There are plenty of renovation mistakes that occur in various construction projects – some are big while others are small, but they have one common denominator: They do not need to happen. Below, Scott shares a list of the most common home renovation mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Inadequate preparation.

Any renovation project requires a lot of preparation. A detailed plan must be put in place to help keep you on budget and on schedule. When talking to your contractor, come up with an extremely specific agreement before the project begins and be sure to have everything in writing. You should clearly see on paper how your renovation project is going to unfold before any work commences.

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2. Buying materials prior to planning.

Never buy materials or appliances prior to planning and all measurements have been made. You might be tempted to buy a lot of thin
gs when they go on sale, but that 24-inch dishwasher you got for 50% off would be a great waste of money if you can only accommodate an 18-inch model.

3. Ignoring important issues.

Tearing down walls or ripping floors apart often brings some issues to the surface, especially when the project involves an old home. Plumbing and electrical issues, for instance, must be fixed before closing the walls back up. Such issues may not be part of your expected renovation costs, but dealing with them can help you save much more money in the long run.

4. Taking shortcuts.

Just don’t do it. Similar to ignoring issues, taking shortcuts when it comes to materials or finishes almost always results to future problems. It’s always a good decision to do it right the first time instead of going back and having to redo everything. Be sure to hire competent people, buy high quality materials and take the time in completing all the required steps in the construction project.

5. Unlicensed trades.

There are renovation projects which can be handled by any reliable contractor; but there are specialized projects which are best left in the hands of a licensed professional. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, asbestos removal and any job that deals with the structure of your home must be carried out by a licensed professional that specializes in that particular trade.

6. Going overboard with DIY.

Homeowners who want to get involved in home renovation projects are admirable, but there comes a point when the job is better left in the hands of professionals. Cabinetry installation, sophisticated carpentry and complicated tile work are usually beyond the skill and knowledge level of most homeowners and can even bring down your home’s value if done incorrectly. My take on the matter? Get your hands dirty in the demo – it’s the part of of the renovation project that offer the most fun, anyway!