Common Renovation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Timely renovation is an important part of homeownership. Not only is it necessary for improving the comfort, functionality, and safety of your home, but it can also contribute to boosts in resale value as well. With that said, not all renovation projects are created equal. Many projects result in epic failures due to inadequate planning and execution. With this in mind, keep reading for 6 of the most common renovation mistakes and some quick tips on how to avoid them!

Cutting Corners On Materials

One of the easiest mistakes a homeowner can make when performing a renovation is assuming that new is better. In some cases, home remodeling projects can actually hurt the value of a home. This is especially true when it comes to material selection, as cheap products will never come close to recouping the cost of installation.


Solution: Spend time researching the best materials for the specific project you have in mind without getting hung up on the initial cost. Make sure to research your materials like cambria vs caesarstone or asphalt vs wood shake roofing. Look at more innovative materials and weigh factors such as durability, ease of maintenance, and eco-friendliness. You will be surprised at how these more modern materials positively impact resale value.

Budgeting Too Low

Renovations have a way of wrecking budgets. Never assume that any project will be “just” a quick fix. For example, many types of projects reveal hidden issues that need immediate attention. Others will face inclement weather that damages the project and causes rework. Scheduling issues can cause increased labor and missed opportunity costs on the part of the homeowner.


Solution: No matter how meticulous your planning and budgeting, always build in an additional 20% before starting any project. If that is too expensive, hold off on starting until you have these buffer funds saved up. It will save a lot of frustration in the long run.

Thinking Everything Is A DIY Project

Home improvement blogs and instructional remodeling videos are ubiquitous in 2023. As such, it can be easy for everyone to think they are a DIY expert. While some types of projects, such as adding new fixtures throughout the home’s interior, are relatively low-risk endeavors that most homeowners can successfully complete, many of the more ambitious projects still require the skilled hand of a trained professional.


Solution: Be honest with yourself about your abilities. Consider the impact of a poorly executed project. Will it hurt home value? Worse yet, will it make your home unsafe? Interview a broad selection of potential contractors accordingly.

Chasing Every Trend

Trends come and trends go. However, given the role that social media plays in our lives these days, it can be easy to get caught up in the flavor of the moment without any real long-term perspective. You don’t want to find yourself asking, “What was I thinking?” this time next year.


Solution: Be analytical with your project. Think ahead to when you plan to sell your home and ask yourself if a buyer would be willing to pay for it. Many kitchen and master bedroom projects, while exciting in the short-term, have little appeal to anyone but the current homeowner, so tread with caution when chasing trends.

Trying To Paint Over Everything

There is no denying the power of a fresh coat of paint. It can take a rundown space and make it look like new in a matter of hours. However, it is important to remember that paint isn’t a cure-all. Don’t be that homeowner who places a piece of cardboard over a hole in the wall and paints over it. Don’t assume that paint will help solve structural issues. In addition, some types of drywall corner bead, such as metal, are easily dented and will appear wavy and distorted if painted over.


Solution: Use proper paint stripping and surface preparation techniques before applying new paint. This will give you a better idea of the condition of the substrate and help determine if any additional work is needed before the paint is applied.

Working Without Permits

Have you ever wondered about those “call before you dig” billboards you see around town? They are to remind homeowners that you can’t just start hammering away on any remodeling project you please, even on your own property. Certain projects present public safety risks if performed incorrectly. If they do not meet area building codes, the homeowner can be fined and the project torn down.


Solution: Perform your due diligence. Call the city council before you start working on any type of project that will change the structural integrity of your home or impact the electricity or plumbing in any way. Be especially cautious with contractors. If their quotes come in way below competitors’, it is likely they are not fully bonded and licensed and are just looking to scam you out of a quick buck.

Avoid These Common Renovation Mistakes For Your Next Project

Well-executed renovation projects are a major value-add to a home. However, many homeowners fail to take into consideration that the opposite can be true, as well. For more information on common issues surrounding home renovation, explore the resources at WIN Monterey for the latest in the industry!


Brian Jeffries is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on construction projects and materials. He lives in Winter Park, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Brian’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.