home renovation mistakes to avoid

The Top 15 Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Finally sitting down and planning a remodel job for your home is an exciting thing, but do you know the top mistakes to avoid to make the process easy? Many people jump into house remodeling head first and don’t even think of the things that could possibly go wrong.

Whether this is your first remodel or you’re a seasoned pro, take a minute to go over these home renovation mistakes before you start your next project. Knowing what to look out for will help you plan accordingly and have the smoothest home renovation ever.

Here are the top 15 home renovation mistakes to avoid.

1 – Not Measuring Spaces Properly

diy remedol measurements

Not measuring properly is one of the most common, and costly mistakes you can make when remodeling your home. An example of mismeasuring cabinets is when you buy the perfect set in a store, have them installed, and then realize you don’t have enough space for your stove or fridge. How frustrating!

To avoid this issue that can end up costing you more money and time down the line, make sure to measure not once but twice. It’s best to remeasure a spot a few times to ensure you have the correct measurements down for your remodel.

If you don’t have the appliance in your possession quite yet, go online and look up their dimensions. This will help you visualize and accurately measure your spaces. 

2 – Cheapest Isn’t Always Best

To save some extra money you may go with the contractor that quotes you for less or has the lowest bid on the project. If you’re not DIYing, you should ideally go to at least 3 contractors and have written estimates from each to compare and contrast. 

Keep in mind that some contractors will give cheaper quotes to get the job done fast. Some cheaper options will even tack some other expenses onto your final bill or cut corners and install low-quality items and products in your home. 

Your estimate should always include the figures for waste removal, insurance, permit costs, a general contractor fee, a roundabout explanation on how design changes are handled, and a warranty. If these fees aren’t included in your estimate you may be paying more than you thought. 

3 – Lowballing Your Budget

When you’re remodeling a home, surprises are bound to pop up and even get some traction during the renovation process. You or your contractor may be working on the kitchen and end up damaging a wall. From there they may see that there’s mold or electrical issues that need to be addressed right away.

After this happens, you’re dealing with a few more expenses than you thought – and they can add up quickly. To provide a safe cushion that will give you peace of mind during your remodeling, you should set aside at least 15 percent of your budget. If you have an older home, I recommend a bit more to set aside for any surprises. 

4 – Don’t Be Afraid to Change Layouts

One of the top mistakes that happen during a home renovation is the fear of changing a layout. If you find a space to be awkward or hard to move around in, be open to the idea of moving a few things around.

Once you start doing your research you may find out that it’s not as difficult as you thought to move things. Then, you can have a whole new room. Just remember not to bite off more than you can chew. 

5 – Don’t Always Go for Granite

Granite is one of the most popular counter options for a kitchen or bathroom. This material does look nice, but it can be a bit costly depending on your specifications and what you choose.

It’s always good to remember that granite isn’t the only material option when it comes to new counters. Choosing a different material can save you money and still make the space look beautiful.

If you’re set on granite but find out you don’t have the money or budget to include it, look at laminate. Even though it’s not as durable as hard-top counters, it will save you money for other issues that may arise and can still look beautiful. 

6 – Don’t Jump to Hardwood Floors Just Yet


Hardwood floors are nice. They’re easy to clean, look great in any home, and can add that certain touch you’ve been looking for. The only thing about hardwood floors is that they aren’t for everyone, and some jump onto the bandwagon and regret it.

If you have pets their nails can dig into the wood and chip the finishing. This means they won’t look as pristine as when you first installed them and can become an eyesore very quickly. Unfortunately, many pet owners wish they new this ahead of time and now regret their original decision.

Also, if you have young children, they will begin to wear out the floor over time as they toddle and run around. This means you’ll have to invest more time, effort, and money into keeping your hardwood looking nice.

If you’re unsure about choosing hardwood or had your heart set on it just to discover that it’s not the best option for your particular renovation, try looking at single-board laminate. It will have the high-end look that you get from real hardwood but might be a bit more durable for your young kids and pets. 

7 – Think Twice About Your Kitchen

If you’re someone who’s renovating their home and the kitchen is included in your plans, think twice before decorating it in the latest kitchen trends. Anything too bold may go out of style fast and will likely bring down your home’s resale value

Things that you may regret getting for your kitchen renovation are things like a wine cooler or a double oven. These things will take up precious countertop and cabinet space and may not to be as useful for everyone when you’re trying to sell your home. 

