14. TAKING ON TOO MUCH – Know your limitations. Don’t decide to tear out a bathroom if you can’t live with the mess that you will have for a while. Are you comfortable with just cosmetic updates or do you dream of taking down walls? Remember that a renovation has MANY moving parts and you have to be able to keep up with all the changes that can occur on a remodeling project.
13. IGNORING THE STYLE OF YOUR HOME – Before you start a remodel you have to consider the overall style you want to go with and how you marry that with the original style of your home. If you don’t do this then your remodel will not flow and you will regret it later. By giving this A LOT of consideration in the planning you can tie the styles together.
12. HIRING THE WRONG CONTRACTOR – This is probably THE BIGGEST MISTAKE that you make when renovating. Your contractor is the orchestra, the captain of the ship, the pilot. Don’t scrimp or rush when choosing this person. Make sure they are bonded, licensed and insured. Check with the Better Business Bureau and check with ALL references.
11. FAILING TO ANTICIPATE CHAOS – When you are renovating you can expect that something will go wrong. Timing deadlines often can’t be met because when one thing go wrong there is a domino effect on everything else. Expect it, work with it, be patient and DO NOT get angry at your contractor or the trades.
10. GOING CHEAP ON YOUR MATERIALS – The old adage that you get what you pay for is especially true when you are renovating. Important things like electrical and plumbing are things you just can’t scrimp on. Save money on trendy tile but never scrimp on the important stuff. Also hiring skilled labor and paying people for what they are worth is the most important part of your renovation. If you are going to do it, do it well. If you can’t afford it then wait to do it right; you won’t regret it.
9. TRENDY OVERLOAD – When you are doing a renovation of any kind you have to make sure that you don’t go too trendy. While it is important to choose things you like you can’t make the home so trendy that you either have to keep updating it or it makes it hard to resell. You need to make sure what you do can stand the test of time.
8. ELECTRICAL NEGLECT – A very common mistake made when renovating is not upgrading your electrical panel. The electrical panel needs to be up to code and before you do any kind of renovation or ever think about starting demo you need to walk the job with an electrician to make sure you have every detail handled before you ever begin removing walls. Lighting is one of THE most important elements in a home renovation; it can make or break a space and it can change the mood of a room. And remember there are three kinds of lighting: Accent Lighting, Task Lighting and Mood Lighting. Most people focus ONLY on task lighting and forget the other critical lighting types.
7. DOING TOO MUCH DEMO – Many home renovators start doing demo and then stand back and think “wow this wall looks great opened up” so they keep going and then they open up a support wall without realizing that they will just have to put that wall back up again. Too much demo will cost you a lot of money if you don’t know what you are doing.
6. DOING YOUR OWN DEMOLITION – When you watch renovators doing a demo of their project on T.V. it appears to be some exciting event that marks the beginning of this fantastic journey. But doing your own demo without expert guidance is like flying a jet with no training. What if you hit a live wire when you are bashing that wall down, or a pipe full of water because you failed to turn the water off? Don’t even think about removing anything from your home without professional guidance by your side. It is not just about the electric and the water but what if you are bashing down a wall full of asbestos? This is an area for the pros….if you want to help, be supervised but never do this on your own.
5. NOT SETTING A REALISTIC BUDGET – This is by far the most common mistake home renovators make. Even when you have a budget, pad that budget for overages…..there will be overages. A budget can never be exact because you never know what you will find once you start your renovation.