There really isn’t such thing as a perfect renovation, but with the right planning, process, and renovation team, you can get as close to perfect as possible. With the experience of over 600 renovation projects in the last decade, we see so many homeowners perform a lot of home renovation Do’s, but far too many renovation Don’ts. So we want to help you avoid that!
Here are the top 5 mistakes we see that you should avoid with a home renovation.
1. Ambiguous or Unmanaged Timeline
If you want to have a renovation completed by a specific date or event (Say you want to sell your home, or maybe renovate it before you have family over for the holidays), you need to plan the renovation timeline accordingly. The beginning stages of your renovation are the most crucial. Planning your timeline to meet realistic start and finish times will be essential to managing expectations. Some renovations, especially kitchens, full renovations, condos, or custom homes are complex and may need months of planning to ensure there are no delays.
2. Miscalculated budgets
Every renovation will have unknown variables that must be accounted for during the renovation. You may want to change something mid-way or decide to go in a different direction for some reason. A great rule to follow is to keep 10-15 % of your budget on the side for a ‘safety-net. If you plan with a ‘safety-net budget in place, you can take advantage of add-ons later if funds are still available for use.
3. Not Hiring Credible Contractors
When hiring a contractor or designer, ensure that they provide references and benchmark projects, as this will give you confidence and provide you with a sense of the quality of work they deliver. Some contractors may not even be able to manage the type of scope you have in mind. Choose contractors that allow you to visit existing job sites, and speak to past clients to ensure that they are the right fit for you. Good contractors will always provide a detailed estimate of work to be done, and address any questions regarding city permits, and materials used.
4. Focusing more on ‘wants’ vs ‘needs.’
Everyone has a ‘want vs. needs’ list, and the “wants” are always a long list. Trying to thin out your scope and materials to fit your wants list into your renovation may yield negative results. Never comprise the level of materials and finish as these are the small things that make the space stand out. Also, ensure that your contractor can receive discounts on materials for you to take advantage of to include more of your wants list.
5. Trying to “do-it-yourself”
Thinking that you can do it all yourself is one of the biggest mistakes that first-time renovation planners make. Renovations have multiple complex components that need ample planning so that the project ties together. When you manage a renovation project yourself, the most significant problems people encounter are timelines, budgeting, and work quality of work. These delays will push back project milestones and will cause a ripple effect of chaos. You will most likely also end well over budget as the projects drag on, the quality of work starts to diminish, and the perpetual maintenance fees add up.