It’s easy to jump into a renovation project without much forethought. Yes, there are usually some hoops to jump through — securing financing for your project, for one thing. For another, any good home improvement project is time-consuming, and you’ll need to dedicate a good amount of time and effort to it. With that being said, there are a lot of benefits to renovating your home right off the bat. About 58% of homeowners report that they plan on spending money to improve their homes this year, and they do so with good reason. Renovating your home essentially takes a property that you already have and turns it into what you really want and need. They can be based on decor, as well as practical necessities and upgrades. Of course, no matter what, a home renovation should add value to a house; and they usually do. While you may not be thinking about selling your house anytime soon, when the time comes a good renovation should be able to provide a return on your investment, ultimately adding to your profit.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case; because home improvement mistakes can occur. Renovations are never inexpensive, even when corners are cut through cheaper materials and labor. No matter what, you will be investing a sizable amount of money into your home improvement project. The last thing anyone would want is for their project to ultimately cause their home to lose value, rather than gain it. So, how do you avoid this? For one thing, by studying the mistakes of those who came before you. For another, it’s through understanding that home improvement mistakes extend beyond the cosmetic. A home improvement project is a major undertaking, and it’s important for you to understand that you must not only take care of the renovations themselves but also the safety of those working. Part of this has to do with your own decisions, while part of this has to do with the company that you choose to work with. All of that being said, let’s look into some of the most common mistakes you can make while planning a home improvement project.
1. Misunderstanding Your Budget
One of the first things you’ll need to do while planning your renovation project is to plan out a budget. Your budget has to be carefully plotted, whether you’re planning on a smaller project or a larger one. Furthermore, you should keep an eye on what you hear from different contractors as they appraise the project and provide a quote. For example, if one contractor reports that placing a new plumbing system in your house costs one thing, while everyone else reports a lower number, you can probably assume that the one contractor was overly expensive. However, if a contractor provides a quote that seems too good to be true, it probably is. One of the most common home improvement mistakes a person can make is simply hiring someone because they offer the lowest price possible. Ultimately, you may very well end up spending more than you thought you would simply because you have to pay for repairs to be made after the renovation is done.
Of course, you also need to expect to spend somewhat more than what may initially have been quoted. There are several reasons why you might need to expand your budget as time goes on. Any number of unexpected delays may occur; perhaps materials may take longer to arrive, or perhaps a weather event could cause issues. Delays are not always the fault of the contractor, and sometimes you may have to pay for more labor hours than expected or additional materials. Generally, it’s advised that homeowners add an extra 20% to their budgets in order to ensure that they are prepared. Furthermore, you may very well end up expanding your project during the renovation stage. What begins as a swimming pool repair job may very well end up becoming an expansion that you didn’t initially expect.
2. Ordering Materials Too Quickly
One of the biggest and most expensive home improvement mistakes a homeowner can make is buying materials too early. It may be tempting to buy materials while they’re marked down or to go ahead and take the plunge prematurely so that you’re prepared and can plan the rest of your budget accordingly. But there are several problems with this approach, and you should be considered if a contractor pushes you to buy too many of your materials too quickly. The issue is that you may buy more than what you needed, ultimately wasting money; in some cases, homeowners have even bought appliances prematurely, only for them to no longer fit their space after it’s been fully renovated.
You need to wait until your plans are fully finalized with your contractor, and furthermore wait for the project to be far enough along for the measurements to be accurate. While those pipe fittings may seem like a good idea now, you should wait until you’re absolutely sure about what you’re buying, and that takes time. A lot of issues that homeowners may run into during renovations simply have to do with a lack of patience. Again, however; a contractor who pushes you to buy too early, especially through them, may be giving you a red flag. Take your time, and approach all projects carefully. If you really want to save money, simply try to plan your projects so that the time in which you’ll buy your materials will line up with the sales you’re looking for. Think about re-doing your carpeting or flooring in November or December, for example. While contractors often consider this a slow time of year, many chain home improvement stores offer holiday sales, and this will allow you to buy your materials at a better price.
