Home renovation is no easy task. There are a lot of things to think about even before you nail the first nail, and that means there are a lot of things that can go wrong during the whole process, from completely banal things, like choosing the wrong paint shade, to big things like forgetting construction permits. Luckily for you, we’ve assembled a few of the most common home renovation mistakes newbie home renovators make so you can pay attention and, hopefully, avoid them altogether. Let’s have a look.
Going in Without a Game Plan
Starting renovations without a sound game plan is a big no-no. Moving around furniture in your living room to see how it looks might only frustrate your husband and/or son, but doing a complete makeover on your house willy-nilly will land you in a lot of trouble. Without a plan, the construction workers won’t know what they’re doing or why, and it might incur ever-rising costs that will, ultimately, break your bank. And, at the end of it all, after all the frustration and tens of thousands of dollars spent, you just might end up not being at all happy with the end result. With that said, plan your home renovation to the last detail, as this way, there will be the least number of surprises.
Buying Materials Ahead of Time
This ties in with the point about going in without a plan. Buying materials before you’ve finalised your game plan (or right after you’ve finalised) can hurt your budged greatly, as you may buy too much or not enough materials, or completely wrong materials to begin with. To avoid such a mistake, it’s best to contact and discuss your plans with professionals, as they’ll be the most suited to advise you on what materials you need, and its quantity.
Underestimating the Costs
Some home improvement projects can be done on a budget, but, trust us when we say, complete renovation requires quite a bit of cash. Do your research, and do it well, as knowing exactly how much home renovation costs will save you trouble in the future.
With that, you should also plan for unforeseen contingencies. Most construction firms advise their clients to have at least a 10-20% buffer to their budget for emergencies. Opening up a wall can lead to many things, especially in older houses, and you might find that the entire construction is infested with termites. Construction rarely goes entirely as planned, and having that extra percentage will make the operation go along more smoothly.
Going in Without a Team
Another one of the big home renovation mistakes is starting construction without a team. Many newbies tend to talk to different professionals at different times. They might contact a designer, an architect and a contracting firm separately, which leads to a conflict of opinion, which leads to plans being scrapped, and you’re back at the beginning.
To avoid this, all the relevant people together and have them lay out a plan together with you, and you’ll surely save on both time and money once the construction really starts.
Settling for the Lowest Bidder
Like we said, home renovation is an expensive business, and it’s never a good idea to try to cut corners when it comes to such an expensive endeavour. It is tempting to skimp on the workforce and hire the lowest bidder, but the lowest bidder is the lowest of a reason. Instead, it’s much more prudent to invest into a solid, verified home renovating firm, like Konnekt Building, then to settle for a second rate brand that might undercut you when the construction starts.
Pretending to Understand
Look, unless you’re a professional architect, or work in a construction firm yourself, chances are, you’ve no idea how to read a blueprint. Don’t just nod your head and pretend to understand; rather, ask questions. It’s your money on the line and it’s your home they’re renovating, so ask the whats, the wheres and the whys – they will help you not only understand what’s going on and why you’re paying for certain things, but it’ll also help you visualise the idea and stick to it.
Don’t Forget the Permits
Almost all construction involving contractors requires building permits. Your contractors might have the permits ready once you hire them, but be sure to ask your local government representatives what kind of permits you need. It’s always a good idea to know this beforehand, just to make sure your contractor is up to date with the latest laws and regulations.
And that’s about it for the most common home renovation mistakes people make when starting a project. Naturally, these aren’t all the mistakes people make, so make sure to research more about this topic, to gain a full understanding on what to do and what to avoid when starting a project of your own.
About the Author
Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveller, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book. Stay in touch with Stella via Twitter and Facebook.