost is usually low for a reason. You may be cutting corners or missing out on some important services that are worth the extra expense.

As for whose estimate you should choose, first look for any common numbers. If there’s a number that keeps appearing, this is likely the true cost. From there, you can choose which contractor to go with based on research. Look into their bodies of work and any online reviews. Finally, if you’re debating between two options, go with the one with whom you feel most comfortable.


Plan for unexpected renovation mistakes. Image: Temac Development Inc.

Mistake #4: Not anticipating roadblocks

Unfortunately, renovations rarely go according to plan. The last thing that anyone wants is to hit an unanticipated setback in the middle of a project, but it’s not uncommon. The best thing that you can do is make sure that you’re ready for the unexpected before your renovation even begins.

You can do this by padding your budget and timeline from the start. Conventional wisdom states that you should leave around 10 percent to 15 percent extra in the budget for incidentals, or these unexpected costs. Similarly, though your contractor will work up the official project timeline, make a mental note to pad it by at least two weeks to account for any issues that may delay the work slightly.

Do you have experience with renovation mistakes? Do yohave any tips that we missed?

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