Common Renovation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Embarking on a home improvement project is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You can’t wait to take the next step in turning your house into the home you’ve always wanted, but you’re also probably making a major investment to do so.

So, before you get started on your reno, consider Real Simple’s and HomeAdvisor’s Dan DiClerico’s advice on how to avoid these common home renovation mistakes:

Rushing the job. Unfortunately, one too many home improvement shows have led us to believe that home renovations magically happen in no time at all. In reality, large-scale projects take months, so take the proper time to accurately plan for each step of your project, then tack on several additional weeks to allow for the inevitable curve balls that will arise. Rushing will only cost you—emotionally and financially.

Ignoring the need for a team. According to DiClerico, your project most likely requires a variety of professionals, such as an architect, a kitchen or bath designer, a contractor, etc. But many homeowners make the mistake of working with just one of these individuals before bringing in the others. Get the team together as early as possible to ensure a smooth flow and optimal outcome.

Miscommunication. Tensions can run high during a home renovation—between you and the professionals you’re working with, as well as between you and your loved ones. Find out the best way to stay in ongoing touch with your contractor, i.e., email, text, weekly meetings, and let your contractor’s professional guidance help mitigate issues between you and your partner.  

Making your own design choices. While you may have diligently combed Pinterest and home-improvement magazines for months, there’s a big difference between what you like and what makes the best sense for your home. DiClerico advises working with a designer who can help ensure good quality design and functionality.

Forgetting to budget. You must go into your renovation project with a number, allowing for the fact that it will cost more than what you originally planned—so adding in another 10 – 20 percent is prudent. DiClerico suggests spending more on the things you’ll interact with—i.e., cabinet doors—versus items that are purely decorative.

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