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Top 12 Mistakes Homeowners Need To Avoid For Renovation

Interior Design & Decor


Flipping through countless amounts of renovation magazines, binge watching through episode and episodes of Fixer Upper, you still find yourself helpless and clueless of what to do with your new home.


For many new homeowners nowadays, there are so many design trends, the do’s and don’ts in renovating to follow that it gets confusing and it leads you to nothing but a renovation disaster! Yikesss! We wouldn’t want a disaster right from the start, now don’t we?

To avoid that, I have these guidelines that could help you. Thank me later! Here are the 12 most common blunders that new homeowners make.

Renovating without a plan

A home renovation can take longer than you think. When it comes to planning a big project like home remodeling, you need to look into a lot of different aspects; should you get a contractor, a designer? All these need an in-depth research to weigh the variety of designs that will best suit your personal preference, budget, lifestyle and the functionality you need the most.



Image via Pexels


Have a detailed plan so that it will synchronize the renovating process with your allocated budget and time, to prevent any delay or any inevitable additional cost. Before starting work, discuss and come up with a written agreement with your contractor, so you understand the exact direction of the project.


Speaking of, take your time to ask around, meet different contractors and designers to compare their offers thoroughly before you make up your mind. Let me remind you that, you’ll be spending at least 5 or 6 digits to realize your dream home design, and you won’t want to be stuck with a design you’re not happy with for another 5 to 10 years.


Not knowing why you're renovating

Why are you renovating? For a resale, for lifestyle or you’re just doing it because you saw this amazing home makeover shared on Facebook and based on your impulsive reaction, you thought you want one too! Knowing why you’re renovating helps in achieving your ultimate renovation goals.



Image via Pexels


If you’re renovating for a resale, you might want to take notes on projects that can up your home value. Do a thorough research of what can make your home more appealing to the buyers. Don’t worry; I saved you the trouble of going through the internet for the renovation projects for a resale. Here are the top 5 projects you should consider:


  • Siding replacement (103.6% return on investment)

  • Minor bathroom remodel (102.2% return on investment)

  • Minor kitchen renovation (98.5% return on investment)

  • Two-story addition (94.6% return on investment)

  • Attic bedroom addition (93.5% return on investment)

As for lifestyle, explore your personal reference and incorporate it into the type of design you fancy. There are a tremendous amount of designs out there, make sure you do your research thoroughly. I personally love two design ideas which are everything wooden; it is called Rustic and also the Minimalist theme! So, I thought of merging these two themes to get my personal idea of a great theme. Just take a look at the graphic example of this amazing idea.



The minimalist meets rustic design. Images via Pexels and Pixabay

Skipping house inspections

Just like not skipping meals, you should not skip house inspection. For those who are not sure of what a house inspection is, it’s where professional home inspectors basically run a property check and evaluate the following


  •     Mechanical system. From electrical service to the plumbing system, you may want to upgrade it for the new work.

  •    Structure. Changing the interior walls might compromise structural support. An inspector can help you find out if a wall is load bearing, and how you may work around it.

  •     Roof. Thinking of getting a dormer or a skylight? It requires roof work and you will need to know whether it is safe to use the existing material or replace it. The inspector can illuminate your options.

Skipping house inspections before a makeover on your house is like skipping a primer or foundation before putting makeup on. Without primer, your makeup will be melting in the next few hours, little do you know, your face is already patchy and your pores are out to play.


In renovating your house, without a thorough house inspection, your money, time and effort you’ve put up into this whole project will go straight down the drain. An inspection helps you discover many flaws, even the ones you didn’t even think about before. So, get on it and look for the right expert for your home.


Ultimate showdown - Wants vs Needs

Establishing a clear list of needs and wants is one of the most popular questions on the list, you should ask yourself before a renovation. Why? Do I really need it? Sometimes, people focus so much on the aesthetics that they put aside functionality over form. Both should be your focus, making your home look good and functional is the goals.

Settling for trendy and hip items can sometimes mean forsaking on quality. Things that are in trend tend to be short-term, so be careful with the materials and parts that you pick as you would want something that is going to be able to stand the test of time.

