9 Common Beginner Home Renovation Mistakes

A home renovation is a big commitment. Either you just bought a new home and you’re ready to make it your dream place, or you’re ready to give your family home a facelift. Many first time home renovators make quite a few mistakes that are costly, both monetarily and for the time duration of the project. Here are nine tips for renovating your home that will save you money, time, and help the project be more enjoyable overall.

Mistake #1: Starting Renovation too Early

Many new homeowners are excited to get renovations started on their new place and begin right when they move in and sometimes even before. Starting before the owner really has a feel for their new home could lead to more work in the long run.

Fix: Take Some Time To Settle In

Experienced realtors will tell you that one of the most important tips for renovating your home is to take some time to settle in before starting. This will give you time to figure out the “flow” of your home; the highest traffic areas, where clutter gathers, and where you may consider knocking down a wall will open up space. Once you have settled into your home, you’ll have an easier time figuring out the renovations that will make your house your dream home. It will also save you from having to make follow up renovations if the first round doesn’t work for your family.

Mistake #2: Starting with Aesthetics Before Necessities

One of the main reason people chose to renovate a home is for aesthetics. But what many first time home renovators don’t realize is that old homes can often come with issues whether seen or unseen. Taking time to assure that the necessities are taken care of first will save a lot of potential trouble for the renovator.

Fix: Checking On Necessities Before Starting Renovations

One of the most important tips for renovating your home is to make sure that there are no issues with necessities before starting renovations. For example, if you’ve purchased an older home, you’ll want to check if things like the water heater are running well. If not, hiring a professional to handle the electric hot water heater installation would be a great first project. You’ll also want to check the plumbing. If your home runs on septic, find a company that does reliable septic system repairs. If your home runs on city sewage, working with a residential plumbing maintenance company can help save you from any issues there. Although these projects aren’t the most glamorous, you’ll be grateful in the long run that they were dealt with and fixed from the very start.

Mistake #3: Underestimating Costs

It will come as no surprise to anyone that a home renovation is an expensive project. There are elements that can be done “on a budget”, but cheap is not a word that goes well with home renovations. Many homebuyers make the mistake of underestimating how much a home renovation can really cost, which can lead to unwanted stress and frustration and even debt.

Fix: Do The Proper Research And Create A Budget

One of the number one tips for renovating your home is to create a budget based on proper research from the very start. People are often surprised by how much certain elements or materials needed for a home renovation cost. By creating a research-based budget, homeowners can have some peace of mind in knowing how much the different projects in their renovation will cost. For example, a home floor installation can range greatly in price, depending on factors such as material, professional labor, size of the room, and more. Before deciding on anything, make sure to have that budget nailed down to help control the total spending on your home renovation project.

Mistake #4: Hiring A Professional That Isn’t A Good Fit

Not all building professionals are created equal. While most all of them have the proper experience and training necessary to do good work on a project, not all of them will have the same ideas or agree with your ideas for a home renovation. Hiring the wrong professionals for your home renovation can be a costly mistake for your project.

Fix: Interview And Talk With Professionals Before You Hire

Interviewing building professionals before hiring them is one of the best tips for renovating your home. Taking the time to talk with contractors and builders beforehand and to express some of your ideas to them will help you get a good feel for whether they will be a good fit for your home renovation or not. For example, if you are doing basic renovations on your home and talk with a luxury home builder about your ideas, your goals may not line up.
Some professionals may even have tips for you as to how you can lower costs or recommendations for other good professionals to work with for your project. Taking the time at the start to find the right professionals will make your project go much smoother in the long run.

Mistake #5: Focusing On Just The Exterior Or Just The Interior

When you first purchase a home that you plan to renovate, you’ll likely have a lot of ideas and a vision in your head of how you want your home to end up. Maybe you’ve seen a picture online of a beautiful building from the exterior that you’re trying to recreate. Maybe it’s a picture from a magazine of a unique bathroom that you’re trying to reach. The problem that can arise from focusing on just the exterior or just the interior of the building is that important and necessary projects get pushed aside.

