6 Common Mistakes New Homeowners Make When Doing Renovations

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Did you know Americans spent about $340 billion on home improvements and renovations in 2018? If you’re a new homeowner, you may have a vision for your dream house and a desire to tackle it all at once.

Renovations can add thousands of dollars to your home’s value if you do it right. Before you start, be sure to review our list of the six common mistakes homeowners make during renovations.

1. Underestimating Costs

If you’ve never remodeled a home before, you may not know how much even the most minor project can cost. It’s important to do your homework before you start and research everything.

We’ll use a kitchen reno as an example. Figure out the cost of everything you plan to do. Are you moving any plumbing or wiring? How much will the new appliances cost? Do you plan to replace the cabinets or repaint them? Are you adding new light fixtures?

Total everything up and then add 20%, just to be safe. If you’re opening up the walls, you don’t know what you may find. You’ll be much happier if you’ve budgeted for unexpected issues.

2. Not Measuring Everything

Before you shop, measure everything. That includes the size of the room you’re remodeling. You might even lay down some painter’s tape to mark the location of the furniture. Over-sized furniture can make a room feel cramped, so pick furniture that’s appropriate for the room.

Measure the door frames and the windows. You don’t want to spend money on a couch that won’t fit through the door. The same is true for windows. Make sure you know the exact dimensions of the windows before you buy shutters, for example.

Keep a list of the measurements with you, so you can refer to it while you’re out shopping. You may stumble on to a sale and need to know how high your ceilings are.

3. Don’t Prep Before You Start

Prepping is probably the least fun part of renovating, but it’s the most important. If you’re painting, gather all your supplies before you start. Make sure you have enough paint for the entire room and a little extra to keep for touch-ups.

Clean and sand the walls. Tape off the outlets. Tape off the trim. It’s well worth your time to prep everything right, rather than have to stop in the middle to run out for more paint.

4. Going Trendy with Renovations

Home renovations are expensive, costing an average of $10,000 for a bathroom remodel. The last thing you want to do is rip it out in two years because it’s out of style.

New homeowners who follow the trends too closely forget that trendy equals short-lived. You’re better off picking a decor that will last five to 10 years.

5. Saving in the Wrong Places

There are lots of ways to save money during a remodeling project, like repainting kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them. But there are a few places where you absolutely need to invest in quality materials and workmanship.

Spend your money on good quality windows and appliances. Don’t skimp on a cheap roof either, or you’ll have to pay a fortune in a year or two when it leaks or collapses.

6. DIY-ing When You Shouldn’t

Let’s face it. Not everyone is Bob Vila or Chip Gaines, and there are just some home renovation projects you should leave to the professionals.

Wiring and plumbing are two of the big jobs you should hire a contractor to handle. Unless you’re trained and in many states, licensed, you should definitely not attempt these projects yourself.

The same is true for roofing. Attempting this yourself is dangerous. You could easily fall off the roof. You could also make some critical mistakes that will cost you time and money down the road.

Final Thoughts

Landscaping is often on the list of renovations new homeowners are ready to tackle. If you simply want to replace a few shrubs or paint the exterior, you can easily handle that yourself. Just remember to hire a professional for complicated projects like a new deck.

When you’re ready to hire someone for your next project, please contact us with any questions you might have.