6 Home Renovation Mistakes Everyone Does and Ways to Avoid Them


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After watching a few hours of HGTV, you probably feel ready to take on any home renovation project. And why not? Those home improvement shows make it look so easy!

But in reality, many DFY-ers make mistakes during the course of a project, costing them time and money. Here are six renovation mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Making Measurement Mistakes

There’s a reason why carpenters say “measure twice, cut once.” Getting the correct measurement is vital to the success of a project, especially if you’re installing custom pieces, new cabinets, countertops or appliances that can’t simply be made to fit a space. Measure multiple times and ask someone to double-check your accuracy. Be sure to measure to the nearest increment, too. Even though 1/4 of an inch may not seem like a lot, it can make or break a project.

2. Insisting on Hardwood Floors

Many people assume they want real hardwood floors, and while these floors do look beautiful, they aren’t practical for every family. If you have kids or dogs, your shiny, new hardwood floors may not wear well. Dogs’ nails are notoriously rough on hardwood floors, and kids’ messes can be difficult to remove. Consider other options like laminate, vinyl or tile for a more durable finish.

3. Underestimating Your Budget

You should assume your project will cost more than you expect. Many contractors build an extra 30 percent into the budget for unforeseen expenditures. You would be wise to follow suit so you have enough money to complete your project.

4. Getting Sledgehammer Happy

Sure, swinging a sledgehammer into a wall can be a lot of fun. But it can also lead to big mistakes. Demo day is when many costly mistakes occur. ¬†Make a plan and ensure everyone working on the project knows exactly what needs to be removed. And be sure you know which walls, columns or posts serve as load bearing points. If you’re unsure if it’s safe to remove a wall, consult a professional.

5. Being Too Trendy

You want your home to be on-trend but you shouldn’t make permanent changes that will go out of style before the paint dries. Instead of trendy options, select timeless aesthetics that will last for years to come and into which the latest styles can be easily incorporated.

6. Trying to Do it All Yourself

You may be able to complete some home renovations on your own, but some aspects of your project will require a seasoned pro. If you doubt your abilities, hire someone with experience.

There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know how to reroute a plumbing line or upgrade a fuse box. You should recognize your limitations instead of attempting a project you’re not qualified to complete.

Home renovations are a fun way to make your new house feel like home. Planning on the front end will help you avoid these six common renovation mistakes. You’ll save time, money and you’ll be thrilled with the way your project turns out!