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Main Mistakes You Should Avoid During Renovation Projects

Last modified: 2021-11-03 | Approximate reading time 7 mins

Amanda Harvey

Is your home ready for a much-needed renovation? Do you feel like you're prepared to take on the job? Many homeowners feel as though everything has already been considered and arranged, but there are often aspects of home renovations that are overlooked and can lead to serious problems down the line.

If you don't want to be that homeowner who ends up frustrated, tears in your eyes and too much on your plate, don't fret! is here to help you sort things out.

Here are the main mistakes to avoid during your next renovation project!

entrepreneurs de rénovation_renovation contractors

1) Poor Preparation of Your Renovation Project

Not being properly prepared is one of the main ways that mishaps and setbacks can occur during home renovations. Undertaking any form of renovation is time consuming, costly and can disorganize your life.

Make sure that every aspect of your home renovation is properly planned including budgeting, purchasing materials, as well as completing all required prep work. Do your homework! Do extensive research regarding materials and costs. Plan for your dream renovation but remember to be realistic. 

It is important that your budget includes an "overage," and that you anticipate spending more than the money allotted to all jobs and materials.

Costs often arise during home renovations due to issues or problems that may exist behind the scenes, so it is of the utmost importance that you anticipate every scenario. That way, you won't be left holding your head in your hands.

Moving away temporarily

2) Daily life logistics

It might seem like you can save some money and keep some semblance of normal life by continuing to live in your home, but often, homeowners do not anticipate how messy, dysfunctional and intrusive home renovations can be. If you are undergoing a renovation in the majority of the key rooms of your home, it is recommended that you move out of your house temporarily.

Consider staying with friends or family if it's not too inconvenient, or even splurging on a hotel or motel for a couple of nights. Moving out is obviously dependant on your available budget as well as the extensiveness of the renovation, nonetheless, we suggest considering this option for both yourself and your family's wellbeing. 

3) Ignoring Issues as they happen

Once the walls are torn from their place and the floors are excavated, you're likely to come across some unexpected issues that you probably didn't know about: mould, mildew, torn wiring, broken beams. Not only is preparation and an "overage" key for this reason, but it is just as important not to ignore any issues that you find hidden.

Don't simply cover them up and move on, make sure to attend to all the things you discover, even if you hadn't factored these problems into the budget. Leaving any unresolved issues could not only offer problems in the long run, but knowing they exist and not tending to them may weigh heavily on your mind, and cause another home renovation project just months down the line.

Paint cracking

4) Cutting Corners

Although initially, it might seem less expensive to scrimp on materials, contractors, maintenance and planning, in the long run, cutting corners can translate into serious issues and could lead to another renovation in the not-so-distant future. Avoid buying cheap or incorrect/mismatched materials based on the idea of economizing. Think about your home as a serious investment; you should want to invest in only the best! 

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Another form of cutting corners goes beyond the cost of it all and comes down to being careful in all aspects of the renovation. Make sure that all jobs and materials are accurately measured and looked after, especially if you haven't hired a professional. If you happen to have hired a contractor, make certain that whoever you are working with sticks tightly to your plan.

With that in mind, if offered, remember to listen to the advice of a trusted tradesperson, as most know home renovations like the back of their hand. Just think: they could help contribute to the smooth sailing of your renovation.

Laundry room

5) Prioritizing esthetical renovations instead of practical renovations

Certain spaces in the home tend to shine over others: the kitchen, living room and master bedroom to name a few. But when we're renovating, we shouldn't overlook the spaces that are supporting those on top. Think landscaping, bathrooms, mud and laundry rooms; even consider the garage! Overlooking part of your home or treating it as an afterthought, will make home renovations unbalanced.

The landscaping is the prelude to the interior of the home, setting the mood and creating an atmosphere. If it's overlooked, the rest of the house might not relate to this overshadowed space. Also, speaking of spaces overlooked, the bathroom might be small, but under the structure it has a lot going on, greatly affecting the resale value of any home.

Solar panel on house

6) Forgetting to take into account the environment

Our society has become environmentally conscious, and this is beginning to be reflected in the spaces we occupy. Turning your home into an environmentally sound space could be costly at first, as green energy systems have yet to become universal. However, going green will put you well ahead of the market and contribute to the resale value of your home significantly.

There are several ways to slowly implement green-living into your home renovations: choose a paint that is green-friendly, install energy-efficient plumbing and water-efficient faucets, use reclaimed and recycled wood for your new kitchen flooring. It could also be as simple as energy-saving bulbs in light fixtures or as large as installing solar panelling. Contributing in any way to green living is positive, and will contribute to your sense of well being!

Contractor renovating wall

7) Choosing a contractor that doesn't suit your needs

Depending on the part of the home you renovate and how specialized your project is, it's important to hire the right contractor for the job. If you are renovating your bathroom, don't hire someone who has a track record in roofing, and vice versa.

Be smart, do your homework and look into those who are best for the job. Factoring a contractor in your budget can save you countless dollars down the line, and you could potentially meet the person you'll trust to take care of all home renos for the rest of your life!

Calculator for renovation projects

8) Not knowing how much you should spend on your project

Depending on the type of project, it is crucial to properly estimate the amount of money you should put on your renovation. If you don’t invest enough money, the quality of the work will be sacrificed and it’s likely that if you ever sell your house, potentials buyers will see the lack of care in the finishing touches or the poor quality of the materials.

However, it’s highly recommended not to do the opposite, which is to invest too much money on your project. Indeed, for a kitchen, for example, you shouldn’t invest more than 15% of the value of your home. If it’s more than that, the cost of the renovation will no longer contribute to increasing the value of your home.

As a consequence, you will not be able to get back a part of your investment if your home is ever sold. Note that for the bathroom, the proportion that should not be exceeded is 5% of the value of your home. 

renovation project calendar

9) Trying to work too fast

Every homeowner that has ever had to live in a home under renovation knows how much it could be difficult to live in dust and chaos. Such a lack of comfort can lead us wanting to complete as fast as possible the renovations.

However, it is better to be patient and to put things into perspective regarding this mess around you. Keep in mind that if you cut the corners, you will eventually regret it, because all of those little imperfections will be there forever …

Trendy kitchen

10) Following what’s trending: is it always a good idea?

While sitting in a waiting room, you’re consulting one of those publications about what’s trending in the realm of decoration: minimalist, modern or rustic decor? If it’s logical to want a type of atmosphere to emanate from your decor, keep in mind that every trend is not made to last. For that reason, it’s better to choose decor that you like and that will not become obsolete in a few years.

Meeting with a contractor

11) Asking for only one quote

To simplify your life and to save yourself some time, it could be tempting to get only one quote. However, you would have to be lucky to get the best price possible with this only one quote. To make the most out of your money and to pay the right price for the work that will be done, ask for three quotes. That way you will be sure to get the best price and the best contractor on the same occasion!

Get 3 renovation quotes for your renovation project can help you get quotes for your renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from companies that are specialized in home renovations.

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