8 – Don’t Skimp on Materials

When going into your home’s renovation you shouldn’t have the mindset of, “If I can’t see it, we don’t need it.” Cutting corners on things you can’t see will end up costing you more in the long run when you need to do repairs.

One thing people seem to cut corners on is a membrane system for tiled floors. This system helps to keep tiles from popping or coming loose.

Another thing people seem to cut corners on is energy efficient windows. If you’re living in an older house that seems to be hemorrhaging money, investing in energy-saving windows and getting rid of older ones will save you money on bills and practically pay for themselves in the long run. 

9 – Put a Floor Drain Where Needed

If you have appliances in your home that disperse water such as a fridge or washing machine, you should put a floor drain somewhere close. This is a code requirement for most places and required. However, people still cut corners and omit it just to regret it later.

Putting in a drain will be a huge benefit if a hose breaks in the future. It will help to ensure that your house doesn’t flood, protect against water damage, and avoid potential repair costs that could be caused by the excess water. Don’t make this renovation mistake, just install the drain. Believe me, it’s well worth it.

10 – Always Order Extra Flooring

One of the top renovation mistakes I see is not having enough flooring. Flooring is a fragile material (especially if you choose tile) and can break in transport or installation. To save yourself from having to wait on more flooring to be ordered and making the job longer, just buy extra.

I recommend buying at least 10 percent more flooring than you think you’ll need. This will help make sure you don’t run out of any during your renovation. Then, you’ll have extra for any repairs needed in the future. 

11 – Starting Renovations Too Soon

Another popular mistake is choosing to do renovations too soon. When moving into a new house it may seem like the right thing to jump into to finally have your dream home, but you should take a breather and take it slowly.

Live in your house for a few months and get a flow going. See how you like your routine and where you think the house could better fit your flow. After figuring these things out you may realize what you wanted to renovate wasn’t needed and identify things that actually could be updated and improved. 

12 – Ask Questions

Another big mistake is when people don’t ask questions. If your dishing out the money to renovate your home, asking questions isn’t something you should feel bad about doing. After all, it’s your home and your money!

If you’re curious why something needs to be used or placed, ask. If you don’t like the way something looks, speak up. Most importantly, if you don’t understand something, ask about it. No question is a dumb question and will lead you to have a home renovation you can feel really good about.

13 – Set up a Timeline

If you hire a contractor, you should both work together to create a timeline that’s feasible. This timeline will help you as a homeowner plan accordingly and also give the contractor an end date for everything to be completed by You don’t want to be in a situation where it’s taking months to complete a three-week project because a timeline wasn’t discussed. Don’t find out the hard way just how frustrating this can be.

14 – Get Everyone on the Same Page

home renovation mistakes

If everyone isn’t on the same page for your home renovation, things are bound to go wrong and you will not be pleased. One of the most common miscommunications that happens when you don’t DIY the job is usually between you and your contractor.

If you buy appliances or fixtures for your home, make sure to bring the specifications and measurements to your contractor. This way, he or she can make all the space needed for these things and make sure they can be installed correctly.

Also, be sure that if you’re remodeling the house with someone else that you agree on your addition and changes before finalizing it with the contractor. Having this level of communication with those involved will help ensure things run smoothly and that you aren’t changing the plan all the time. 

15 – Don’t Work on Too Many Rooms at Once

If you’re on a budget, which almost all home renovators like me are, you shouldn’t do the entire house at one time. Instead, break your renovations up based on rooms, and tackle then one at a time.

I recommend beginning with living places first. Where you spend most of your time is where your energy and focus should be. This means the money and time you invest in these areas will almost always feel worth it and far less frustrating than trying to do the entire house in one go.

Also, breaking your project down by rooms will help you see the progress and is far less overwhelming in the long run. Trust me, it’s better to focus a lot of energy on one area of your home then to go for a complete overhaul in a short period of time.

Wrapping Up: The Top 15 Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid for Your Next Remodel Job

Remember, a remodel job shouldn’t be frustrating and should (hopefully) run smoothly. To help ensure that everything goes the way you want it to, keep all 15 of these home renovation mistakes in mind. If you do, you’ll be on your way to the home of your dreams without any of the headache.

Now that you know what issues to avoid, it’s time to get started! Wishing you and your whole family a ton of success and happiness in your newly remodeled home!

If you’re serious about remodeling your home, check out my post: Must-Have Tools of the Trade for Home Improvement DIYers.

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