The 7 Worst Mistakes You Can Make While Renovating And How To Avoid Them

The 7 Worst Mistakes You Can Make While Renovating And How To Avoid Them

Everyone wants to renovate. And now more than ever, they want to do it themselves. According to Remodeling magazine, “Big-ticket remodeling activity, already enjoying record economic conditions, is growing at its fastest pace in four years and should rise 5.1% this year alone.” Those numbers are based on Metrostudy’s latest Residential Remodeling Index (RRI).

In addition, “The RRI as of the first quarter of 2018 stood as 112.9, its highest reading ever. That number means the economic conditions known to influence remodeling activity are 12.9% better than the old peak in early 2007, just before the Great Recession. The RRI has shown year-over-year gains for 24 consecutive quarters, and as of 1Q18 it was 5.2% above the year-earlier level—the highest such annual growth since the first quarter of 2014–and was 1.4% better than it was just three months prior.”

While all that remodeling is great for the economy and also, presumably, for individuals’ home equity, problems can arise when homeowners take on tasks themselves without the proper training or preparation. Keeping renovations on track is simple – if you know what to look out for so you can avoid big mistakes.

Overestimating your skill

Tiling looks easy, right? Why not do the entire bathroom, floors and walls. And who needs to take a class or even watch a couple of YouTube tutorials. You’ve seen it done on TV, and, hey, you pick stuff up quickly, right? That’s a recipe for disaster, and, chances are, you’ll either be calling a professional to come finish what you started, or to rip it out and start over.

How to avoid mistakes:

Take on something small, first. Test your skills, and your patience, before embarking on the tough stuff.

Underestimating your budget

It’s a universal truth that no one ever puts aside enough money for their renovation. And it seems that the tighter your budget, the more likelihood there is that issues will arise to bust it! The last thing you want is a problem that changes your entire plan last minute or makes you stop mid-renovation to make alternate plans or find more money.

How to avoid it:

Experts recommend setting your budget amount and then adding 20 percent, but, the more novice you are, the more you may want to add to that cushion.

Minimizing the timeline

Homeowners looking to do their own renovations can wildly underestimate the amount of time needed to make the changes. This is mostly due to inexperience but is also shaped by individual needs. Just because you only have two weekends to completely tear down and renovate your kitchen before your in-laws arrive doesn’t mean it’s going to happen within that timeframe. It’s more likely that they’ll arrive to a mess and no functional place to prepare a meal, let alone the pretty finishes you wanted to show off.

How to avoid it:

Do some research. Listen to what the professionals say. Read some blogs from homeowners who have already done the DIY reno kitchen thing and absorb what they have to say. Really hear it instead of dismissing them as amateurs. Let the mistakes and experiences of others shape how you go about your renovation so your open eyes and open mind can guide you toward success.

Swinging the hammer without a plan

Demo sure looks fun on TV, and it can be fun. But it can also be seriously damaging to your property if you swing away without knowing what you’re swinging away at, and you don’t have a plan for what to do next, or what to do if you encounter something unexpected.

“Work on older buildings can yield a lot of unforeseen events,” said Architectural Digest. “Who knows what’s behind that wall you’re opening up? New construction is more controlled, but that doesn’t always mean smooth sailing. Be prepared for the unexpected. We all hope and pray everything goes according to plan. Trust us: Nothing will.”

How to avoid it:

Hire a structural engineer who can tell you exactly what’s going on in the wall you want to take down there and ensure you don’t do something crazy, like compromise the entire structure of your home.

Not asking for help

Congrats on that whole, “I’m so independent” thing, but when it comes to renovating, the more the merrier. You want someone there to to help with the heavy lifting, to bounce ideas off of, and to confirm suspicions, when necessary.

How to avoid it:

Call your friends, call your fam, call your coworker who’s the self-proclaimed Queen of Reno. If nothing else, having another human in the room will make the reno go quicker and will give you someone to talk to, other than yourself.

Thinking you can just do it on weekends

Sure, there are weekend warriors who can power through their Saturday and Sunday renos and go back to work on Monday, but, let’s be real. Is that you? The last thing you want is to have to live in a mess for months while you figure out how to finish what you started.

How to avoid it:

One of the most important tips to consider before you embark on any renovation is to just get real honest with yourself about your natural tendencies. Some of us like spending 18 straight hours hammering and sawing and caulking, and some of us are tired and over it after the first 20 minutes.

Not considering the impact on your marriage

There’s a reason home renovation is one of the leading causes of divorce: The stress it causes. “It’s not necessarily that the renovation process causes problems; it’s more that the process exacerbates whatever issues already exist in the relationship,” said Business Insider. In some cases, it can even catalyze the dissolution of a relationship, bringing to the surface issues you might have swept under the rug.”

According to the publication, up to 17 percent of couples consider splitting up while fixing up.

How to avoid it:

Keep the communication going. And go into it knowing it will be stressful so you’re prepared when things get testy. “Perhaps the best antidote to home renovation-related strife is simply to prepare for it in advance,” they said. “Know that the process may contribute to conflict between you and your partner, and think about potential ways to mitigate the stress.”

This article first appeared on RealtyTimes.com