Big Mistakes to Avoid in a Renovation

Sure, renovating is a great way to refresh your home or raise the value before selling. You can go through a professional contractor, or even make it a DIY job if you’re a brave or handy soul! But these projects can get out of hand quickly – so we’ve put together a list of some of the biggest and most common mistakes to avoid.

Going over budget

It’s absolutely essential that you establish a budget before you get going on a renovation. Once you know what the project is, determine what materials you’ll need and the hours of labor that will need to go into it. Get quotes from a few different places so you know you’re getting the absolute best deal. Have a list of negotiable vs non-negotiable items so you know what you can hold off on, and what you need now. Make sure you’re prepared for potential problems by having a buffer in the budget from the get-go. These things will all help you get through a renovation without breaking the bank.

Underestimating the job (or overestimating your skills)

There’s a reason that a whole industry of people waiting to help you renovate your house exists. Some of the jobs you want doing may not be as simple as they look, and it’s important to know everything they entail before you start smashing things yourself. It’s particularly important to keep this in mind when it comes to electrical issues, so you don’t A) electrocute yourself or B) burn the house down.

Living on site

While you may not be excited at the prospect of kicking yourself out of your own home for a while, you’ll thank yourself later. You may think that you can handle the noise and chaos for however long the project takes, but it will become old very quickly. Not to mention, if you’re hiring contractors, you’ll find yourself under their feet and they’ll be under yours. If you’re doing the job yourself, you’ll have a hard time just relaxing at home knowing there’s work to be done in the other room. So find a family member to stay with or a short stay apartment, it’ll make life easier in the long run.

Not painting properly

There’s not really a 1 size fits all solution when it comes to painting. You have to consider multiple factors like, what surface am I painting on? What kind of treatment will it get (kids, house parties, pets, etc)? There are different finishes to consider, indoor vs outdoor, in fact, color is really just the first in a long list of considerations when it comes to choosing a paint. If you’re painting to cover cracks or scratches, what do you need to use to fill them in? If you don’t take the time to figure these things out and spend the money to get the best tools for the project, you’re basically throwing money down the drain, as it will likely need to be redone.


If you rush through a DIY renovation, it will show. It simply won’t look as good in the long run, and frankly, it could be a safety hazard! If you’re doing this, do it right and take your time. Pay attention to details and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Failing to plan

Not to be everyone’s Year 9 English teacher here, but there’s a reason they say ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. It’s immensely important to know what you’re getting into, know what you want out of it and to know how much you’re willing to spend! By planning things out in detail, you’ll have a solid idea of how long you’re willing/able to spend on this project, as well as what you’re going to do when things inevitably go wrong!

Renovating your home can be a great experience and add value to your home, absolutely. Knowing what can crop up along the way and what mistakes to avoid can ensure that it’s a positive time for you, and not a stressful one! One more thing to consider is whether you need and qualify for a construction loan to complete the project. If so, it may be best to enlist the help of a mortgage broker to grind out the details of the loan and ensure you can focus on other parts of the renovation, knowing your finances are secure.

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