If you're anything like us, you've watched all of the home improvement shows and you're ready to call yourself a pro 🙌🏻. Tackling your first renovation project can be so exciting but as many homeowners have found out over the years, it’s not as easy as it appears on TV. Diving headfirst into these projects without the proper preparation often leads to some pretty costly mistakes. Be sure to check out our renovation fails and how you can avoid making them!
Photo courtesy of DIY Blinds
Measuring Incorrectly 🚫
The most common mistake do-it-yourselfers make is measuring incorrectly. This can cost you a lot of money, not to mention a lot of headaches. Being off by an inch, a half-inch, or an even smaller fraction of an inch can have dire consequences. Incorrect measurements can mean that you don’t have enough space to install your appliances or you don’t purchase enough materials to complete the project.
Pro Tip: Avoid making this mistake by measuring multiple times. If you’re working with someone, have him or her measure as well to ensure that the numbers are accurate.
Focusing Only On Appearances 🚫
Freshen up your home with a renovation, however, don’t skip out on making a repair or choose a lower-quality material for something that you can’t see.
Pro Tip: Get the most out of your investment, don't neglect repairs or replacing pipes and wires now. Doing so only means having to tear up your newly renovated space to access them later.
Photograph courtesy of Elle Decor
Choosing A Short Lived Design 🚫
Most people chose a renovation project because they want to update the style in their home. Be sure when doing so, not to chose a short-lived style or personal design is a major fail. While a trendy design is sure to make your home stand out, it’s also going to quickly go out of style. This is a big problem if you want to sell your home in the future.
Pro Tip: Modernize the look of your kitchen or bathroom, but avoid bold styles that only appeal to those with specific tastes.
Using The Wrong Kind Of Paint 🚫
Manufacturers make paint for every surface in your home and they're not all the same. Flat paint does not have a shine, shows marks, and is not easy to clean. Use this type of paint on ceilings and on walls in low-traffic areas. Semi-gloss and gloss paints have a nice shine and are a better option for walls in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic rooms.
Pro Tip: Right color vs right type of paint. Don't spend your time comparing samples of colors and invest your time in making sure you purchase the right type of paint.
Spending Way Too Much Money 🚫
Spending way more money than they anticipated is often the result of poor planning or opting for high-end supplies. Don’t be too frugal with your materials, but also be careful you don’t spend more than you need to. Plan out your project and create a budget.
Pro Tip: Once you have an estimate on your budget, increase that number by 20-30% to give yourself wiggle room. Unexpected expense is bound to come up during the course of the renovation.
Not Interviewing Enough Contractors 🚫
Doing a DIY home renovation? It is still a good idea to have some professionals on call to help should the need arise. Renovations that involve plumbing, electrical, or other complicated/dangerous jobs are best left to the professionals. Attempting these projects without knowledge or experience is a recipe for disaster. It is important to take your time when choosing a contractor. Compare quotes and check references.
Pro Tip: The lowest price does not often mean the best job.
Photograph courtesy of 4 Ever Green Materials
Purchasing Materials Too Early 🚫
Purchasing items before you’ve completely planned out your renovation project is a renovation fail. You need to have accurate measurements and a clear idea of what the completed project will look like before you start purchasing supplies and materials. Low prices on an unexpected sale might be tempting, but you could end up losing money when you find out that your new appliance is the wrong size or that you didn’t order enough flooring and now the store is sold out.
Pro Tip: Make a plan, set a budget, and then purchase your supplies!