Having the ability to create a dream home or make a quick return on an investment excites many first-time renovators. With a sledgehammer in hand, it’s not uncommon for first-time renovators to get caught up in the excitement of the project and make several mistakes that could end up costing them later on.
Whether you’re renovating for profit or wanting to design your dream home, it pays to know the common renovation mistakes before you create a construction zone.
- Letting emotions get in the way
So, you’ve spent hours on Houzz or Pinterest and found inspiring projects from modern designer home builders in Melbourne, London or Denmark. We’ve created a mood board of all your favourite design elements and can’t wait to get stuck into the renovation.
It’s common for first-time renovators to let their emotions get in the way of making important decisions that can impact the budget, timeline, floor plan and the overall value of the property. Glossing over problems like structural issues or plumping so as you can achieve your desired look will also lead to renovation disasters in the long run. While inspiration is helpful, being fixated on a design concept and plan can derail your budget if you’re not willing to explore other options.
- Not factoring in overages
Regardless of how frugal you are with the budget, unexpected costs are likely to arise at the times when you least expect them. Once you begin to tear down walls or gut bathrooms, you’re bound to have an unforeseen issue that could see your budget spiral out of control.
You’ll want to factor approximately 15-20% for overages. Keep this figure to yourself as you don’t want pressure from your designer or builder to spend it in upgrades. And be careful not to make the mistake of spending it on more expensive materials or luxury add-ons on impulse. If you can’t trust yourself not to spend it, leave it in the responsible hands of someone more level-headed.
- Choosing a contractor too quickly
Too often first-time renovators choose a contract on a whim without researching the best company for the job. Regardless of how big or small the project, the contractor you employ will be key to your renovation success.
It pays to research all the professionals you’re hiring, even if it does take a bit of time and energy. Look for contractors who are reputable and experienced for your particular job. Seek out at least three quotes and remember to read all the fine print in the contract. You don’t want to get caught out paying a huge bill for making a few small changes during the renovation.
- Splurging on the wrong things
Before you buy luxurious wallpaper from France or pick out the most expensive chandelier you can find, think about the value it will add to your home. First-time renovators often make the mistake of spending too much money on items at the sacrifice of design elements that add real value.
For example, spending on beautiful tiles for your kitchen backsplash and then having to economise on the bench tops, appliances or flooring will comprise the end results. Consider what is important in regards to the durability of your home and what will add the most impact if you choose to sell the property. Opting for gorgeous, but expensive wallpaper, will not add value if it means you’ve had to install laminate flooring in place of hardwood.
- Not considering the market
Regardless of whether you’re renovating a home to flip or live in long-term, not understanding the market of your area is a rookie mistake. It’s important to consider the comps of the other homes on your street to ensure you don’t overcapitalise. What are the types of homes fetching great prices in your area? What is the demographic of people living and buying in your area?
If your property is located in an area that appeals to families, renovating your home to be your ultimate bachelor pad could see you limit your pool of potential renters or buyers later on. Likewise, investing too much in your renovation in luxury upgrades may mean you overcapitalise on your property’s value for its location. Proper consideration of the market will help inform your design and shape your renovation budget.