3. Ignoring Mass Appeal
A lot of the worst home improvement mistakes do indeed have to do with the appearance of the home. While of course, you need to take a gas furnace repair seriously, you also need to pay attention to the ending appearance of your home. A lot of home improvements, after all, are focused on appearances rather than the inner workings of the home. While it might be tempting to do exactly what you want, choosing a color scheme and finishings based on what you personally love, you do need to consider the mass appeal that your home will have in the end. Again, even if you don’t plan on selling your home in the immediate future, life can change rather quickly. You may very well need to tone down your more eccentric taste in order to accommodate what other people will be interested in.
At the same time, you don’t want to be overly trendy. A certain type of roof might be popular in your area at the moment; but if it’s a newer style and hasn’t been around for too long, that may change rather quickly. Therefore, you may want to consider styles that are classic and haven’t changed in a number of years. You can gather information and get an idea of what is broadly appealing by talking to interior designers and home decorating experts. Of course, doing your own research is also an option; keep an eye on websites and magazines that advise homeowners on trends. Ultimately, it’s all about finding a balance between being too eclectic and being too trendy.
It’s understandable that you’ll want your home improvements finished as quickly as possible. This is especially true for those who are attempting to handle practical repairs as well as “fun” improvements. You won’t exactly want to put off your residential garage door repair if you’re having a hard time getting into your garage in the first place. But the fact is that rushing through a renovation is a terrible idea, and it’s one of the main home improvement mistakes that homeowners make in general. There are a number of issues that come with rushing a project, most clearly that of quality. Often, your project will suffer in terms of quality if contractors are rushing. They won’t be able to take the time to detail everything that they need done, and for that matter, they may forget some aspects of the project entirely in their haste to finish. While what you end up with may or may not look good, you’ll ultimately be left with something that will likely need repairs in the future.
There is also the issue of safety to consider. When workers are rushing to finish a project, they may very well put themselves in danger. While this obviously won’t be your intent when rushing a project, the outcome may be what matters in the end. The last thing you would want is to cause a personal injury in the service of your home renovation project. Of course, safety will also be a concern for you and everyone else in your home as well. When people rush through a home improvement project, the end result may not be safe to live within either. At the end of the day, a home improvement project shouldn’t result in a visit to the local physician for anyone.
5. Choosing The Wrong Paint
This may seem like a surprisingly simple and straightforward matter; but in fact, it’s so easy for people to make major home improvement mistakes while planning their home’s paint job. Think about how much time you spend looking at paint swatches, and agonizing over something as seemingly minor as the way paint literally drips. But the fact is that it’s important to take the time to evaluate what your paint job is going to look like at the end of the day. A lot of homeowners buy paint that isn’t even meant for the project that they’re focusing on. In fact, there are a number of different types of paint that are directed at different parts of the home. You should educate yourself about the different types of paint available before beginning.
This would involve understanding the difference between flat paints and gloss or semi-gloss paints in the beginning. Flat paint is meant specifically to be matte. While some like the idea that it doesn’t show any shine, it does show marks quite easily and can be difficult to clean. Therefore, this paint is usually reserved for ceilings and walls, particularly in low-traffic areas. While you might like the idea of placing it elsewhere, you’ll regret that decision when it shows all of the marks you’d rather keep covered up. On the other hand, semi-gloss and gloss paints possess a great shine. Their glossy texture also often makes surfaces covered by these paints somewhat easier to clean. Therefore, they’re more advised for bathrooms, as well as kitchens and other high-traffic rooms. If you’re renovating a studio kitchen rental, for example, you’ll want to use a paint that is not only the best possible shade to show it off but the best possible texture as well. Be careful when considering paint colors as well; again, don’t choose something simply because it has a particular look that you like. But do not doubt that choosing the wrong paint can be among the biggest home improvement mistakes you can make.
There are a lot of problems that can pop up as you renovate a home, and it’s easy to overlook home improvement mistakes in the stress of the project itself. But be careful when making decisions, from the contractor that you work with to the materials that are used. Ultimately, you can end up with an amazing home if you pay attention to the project. But you can’t take for granted that because you’ve hired a great team, you can wash your hands of the project and come back when it’s finished.
Take pride in your renovation project and the role that you play in it as a homeowner. Own any potential home improvement mistakes, and understand that you can prevent them yourself. That way, they’ll be much less likely to happen.