Also, what they don’t put much thought on is that current trends can expire. Think of clothing — these days, the women are pulling out high-waist shorts and cropped tops again. That was a look popular in the 80s but went away after. Clothing’s easy to replace but renovating, na-ah honey your home takes a lot more work, time and money.


Underestimating the cost - Going in with no budget


Image via Pixabay

Even your overseas trip needs a proper budget planning what more to say a home remodeling! According to the 2016 Houzz & Home Survey, “establishing a budget upfront is key to determining the scope of the project the homeowner can comfortably take on, and maintaining their other financial goal,” said Sitchinava.

Remodeling your house is not a thing you want to be ‘cheap’ on, but be careful not to blow your budget too, to get the best of all worlds. Set your budget before tearing down walls. Come up with a ballpark figure of all costs, even the tiniest little one like nails and screws.

Just to be safe, you will still need to add more.“Have 30% more money than the budget begins with and start off with a wish list and a ‘must-have’ list,” advised Baughman.

If your estimated budget seems too high, it might be best to break up your project into phases. “Have the entire project designed out in detail; then let your budget decide the most responsible way to do it in reasonable chunks.” – Wade.

For more on your budgeting, click on this link Budgeting for Renovation.


Not Taking Safety Measures Seriously

Even though safety is the most important thing in everything you do, ignoring the safety procedures is still one of the most common mistakes homeowners do before a renovation. Why? Because they don’t take safety measures seriously until somebody gets hurt.



Wear those safety boots. Image via Pixabay.


Although it is your own home, it doesn’t mean you can just forget your safety goggles or helmet. I know they’re unflattering but having a fully functioning eye after the renovation is more crucial, am I right?


Safety precautions are taught even from the age we could stand on our own two feet – don’t stand on the tops of the ladder and always turn off the main power breaker when fixing electrical problems. The shock to your system might just put your renovation on a long break. So, don’t go all Supermen– nothing can hurt me on my renovation project. Take all the safety procedures seriously and follow them!


Not hiring a professional for your renovation

Sure, you know what you want and you feel like you can D.I.Y everything after watching tonnes of YouTube video. Everyone can say it’s easy to do something after watching a video, but not many can actually execute the idea in real life. I hate to break it to you, but renovating projects are best left up to the experts. Understand your personal limits.



A professional help won't hurt. Image via Pixabay


Benefits of hiring a professional:


  •         Money and Time - You’ll be able to actually save a lot of money and time; skipping the trial and error part when you D.I.Y things.

  •        RESULTS. Actual results. -You’ll get a splendid result at the end of the day, not a torn down the wall because you went all “Wrecking Ball” on a wrongly designed, unwanted wall in the middle of your living room

  •         They’re experts! -They have the right knowledge. You don’t have to worry about a thing. Your casa is in good hands, they have been doing it for years anyway.

  •         They’re insured - You don’t have to worry about damages or any problem that may come your way; you’re in a favorable and safer position with a professional help.

Other than that, when it comes to an interior designer; choosing a designer just because they’re good doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for you. You got to take many aspects into account. Such as do you have the same visualizations? Priorities?


“If he or she doesn’t ask you a lot of questions about your needs, desires, and the way you live, find someone else,” says Irving. “Listening skills and curiosity are crucial.”

Interior designers are sounding boards; they conceptualize and will help you come up with ideas that will suit your personality and lifestyle. They will get to know you better in terms of your lifestyle to come up with an ID concept that best suits you. Some will even go all the way to help you with decoration and the finishing touches so that a central theme resonates throughout your house.

Choosing the wrong paint


The different color paint that brings different moods.Image via Pixabay


Many of us, including me (guilty) are not aware that there are various kinds of paints for every type of wall surface. I use to think that all paints are the same; the only thing that differentiates them is their color. (Buzzer sound) That’s where I was wrong. When choosing paint finishes, you may need a different finish in each room, depending on what the room will be used for or exposed to. Manufacturers make paint for every surface in your home and they are not all the same.

