8 home renovation mistakes to avoid

Photo by Erol Ahmed

Renovating and refurbishing your home can be an exciting project to undertake and also helps save money on calling in professional DIY and decorating firms. Having recently been through the process of renovating both bathrooms in our home, I felt it's time to share! There are a number of common home renovation pitfalls that can strike any unwary homeowners, though, so it's important to ensure you plan your DIY projects with care.

This post is a paid collaboration with the Home Building & Renovating Show. As always, all views are my own.

Renovation mistakes are easy to make, and refurbishing homes is not as easy as it appears in home DIY TV shows. If you do make mistakes in the renovation of your home, you may need to call in professionals to rectify the problem. If you have been following our bathroom renovation project recently here on the blog and on social media you will have seen me share a number of tips to help with your future work - basically you can learn from my mistakes (such as my ordering insufficient tiles, twice, and paying extra to have more delivered to our home - on a palette and express, costing half the national deficit!

Taking the renovation of your home slowly and not rushing headlong into major projects is important for any novice. Once you've redecorated and remodelled a few of the rooms in your home you'll have more expertise and knowledge about the best ways to approach jobs and just how long they will take. I love sharing professional advice on this blog, which today comes courtesy of Shire Doors (disclosure: this content is not paid for; the team at Shire asked nicely and having read a draft of their advice I thought you would really benefit from reading it!).

Photo, above and below: Shire Doors

Some home renovation pitfalls to avoid

1. Budgeting

Unrealistic budgeting is one of the prime areas in which novices fail when it comes to renovating home interiors. Abandoning partially completed renovations can be stressful and depressing, so don't fall into this trap. When you're planning your budget for your refurbishments, add at least 20% more cash to potential costings, as you're highly likely to underestimate the costs of all required tools, accessories and products.

2. Construction and style

Take a good look at your existing home construction and its architectural style, prior to making any major changes. Your renovations should be aimed at complementing the existing construction and design of your home, rather than working in opposition.

Of course, if you own a traditional terraced home or semi-detached house, fitting contemporary doors or windows can really make a difference and open up spaces and views. But, before you make major plans of this nature try to check out comparable properties with similar makeovers to get a more rounded viewpoint of whether this type of alteration will actually suit the fabric of your home. This way, any projects will add to resale values of homes, and also provide you with the satisfaction of a job well done.

modern kitchen decor

Photo above and below: Sarah Ross Design, via Houzz

a dining table with Blue Eames chairs against a blue wall with a pendant light

3. Daily living

Think about the ways you will use your home after your renovations are complete. Likely traffic patterns in the home could well determine where you place any replacement doors or windows, so make best use of available space and form your plans accordingly. Opening up cramped, tiny living spaces can be easy when you fit bifold or patio doors in your home, and will also allow sunlight to stream into the property.

Measuring up correctly for jobs of this nature is extremely important, too. Always give careful consideration to the best places for doors of this nature, as they will require structural alterations. This way you ensure available living space and light is maximised to the full.

4. Don't follow trends

Following the latest fashions in decor and design can be a mistake. Of course, it's great to be on trend at the time you actually make the alterations to your home, but some design fads don't stand the test of time. You have to live in your home and resale values of the property could be affected if the decor is outdated and unfashionable at the time of sale.

Some interior design trends are short-term, so consider the benefits of classic interior designs and makeovers prior to making any hasty decisions.

Victorian Terrace in Islington, Sarah Ross Design, via Houzz

Victorian Terrace in Islington, Sarah Ross Design, via Houzz, as above

Victorian Terrace in Islington, Sarah Ross Design, via Houzz, as above

Victorian Terrace in Islington, Sarah Ross Design, via Houzz, as above

5. Appliances

If you plan a complete kitchen makeover, it's a good idea to shop around for appliances before you fit your new kitchen so you know they will complement your design. However, leave these major purchases until after your new kitchen is fitted. This can help with budgets and also ensures that your new appliances fit into available space once all countertops and cupboards are in place.

6. Buying materials

By all means, plan out all your DIY projects well in advance, but don't rush to buy flooring, materials or appliances until you finalise the project planning. This way you'll know the material requirements for your DIY project and won't be at risk of buying incorrect quantities or sizes.

Of course, if you run short of materials part way through your project, you could also be at risk of being unable to source the required products. So, plan material use in advance and factor in an additional 20% or so, to cover for any breakages or mistakes during the renovations.

7. Structural issues

It's wonderful to own an updated property that's beautifully finished and decorated. But, you should also make sure all the underlying infrastructure, like your electrical wiring and home foundations or sub-flooring are adequate. There's nothing worse than needing to break through new decor in order to fix problems that arise at a later date.

So, take time to check over the structure of your home prior to making any major changes as fixing emergencies later could be extremely disheartening.

8. Budget purchasing

Buying the cheapest possible materials for your refurbishment is not always the best solution. Of course, this approach may save some money on initial outlay, however, high-quality products will be more durable and hold their appearance longer.

Do your research into decorating products and accessories before you start work, so that economies can be made throughout the proposed works. Creating a coordinated, appealing look in any home is a major project for any homeowner.

Don't neglect to consider the amount of time you will need to spend actually carrying out these works. If you work on a full-time basis, you'll be renovating your home in your spare time, at weekends and in the evenings probably. Make sure you build in some leisure time to your schedule, as constant work can affect your mental health.

Photo: Dulux

Photo: Dulux

Photo: Dulux

So if you like what you have read, PIN this post for later, because your next project might be just around the corner! Now share your view: what important lessons have you learnt from your own DIY or home renovation projects? What advice would you give other and what would you do all over again?