Home Renovation: 5 Traps to Avoid

Renovating an old property or extending your current home is a great way to get closer to your dream home. As exciting and rewarding as a home renovation is, there are certain traps one needs to avoid, certain complexities and challenges that come with building on to an already established home.

Let’s look at the five common traps you must avoid at all costs:

Post-Quote Impulse Purchases

Arguably the most critical point on this list. You must try your best to avoid impulse purchases. More specifically, after you have been quoted.

Instead be as thorough as possible when in the planning stages of your home renovation, reviewing all possible options first.

Once you have budgeted, adding extras, or changes to the design can end up costing you a fortune. Once work is underway, rather leave things be.

Staying in constant communication with your contractor can also prevent costs rising. Be sure to oversee everything and ensure that your builders understand that nothing can be done or purchased without your approval first. This can be achieved through regular site-checks or a home renovation app.

Spending Your Budget on Unnecessary Work

The visible result of your home renovation is significant, sure. Aspects such as designer appliances, or what type of woods and granite you use. But frequently, renovators overlook the structural elements.

These structural aspects are often referred to as the “unseens”. The “unseens” of a home renovation are things like timbre decay, leaks, plumbing etc. If you don’t prioritize them, they could end up costing you in the long run, taking away from all the money you have spent on fancy additions.

Do not underestimate the budget needed for things such as electrics or heating systems. They need to be as high a priority as making your home look amazing.

If the functional aspects of a home are faulty, then what is the point of it looking like it is from a magazine?

This approach can be further supported by repairing as opposed to replacing certain features. With old houses, you will often find that the doors and windows are of a much higher quality than the stuff made today – so consider refurbishing before getting rid of things completely.

Going Cheap

Let’s be clear; the above doesn’t necessarily mean you should go too cheap either. After all, it’s a home, and you’re either going to be living in it or selling it at the end of the day, so quality is still essential. Not just with the materials and features, but with who you choose to carry out the home renovation also.

When you spend a lot on the features and materials of a home renovation, it can be tempting to go with cheap contractors.

Don’t give in to that temptation because there is usually a reason behind why they’re so cheap.

It can be an indicator of one of two things; either they simply aren’t good at what they do, or they have underquoted. Both will hurt you financially in the long run, especially if the contractor runs out of funds and refuses to finish the build.

Instead, screen your builders thoroughly. Check out their reviews, phone around, and find out how they are to work with, what the quality of their work is like and if previous clients were satisfied with their home renovation. This is quite literally the foundation of whether or not your home renovation will be a success or not.

Overlooking the Rules & Regulations in Your Country

Be sure to deliver on everything the law requires (US, UK) when it comes to a home renovation. You will need to find out if you need planning permission or building regulations approval. Doing so before you begin planning is crucial.

This last thing you want on your hands is to have to undo alterations or extensions, and this could very well be the case if you do not get planning permission.

In fact, making changes or extending a listed building without consent is a criminal offence. Furthermore, it can cost you a fortune to undo what you have built – a waste of money.

Avoid Letting Your Contractors Make Decisions

When you decide to undertake a home renovation, you will continuously need to make weighty decisions. Decision making can be as frequent as daily. Think fixtures and fittings, deciding which service providers to go with, or what colour paint to go with.

If you take too long to decide, it may delay progress on the job, and so, you may be tempted to leave specific decisions up to the contractor. Don’t do this, because often, the contractor will go with the cheapest or quickest option, which could take away from the quality of your home renovation.

Preferably, use a home renovation app to ensure you are in constant communication with your contractor should any decisions need to be made on the fly. This way you won’t need to visit the site, you can make the call via a visual update in the app.

By avoiding these five traps, you can worry less, and enjoy the process more.