6 Home Renovation Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

Biggest Home Renovation Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Cost

While seemingly straightforward, a home improvement project will entail meticulous planning and adequate financing. And that's just for starters. Keep in mind that home renovations can be very costly. A kitchen remodel alone can take you back as much as $22,000! Smaller-scale remodels like a bathroom redo can average around $10,000.

While not as painless as roof inspection and maintenance↗, a home renovation project can be one of your most rewarding investments as long as you are able to navigate the process smoothly.

If it is your first time, below are some of the most significant renovation mistakes you should avoid at all cost if you want to get the most bang for your buck and keep your sanity intact:

Mistake #01: Rushing the Job

If you have seen countless home improvement shows, you most likely have the impression it is possible to get a renovation project completed in a week. Unfortunately, TV is different from real life. If anything, you need ample time to plan meticulously, carry out the steps thoroughly, and address any unexpected scenarios.

Make it a point to respect the whole renovation process. This is especially true if you are working on a massive renovation project. Typically, planning should take at least three to six months. Ensuring there is ample time can help you assemble the right team, plan the project properly, and address anything unforeseen that comes up.

Mistake #02: Working with the Cheapest Contractor

Make no mistake about it, the lowest bid does not always translate to the best job. Ideally, you need to get written estimates from at least three contractors. Keep in mind that some contractors might give cheap quotes just to get the job then cut corners or install products that are of low quality.

The written estimate should include specific details like the type of product they are purchasing and/or installing and any associated costs for material and installation. Also, depending on the type of renovation, you should expect to see a general contractor fee, waste removal plan, insurance, work warranty, and how design changes will be addressed. 

If those crucial details are not included, the contractor is either underestimating the project or is not being thorough. 

Mistake #03: Lowballing Your Renovation Budget

During the renovation process, it is recommended that you make room for a few surprises that might pop up. For instance, let's say you are installing a backsplash. While rare, there is the possibility that you will damage the wall and might need to replace some of the drywall.

From there, you might also discover electrical issues inside the drywall. Before you know it, you need to deal with more than just a new backsplash. In line with this, it would be smart to set aside at least 15 percent of your total project cost for unexpected expenses. This is especially important when you are renovating older homes.

Mistake #04: Creating a Kitchen That's Too Trendy

This is something many homeowners are guilty of. It is vital to keep in mind that the bolder your kitchen, the quicker it can go out of style. A  kitchen that's out of style can bring your home's resale value↗ down significantly. Other kitchen changes you might regret later include overdoing the kitchen appliances at the expense of space.

As a general rule of thumb, don't squeeze a kitchen island in when there is not sufficient space. If your area does not allow at least 36 inches of clearance between the cabinets and your kitchen island, it is recommended that you skip it.

Mistake #05: Not Putting a Floor Drain Where Necessary

If you have home appliances that disperse water like the washing machine or fridge, you must put a floor drain nearby. In most places, this is required and is considered a code requirement. Unfortunately, many homeowners still cut corners and omit it. They often end up regretting it later on.

Putting in a drain can be very beneficial if a hose breaks. It can also help warrant that your house won't flood and is protected against water damage. Ensure you avoid this renovation mistake at all costs if you want to save money that might go to repair costs.

Mistake #06: Working on Too Many Rooms at Once

If you want to stick to the budget you have set, it is recommended that you don't do the entire house all at once. Instead, break the renovations based on rooms and tackle renovations one room at a time. 

Breaking down your renovation project by rooms will also allow you to see clear progress and is less overwhelming in general. Any way you look at it, it is ideal to focus your energy on one area first than do a complete overhaul overtime.


A renovation project should not be frustrating and should run as smoothly as possible. Avoid all the renovation mistakes above at all cost, and you'll be enjoying your newly renovated house in no time. 

If you're still deciding on which project to tackle first, take a look some of the projects with the best ROI from Remodeling magazine's 2020 Cost vs Value Report↗.

Top 10 Remodeling Projects with the Best ROI

  1. Manufactured Stone Veneer
  2. Garage Door Replacement
  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel | Midrange
  4. Siding Replacement | Fiber-Cement
  5. Siding Replacement | Vinyl
  6. Window Replacement | Vinyl
  7. Deck Addition | Wood
  8. Window Replacement | Wood
  9. Entry Door Replacement | Steel
  10. Deck Addition | Composite

 

Author Bio:

Rachel Porter is the content specialist for Custom Contractors Insurance, LLC↗, an Arizona roofing and contractors insurance company. When not writing, she enjoys reading and mountain biking with her friends.

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