When it comes to real estate, homeowners have a lot of options in front of them. This could range from where the property is located, what type of house it is, and what to do once it is closed on. 

That is one of the beautiful things regarding homeownership - the variety of design, style and improvement choices available. However, not every project is created equal. In fact, a poor decision here could drastically impact a future sale, even if that isn't something that is on the owners' minds. 

Therefore, a home inspection professional can become a valuable asset during this time. A detailed report can figure out if all those upgrades were completed correctly, or if there are any lingering problems that require attention. Homeowners should also keep in mind several key remodeling do's and don'ts.

Home design trends from 2013

As 2014 inches ever close, now is a good time to look back and reflect on a number of popular design trends present over the past year. According to Realtor.com, comfort and simplicity dominated the landscape in 2013, paired with bright colors and classic touches.

For instance, brass was a big staple of home decor, the news source noted. It couples well with many traditional features, like granite countertops. Better yet, this feature is great as a plumbing fixture or a lighting accessory, and it can be quite versatile for creative homeowners. In addition, more people also turned to wood - from floors to cabinets and countertops. This element allowed for a comfortable feel while still staying in touch with more modern trends present this year.

Moreover, plenty of homeowners looked to added storage during 2013. Sheila Schmitz, editor at Houzz.com, told Realtor.com that this aspect has become more beautiful, and fewer people are hiding storage elements throughout the house. How are people doing this? For one, cabinets no longer always go to the ceiling. Instead, this leaves the room feeling more open. An interior wall could become a destination for additional storage space, instead of above the sink, too.

A property inspection is a smart step for any home improvement project. These professionals can be the perfect asset when trying to determine how to best upgrade a house.

Avoid making costly renovation mistakes

Whether implementing popular 2013 design trends or looking toward the future, homeowners should avoid several common mistakes when upgrading their houses. A home inspection could help clarify any concerns with these projects.

Bruce Irving, home renovation consultant, explained to AOL Real Estate about several crucial tips for sprucing up a home. For starters, the priority should be keeping water out of the house. Before any design changes can be made, the structure itself has to be sound. A serious threat is mold, and this can be expensive to remove and even threaten the residents' health.

What's more, homeowners should be careful when placing personal touches on a home, and always consider things from the eyes of prospective buyers. Irving noted that it is OK to get creative with certain projects, like paint color, fabrics and artwork. These changes can be easily replaced, unlike ornate hot tubs and fancy tile work. While this may not seem like an enjoyable prospect at the moment, homeowners will be much happier when it comes time to clean the place up for the next buyer.

Overall, simple changes have the most resale value, according to Irving. Items like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances may not be worth the money. Instead, they can highlight how old some other features are if a total remodel isn't in the works. Think practical, with a sound roof and quality insulation.

A property inspection can be a great way to find issues throughout a house, and make sure everything is in great condition before and after any home improvement project.