Here are some of the most common home renovations mistakes to avoid:
1. Setting an unrealistic budget
Renovations often cost more than expected. Build in an extra 20% to your budget to be better prepared for any surprises.
2. Not complementing the original architectural style
Additions don’t need to be the same style as the original structure. However, they do need to complement it to help with resale value and to look and feel great while you’re living in them.
3. Sacrificing function for form
Think about how you’ll actually live in the space. Consider door, window, and outlet placement, as well as traffic patterns throughout the home.
4. Being too trendy
Fresh, updated looks are great, but consider resale value, too. Trends are short-lived, while good design lasts forever. Don’t hesitate to consult a designer if you have questions.
5. Installing new appliances last
Choose your appliances first to help make sure the overall design accommodates the items you really want. But wait to buy them until you’re ready to have them installed.
6. Buying furniture and home décor too early
Wait to buy the perfect appliances, flooring, furniture, and other materials until the project plans are finalized and the project is far enough along for measurements to be accurate. Otherwise, you risk buying the wrong quantities of materials or ordering appliances that won’t fit.
Consider re-doing your carpeting or flooring in November or December. Many home improvement chains offer attractive sales before the holidays, and contractors tend to be more willing to negotiate during their slow time of the year
7. Not ordering extra flooring
Order enough material to complete the job, plus 20% to account for installation wastage and defects.
8. Focusing on appearance
Be sure to address any structural or safety issues, such as updating the electrical system or ensuring foundations and subflooring are sound. Doing so will help avoid damaging your new, beautiful finishes to fix potential problems later.
9. Buying cheap materials
Select durable, high-quality materials that you won’t need to replace within in a few years. Building materials aren’t the place to economize.
10. Updating the wrong things
Focus on elements that add long-term value to your home, such as storage and elements that aren’t just cosmetic. For example, installing an expensive wall treatment but skimping on flooring may not be the best option.
11. Ignoring the details
Consider the specific features that can make the renovation work for you. Although pantry pullouts, toe-kick storage and similar features that make your kitchen more efficient are things you can add later, this could cause potential damage to the materials you’ve already updated. Installing them during your current home renovation can save you time and money.
12. Ignoring lighting
A lighting specialist can help you design a lighting plan to place and size your combinations of general, task, accent and smart lighting. This creates a well-lit, welcoming and usable environment.
13. Impulse buying
Consider the entire project — the floor, wall color, cabinetry, lights and other elements — and how these pieces all work together to create a cohesive look.
14. Small doorways and halls
Check your plans to ensure that doorways and halls are wide enough to allow appliances and furniture to pass through easily.
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