Five home renovation mistakes new homeowners make and how to fix it

Owning a new home is an exciting milestone. It is the start of independence and a new chapter. That is why new homeowners love the idea of home renovation, creating the space they love to live in forever. 

But this process is not always a straight-forward one! Before jumping into the process, we have five common mistakes new homeowners make in renovating their space. And since a warning comes with a solution, we also have answers on how you can avoid making these mistakes. 

Starting Renovations Too Soon

It’s exciting when you catch the inspiration to turn your home into your dream home. But beware! Poor planning will cost you a lot of time & money, especially if the changes you want to make will involve a lot of tearing out. 

The fix: Take it slow. Renovation consultant Bruce Irving suggests learning about your house first. Do necessary inspections on its existing conditions and see what your space needs. In this situation, an architect or designer comes in handy for proper space planning. They can create scaled drawings and design your space to achieve not just beauty, but function.

Underestimating your Budget

Be careful when you’re planning out your budget! Not only is lowballing your budget a common mistake, but so is budgeting time! 

Here’s a common situation: your contractor is working on your new floors. When they start removing your floor boards, they find termites! Yikes! Now your contractor is saying that it’ll take them a whole extra week to remove the floor and replace what’s underneath. Sure, even if you’re okay waiting an extra week for them to do this work, your contractor’s probably got other work lined up too, and they’ll have to fit this week in for you sometime later in their schedule! Not only that, but the materials needed to fix this aren’t going to be included in your original estimate either!

The fix: You can avoid this by adding an emergency cost to your budget during the planning stage. Drew Scott of Property Brothers advises homeowners to put aside 15 percent of the total budget cost if you need to spend more. 

Your designer or builder will also be able to give you advice on your budget. Just make sure to prioritize your must-have items for your remodel first!

Going Full DIY without any Experience

DIY projects can be fun and offer a great chance to learn some new skills and hobbies! They can sometimes save you money too! However, it’s also important to know when to call in the pros.

DIY inspirations come from everywhere now. From sources like Pinterest, HGTV, and more, it’s easy to get the confidence to try out your own hand at renovating. However, while it does serve as a great inspiration and starting point, it does not provide all the information or equipment you need sometimes to get the job done.

The fix: Do your research. Consider how many times you may find yourself thinking: “Well, to do this, I’ll need a $200 tool. And the accessory kit. But maybe I’ll have another project like this later down the line, and by then, I’ll be ready!” At that point, we’d recommend consulting or hiring an architect and designer. These professionals can piece your plans together and spot issues you may have overlooked. This cost will not only save you headaches, but garage space too!

Mismeasuring your Space (especially for cabinets)

Walls can be very misleading when it comes to space. You’ll take a tape measure to a wall-to-wall space, and you find that your measurement is 120 inches wide. From here, you get your cabinets designed and ordered. Fast forward a bit, and your cabinets are at your home, being carried into position by your contractor. You walk into the living room to see how the remodel there is going, but then you hear a loud scraping sound, followed by a few bangs coming from the kitchen! You rush back in and see your contractor trying to squeeze and hammer this tight-fitting cabinet in between your walls with his hand. He says it’s too tight, and it won’t go in! He looks at you with confusion in his eyes, “But you measured it, didn’t you?”

The fix: Most places will be willing to take back a cabinet or two in this case if it hasn’t been drilled into or scratched and beat up. To prevent this kind of a situation, you’ll first need to understand that walls are never perfect. Even a few degrees off, it might cause your measurement at the front of your cabinets to be different from the back of your cabinets. To minimize this, try to always plan leeway space from your cabinets to the walls. You won’t have a fun time trying to squeeze cabinets in between walls, so make sure to allow for a narrow “filler” cabinet piece to help give some leeway.

Also you’ll want to be aware that there aren’t really standard appliance sizes. There are certainly common stove, dishwasher, and even refrigerator dimensions. However, getting the sizes of your own appliances will help you determine how much space you have left for storage.

Limiting your Material Choices

Building materials are still constantly evolving. Countertops, for example, used to be ceramic tiles and laminate. Now, we’ve gotten to the point where natural stone tops are much more affordable than they used to be, increasing their popularity. But even then, while granite and marble are still popular choices, quartz and porcelain tops have gained more attention these past few years as a durable, yet affordable option, with a modern design twist.

Flooring is another category that has had its share of recent innovations. Solid wood, once a hallmark option for popularity, now shares its spot with engineered flooring, which shares the natural look and variation of solid wood, but improves on its stability and product longevity. Luxury vinyl planks or SPCs have improved upon the vinyl and laminate market with their attractive looks while being durable and even waterproof.

The fix: Do your research on different materials. Different materials have different qualities and budgets to be prepared for. Many design professionals and installers will also be able to give advice on what best works with these new products, whether it’s for longevity or aesthetics! 

Final thoughts 

Doing home renovation is a tough job to take. Hence, asking help from the right expert will navigate you towards a beautiful and functional home. Remember the following: 

  • Planning is key;
  • Set aside an emergency budget; 
  • It’s okay to ask for help from professionals;
  • Measure with leeway in mind; and, 
  • Aim for the right and sturdy materials. 

Granite Expo has a wide selection of cabinets and countertops for new homeowners. Our staff can help pick the right items that suit your home and your space. View our cabinets and countertops today to see our selections that fit your home.

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