Tackling a home renovation project can be stressful. In fact, renovations and moving into a new home come in at number 6 on the list of 10 most traumatic life events – after divorce and starting a new job. So it isn’t something to be taken lightly. And, if you’re managing the renovation yourself, you’ll be working with experts like designers, contractors, architects and subs. That’s a lot of pressure.
While no one could blame a new homeowner for wanting to settle into their new space as quickly as possible, there are several things to consider before a renovation project gets underway. If you’re redoing the kitchen for example, the most common home renovation, you’ll want to look out for certain pitfalls. Here are the top 7 most common renovation mistakes people make – and how to avoid them…
7 common renovation mistakes
1). Jumping the gun
One of the first mistakes people make is being too eager to get their remodelling project up and running. If you can, it’s a good idea to live in a home for a while before making firm renovation plans. Get a feel for the space and how you want the rooms to flow. After a few weeks of living there and settling into daily life, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to change. Once you start a remodel, there’s no going back. So it’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re making the right decisions.
2). Neglecting the team
Once a revamp is underway, there are going to be a lot of balls in the air. And, while the client is at the centre of the build, it’s definitely a team project. If people aren’t working together you could encounter issues with structure, design or budget. And these faults are hard to fix. The best way to avoid this mistake is to get the whole team together as often as possible and early on in the renovation. Let the architect, contractor, speciality bath designer and decorator all work together to anticipate possible problems and solve them early on. With the right team, anything is possible.
3). Not having a designer from the start
A home renovation is an investment, and investments usually come with a hefty price tag. If you’re going to be spending lots of your hard-earned money, it’s worthwhile getting the experts involved. A designer is there to make sure your needs and desires are taken into consideration and that the final product is well-designed and of good quality. Because you’ll be working closely together, make sure you choose a designer you click with. Do they have a similar aesthetic to you? Do they ask questions about your life and your likes? Butting heads with a designer who doesn’t understand your needs won’t be fun.
4). Not communicating properly
In almost any relationship – personal or professional – communication is always the hardest thing to master. You’d think that after all these years on earth, we’d be getting better at it. Fortunately, this common renovation mistake is easy to fix. You just have to make communication a priority and stick to it – it’s literally as simple as picking up the phone. Schedule time for a weekly catch-up with individual team members as well as the group as a whole. And, because communication is a two-way street, you need to be available if someone needs your input. Another aspect of this mistake is not communicating your desires properly. So be clear and make sure the team understands your requests before they start the work. Communication is key.
5). Skimping on budget
This is possibly the most common renovation mistake. Let’s face it, these kinds of projects tend to cost more and take longer than you think. Best to get comfortable with that idea so you’re not dealing with nasty surprises later on. If you’ve hired the right designer, they’ll be able to give you an accurate budget for what you want to achieve. If your funds don’t cover it, there’s nothing wrong with cutting back the job. You just can’t commit yourself to something you know you can’t afford. A bit of budgeting advice is to spend more on things you use every day, like cupboards and cabinets, rather than on something aesthetic like a decorative tile. And, if you want to be extra prepared, include a 10% cushion in your estimate. If you don’t need it, it’ll be a happy surprise.
6). Ignoring your gut
While you’ve worked hard to assemble a team of professionals that you trust, it’s also important to trust yourself. If there’s something that doesn’t sit right with you, say so. If you have concerns, voice them. You don’t want to keep quiet and then dislike the final product – and have to live with it for 20 years to come. This sentiment also applies when assembling your team. If your gut tells you this person isn’t the right fit, move on until you find someone you gel with. Instincts are there for a reason.
7). Not being open to ideas
Even with the best renovation plans and the most detailed designs, you might come up with a better idea down the line. Or, someone else will. These kinds of projects are agile and often change as they progress, and being too rigid in your decisions might be a big mistake. If you’ve surrounded yourself with competent professionals, be open to their ideas and suggestions. They might come up with something you absolutely love.
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If you’re about to start a renovation journey, we’d love to partner with you to help create the home of your dreams. We specialise in everything from kitchens and custom cabinets to full turnkey projects. Contact us to find out more about our bespoke interior design services.