Types of paint:


  •         Flat/Matte paints perfect for ceilings and on walls in low traffic areas as they have a matte finish and hides any imperfections on the walls such as cracks or bumps.

  •         Matte Enamel paints – pretty much like matte paint, but is more durable! Much easier to clean and rarely needs retouching. Advantageous for those with young children.

  •        Semi-gloss/gloss paints Has a nice shine, more resistant to water and cleaning which is ideal for walls in bathrooms, kitchens and other high-traffic rooms.

Those are just a few examples that I can share, but choosing the right paint is crucial for your home. Using the wrong one may cost you more in the nearest future. So, choose wisely.

I am no expert on this but if you would like to know more about the paints, or need professional help, our experts on RENOTALK will be delighted to assist you.

Choosing the wrong lighting


Perfect lighting for a warm, cozy space. Image via Pexels

Often times, homeowners fail to see the importance of lighting and how it will affect the spaces created. Be it an extension or adjusting the existing interior spaces, any changes to a room shape and size will play a big part in altering the effect of natural and artificial lighting.

According to experts, there are 3 main types of lighting: general lighting, task lighting, and drama or accent lighting. You need a combination to have a really good end design. Also, don’t forget about natural lighting!

A lighting specialist can help you design a lighting plan to place and size your combinations of general, task, accent and smart lighting. This creates a well-lit, welcoming and usable environment.


Not going green

For buyers in today’s market, green housing materials are at the top of the list, so when planning your remodeling project, this is a money-making investment. In this era, there is no excuse for skipping out on an eco-friendly home remodeling. The green substitutes are not that much more expensive. Best of all, you can reap the benefits too in the form of lower utility costs, a healthier, cleaner environment, and lower insurance premiums.


You can never go wrong with going green. Image via Pexels



Using cheap materials

It’s very tempting to go for the cheapest option. But that’s not always the wisest decision. Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. If you don’t think you have enough now, waiting it out and save more money to do it the right way is the best option.


“Spend good money on things you touch every day,” offers Chiappone, “like door hardware, doors, faucets, appliances, kitchen cabinets. The tactile experience sends a daily reminder to you and your guests about the solidity and quality of your home.”



Furniture, too big or just too small?


As you're plotting your perfect space, there's another rule all designers insist you keep in mind: the concept of scale. While you’re at it, jot down your door widths, too. “Make sure your new purchases can fit through the front door,” says Chiappone. “You won’t believe how often this gets overlooked.”



Furnitures that compliment each other looks good together. Image via Pixabay


Undersized rugs are the most common mistake Chiappone sees. “Your carpet should ground your furniture so that at least the front legs of the upholstery are on the carpet,” she says. “Don’t fret if a standard size doesn’t work. Hit up your local carpet shop—they can make any broadloom into a different size and shape.”

"A lot of my clients will buy a large sectional and pair it with teeny-tiny accent pieces like coffee tables or side chairs," Parrott says. "Your furniture must be in the same scale. Otherwise, it will look wonky and out of proportion."

You certainly don’t want to buy all little furniture or all giant furniture, either. The keyword here is balance, if you want a cohesive looking room and not overwhelmed by your pieces, calculate the spacing between them.

If you want to survey furniture, head on down to Furniture.


Put on your big girl pants

Renovation can be such a nuisance but when it’s all done, it will all be worth it. Just make sure you avoid the common mistakes I have mentioned earlier. Make sure you know why you’re renovating, come up with a proper plan, discuss and thoroughly research for your budget, seek professional help.

Now, with all that being said, take note and do not make the same mistake. Trial and error, they say. Let their mistakes be your trial for you to make no error in your home remodeling! Put on your big girl pants, and get on board on your renovation project; be a part of the renovation project to closely monitor the progress. On top of that, you’ll be more experienced for your next home remodeling project.

For more information on where to get the best contractors, the best interior designers, heck even the paints or any other renovation materials, we got you covered; head on down to RENOTALK We have everything you’re looking for in the website, just a mouse click away.

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