What to Avoid When Renovating?

What to Avoid When Renovating?
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Published By Jennifer Jewell

Question: What to Avoid When Renovating?
Answer: When renovating, it’s important to avoid poor planning, overspending, neglecting necessary repairs, cutting corners on quality, and ignoring building codes to ensure a successful and cost-effective outcome.

What to avoid when renovating? Steering Clear of Renovation Pitfalls

Embarking on a renovation without a clear plan can be like setting sail without a compass. Homeowners should determine what they hope to achieve with their renovation, whether it’s increased functionality, aesthetic improvements, or boosting property value. In the bustling real estate market, some may renovate with the intent to sell, while others aim to improve their living conditions. By identifying specific goals early on, you can tailor your renovation to meet those objectives. Also, remember to secure any necessary permits. In places like Ontario, regulatory requirements can be stringent, and the last thing anyone wants is to halt a project midway due to permit issues. [ 1 ]

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Cutting Corners: The True Cost of Skimping

We all want to save money, but when it comes to renovations, selecting the cheapest materials or labor can backfire. Cheap materials might not be durable, leading to wear and tear that demands replacements sooner than you’d like. Similarly, hiring the least expensive contractor might result in shoddy workmanship. It’s essential to strike a balance. Seek out competitive quotes, read reviews, and ask for recommendations. Remember, quality doesn’t always mean the most expensive option, but avoids compromising the renovation’s longevity and finish by being overly frugal.

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Related Article: What is The Most Expensive Part of Renovation?

Overlooking the Details: The Devil’s in the Decisions

Each renovation comprises countless small decisions. From the type of screws used to the shade of paint selected, each choice can impact the final result. Some homeowners may neglect these minutiae, thinking they’re inconsequential. However, these details can make or break a renovation’s overall feel and functionality. Whether you’re renovating a century home in downtown Toronto or a modern suburban dwelling, respecting the property’s character while ensuring it meets contemporary living standards can be a delicate dance. It’s crucial to consider how each choice, no matter how small, fits into the bigger picture.

Being Trend-Driven: The Risk of Fading Fads

While it might be tempting to renovate based on the latest trends, it’s worth considering the longevity of these choices. What’s in vogue today might seem outdated in a few years. Instead of chasing trends, aim for timeless designs that will stand the test of time. This approach is especially vital if you plan to sell your home. Potential buyers might not share your love for ultra-modern designs or bold color choices. Neutral palettes and classic fixtures often appeal to a broader audience and can make a space feel welcoming to diverse tastes.

Not Preparing for the Unexpected: Hidden Surprises

Renovations can be full of surprises, especially in older homes. Once you start tearing down walls or pulling up floors, you might encounter unexpected issues like mold, outdated wiring, or structural problems. Not having a contingency budget for these unforeseen challenges can lead to stress and project delays. It’s always a good idea to set aside additional funds, typically 10-20% of the project’s total cost, to address any surprises that arise. This safety net can provide peace of mind and ensure your renovation progresses smoothly, even when faced with unexpected obstacles.

Losing Sight of the End Goal: The Importance of Perspective

Lastly, it’s easy to get caught up in the nitty-gritty of a renovation and lose sight of why you started the project in the first place. Regularly revisiting your end goals can keep you on track. Whether you’re renovating to improve your living space, increase property value, or prepare for a sale, keeping the bigger picture in mind can help guide your decisions and keep the project on course.

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While renovating can be an exciting journey, it’s not without its challenges. By being aware of common pitfalls and actively working to avoid them, homeowners can ensure their renovation is a success. A well-executed renovation not only enhances a home’s appeal and functionality but can also offer substantial returns in the ever-evolving real estate landscape.


1. https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-improvement/renovations/common-renovation-mistakes

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