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10 Home Renovation Mistakes That Homeowners Should Avoid

home renovation tips

There’s nothing more exciting than new beginnings.

When you buy a house and want to renovate it, that’s the ultimate new beginning.

Home renovations can be exciting but come with their fair share of challenges. Avoiding common mistakes can save you time, money, and stress.

If you want to avoid popular home renovation mistakes, keep reading!

1. Moving Too Fast

Moving too fast is one of the most common home renovation mistakes new homeowners make. They’re ready to start tearing walls down as soon as they get the keys to their new house.

But it’s a good idea to live in your house for a while before making any changes. This lets you get a feel for how you use it to decide what changes will improve its function.

Don’t change things until you know how to improve them for you!

2. Not Budgeting Enough

Everyone knows that renovating a home is expensive. However, many homeowners are unsure how much to budget.

Always leave a little extra room in your budget. Every renovation has hiccups, and nothing goes smoothly 100% of the time.

You need to budget enough time for yourself to get the work done. Sometimes, things happen that make a project fall behind schedule, and the last thing you want is to come up short-handed on time and money. Have a contingency fund of at least 20% to cover surprises, which may include:

  • Unforeseen maintenance or replacement required for the renovation
  • Product prices rise
  • Tradespeople overrun costs
  • Compliance costs

Seldom do projects come in on time and within budget. Your renovation will likely take longer and cost more.

Research materials thoroughly for durability, maintenance, and cost. Consider your lifestyle and the space’s specific needs. Don’t compromise quality for cost savings, as it may cost you more in the long run.

3. Poor Planning And No Plan B

As we mentioned, no home renovation project comes without its issues. Things come up, no matter how well you’ve planned or maybe you’ve winged it.


Doing renovations on the fly is a high risk, and because nothing will always be perfect, you must be prepared for the worst. Take the time to plan thoroughly before starting any renovation.

In your plan, outline your goals, budget, and timeline. Consult with professionals, such as architects or contractors, to ensure your renovations are feasible for your budget and desired timeframe.

Plan B

Always have a plan B for every renovation project. If what you wanted doesn’t work out because it’s too expensive or not the right size, know in advance what you’ll settle for so there’s no delay in work or shock if what you have to accept costs more.

Plus, if you’re using tradespeople and contractors, you’ll want to keep them busy. If it rains, have work for them inside. If it’s humid and your paint won’t dry, your painter can prepare another room for painting.

As long as you’ve always got something work for your tradespeople to work on, your project will never reach a standstill. Time is one of the main contributors to project and budget overruns.

Be realistic about the time it takes for each phase of the project—factor in potential delays due to weather, unforeseen issues, or other challenges. Have a contingency plan for temporary living arrangements if necessary.

4. Not Hiring a Professional

In the age of the Do It Yourself YouTube tutorial, everyone feels like they can become an expert in anything. And while it’s true that you can learn how to do most things with enough practice, the one area you don’t want to DIY unless you’ve got the experience is your home renovation.

Small things like a paint job are okay to do on your own. It’s harmless and won’t change the stability of your home. But when you’re into the territory of knocking down walls or pulling up the carpet, you’ll want to leave it to the experts.

5. Not Hiring the Right Professional

That said, you don’t want to hire anyone off the street. Even if your cousin-in-law swears he’s a talented roofer, unless he’s got the business and the happy customers to prove it, you don’t want to hire him for your roofing job.

Hire quality professionals, even if they’re a little more expensive. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

6. Not Asking Enough Questions

When outsourcing the work on your house to other people, you must understand the scope of who they are, what they do for you, and how they’re protected in case anything goes wrong on the job site. Make sure you ask those questions while you’re looking for a contractor.

You also want to make sure that you ask any questions about your house’s plan. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ensure you are heard because this is your home!


7. Changing the Plan Halfway Through

The last thing you want to do is change the plan halfway through your home renovation. That’s why you need to live in your house for a while before you jump into renovating it. This way, you’ll know what you want before you start.

When you change the plan during a renovation, you waste everyone’s time and money!

8. Biting Off More than You Can Chew

When new homeowners step foot in their houses, they often want to finish the whole job as quickly as possible. But no matter how tempting it is to get everything done at once, don’t bite off more than you can chew.

This is especially true if you are living in your home while the renovations are taking place. Only work in one room at a time. That way, you still have a ton of other space to go to when stressed out!

While DIY projects can save money, be realistic about your skills and the complexity of the task. Some projects are better left to professionals to avoid costly mistakes.

9. Not Knowing Where to Save

While it’s true that you get what you pay for, there are still ways to be frugal without skimping on quality. Depending on your budget, your contractor should have a good idea of where you can get high-quality resources for less.

Don’t go crazy and spend top dollar on every aspect of your renovation!

10. Forgetting The Interior

Many people get so wrapped up in the expense of hiring someone to do the contracting work that they often forget how to design the interior. Unless you are design-minded, you will want to ask a professional how to style and decorate your room!

Nothing is worse than finishing a renovation only to find that you are struggling to decorate the room. After all, the finishing touches make a home feel like home!

Avoid These Home Renovation Mistakes

These are just a few of the many home renovation mistakes you can make as a first-time homeowner. You can significantly reduce the risk of common home renovation mistakes by thoroughly planning, hiring the right professionals, and staying realistic about your budget and timeline.

Ensure you don’t fall prey to these common mistakes. Take time to do thorough research, using discussion forums like PropertyTalk to ask questions like where to find a reliable contractor. The renovation will take as long as it takes, so enjoy the progress one day at a time!

Check back for more posts about updating your home to be the best it can be!