Fix: Equal Treatment For The Entire House

Regardless of whether you’re dreaming of a beautiful exterior or a unique interior, one of the most important tips for renovating your home is to give the entire house equal treatment. Even if one needs less overall renovation than the other, don’t push it to last or aside altogether. A great idea usually is to start outside, even if it’s small, and make important changes there that could impact the interior of the home. Even the act of simply hiring a pest control specialist for bee & wasp removal in your backyard could keep you from having to make further renovations or fixes if they were to get into your attic. Take into consideration how the exterior could impact the interior and vice versa and you’ll be on your way to a successful home renovation.

Mistake #6: Skimping On Quality And Splurging On Unimportant Things

When home renovators start a project, they usually have very specific ideas in mind of how they want their home to look when the project is done. Often these ideas come from very specific examples, like images online, where the items may be way over their budget. A luxurious couch that costs 1/3 of your budget should not lead to skimping on the quality of other elements of the house. This will lead to a bad renovation that will likely have to be redone in the near future.

Fix: Stick To Your Budget

When it comes to deciding between certain elements and materials to go into your project, sticking to your budget can be one of the toughest tips for renovating your home. This is why mistake #3 is such a common one. If you stick to your budget from the very beginning, you will have likely put in the proper research to plan for quality materials where they are absolutely necessary. This will keep you from splurging during the process and blowing your budget for other elements of the house. One surprising area that can cause budget problems is flooring. Make sure to talk with a local carpet and flooring company before you start renovations to see all the options you have and make sure what you want fits within your home renovation budget.

Mistake #7: Trying To Do Big Projects By Yourself

With so many resources for learning to DIY (do it yourself) projects, many people think that they can do home renovations projects on their own. After all, some of the youtube videos out there make projects look much easier than they actually are. Some projects, like small scale painting or installing a garage door opener can be done by the homeowner. However, projects that include knocking down a wall or handling plumbing should be handled by someone with professional experience.

Fix: Hire Professionals For the Big Projects

One of the most highly recommended tips for renovating your home is to hire professionals for the big projects. Don’t think that an online video will teach you how to go through a proper fireplace installation. While it’s more expensive to pay for professional work, it’s worth it to ensure that a project is done right the first time.

Mistake #8: Working On Too Many Projects At Once

Working on multiple rooms and projects at once can leave you to feel overwhelmed during your home renovation process. If you’re working on a strict budget, working on multiple projects at once can also deplete your funds faster as it’s harder to keep track of how much each project costs.

Fix: Work On One Space At A Time

One of the many great tips for renovating your home is to focus on one room or project at a time. This simple tip can have a huge impact on your budget, time spent renovating, and overall stress. Working on one project at a time will allow you to keep better control of the budget as you can focus on your purchases. There is also something to be said for the feeling of finishing a project. If you’re working on multiple rooms, it takes much longer to finish one given project and can leave you exhausted and unexcited. If you follow the tip to just work on one project at a time, your home renovation project will go much smoother.

Mistake #9: Picking Appliances After Renovation

One big mistake many home renovators make is to pick appliances after the renovations are already underway. This can lead to a big problem with everything fitting where it should. Without at least taking proper measurements of appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven, you run the risk of having to redo countertops and even flooring, which will cost more money, time, and frustration in the long run.

Fix: Pick Your Appliances Before Renovation Begins

As previously mentioned, picking your appliances before beginning renovation is one of the vital tips for renovating your home. This small step of taking measurements for large appliances can have a huge impact on the budget and duration of your renovation project. When renovating a kitchen, if a homeowner forgets to take proper measurements for appliances when it comes time for the dishwasher installation, problems with fitting the appliance into the precut counter space may occur. This will cost more money to recut the counter and may even result in having to completely redo the area.

As of 2020, about 45 million homes had smart home devices. If you plan on having smart home devices, you will also want to make sure that they are close enough to proper outlets and within range of your internet router. Overall, picking your appliances before you being renovation will help to ease stress and keep you from having to redo work.

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