We talk a good bit about how to improve your home and the importance of keeping things updated and nice. Today we’re talking about the mistakes homeowners sometimes make when carrying out home renovations and improvements. Here are just a few home renovation mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Having a Budget That’s Too Small

Of course you want to complete your project as quickly and inexpensively as possible, but having too tight of a budget from the very beginning is a big mistake. If you can find materials or labor at a cheaper price, that’s great, but don’t go into the project expecting to do so. Be realistic about the potential cost of your project, and have a 20% contingency fund set aside for unforeseen circumstances.

Underestimating Your Timeline

Don’t plan for a short timeline just to motivate yourself to get things done faster. The last thing you want is to stress yourself out and force yourself (or a construction crew) to work overtime just to stick to a certain deadline. Also, don’t plan a project around a major life event, holiday, or any big family or friend visits. You never know what might happen along the way to extend the project’s timeline.

Seeking Out Cheap Materials or Labor

If you pay for cheap materials or labor, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Instead, spring for quality materials that you know will last, and hire only the most qualified labor. Spending more now will help guard against having to spend later on extra repairs.

Skipping Prep Work

Never ever skip any prep work steps in your home improvement project, big or small. Whether you’re painting one room or five, replacing flooring, or adding square footage, there is always prep work to be done beforehand. Time spent preparing things properly equals time and money saved later on a job well done.

Measuring Once

You know the old adage that says, Measure twice and cut once? Take it to heart. Inaccurate measurements can mean wasted materials and time, which equal unnecessary added expense. If you plan on doing the job yourself but don’t trust yourself to measure properly, you can always pay a pro to do it for you. That way you know everything is double-checked and accurate.

Relying on Trends

Trends go in and out of style pretty quickly. Be careful with the materials and styles you use in your renovation projects. Just because a certain type or color of tile is wildly popular now, it doesn’t mean it’ll still be popular when it’s time to sell your home. Think about mid-century homes with rosy pink or baby blue bathrooms. They may have been in fashion in the 1950s and ’60s, but their day in the sun faded. Instead of going with what’s new and trendy now, choose timeless, classic materials and finishes.

Not Buying Energy-Efficient Materials and Appliances

Being eco-friendly isn’t just a lifestyle. Choosing green materials and energy-efficient appliances is good for the environment, but it’s also good for your family and your wallet. While they might cost a little more up front, they will help save money on energy bills and longevity.


Take into consideration the state of other similar homes in your area. It’s fine—desirable, even—to be the nicest house in the neighborhood, but there is such a thing as taking it too far. Making too many improvements could keep you from seeing any return on your investment.


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