5 home renovation mistakes and how to avoid them

Picture of two people looking at house plans and discussing interior design

Starting a new project is an exciting time, but in order for things to go as smoothly as possible, it’s really important that you’re aware of the most common home renovation mistakes, and how you can avoid making them yourself.

Below, we’ve put together a list of 5 mistakes you should try and avoid making during your next home renovation project. We recommend you do as much research as possible, so you can be sure of what you want and how you can get it at the best possible price.

Then, when you’re ready to get started, speak to a skilled tradesperson in your local area to request a quote.


Not doing enough research

As obvious as it might sound, not planning sufficiently before beginning a project is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners regularly make.

It’s vital that you plan for your project thoroughly. Define what you want to achieve (is it to increase functionality, improve energy efficiency, or even to create more space?) so that you can use your precise goals to guide you through the project.

Have a think about the long term effects of your renovation, factoring in future needs as well as current ones. Consider everything from ventilation to storage solutions and having enough natural light. This will help you gain more inspiration and ideas for the project and will allow you to prioritise what you need the most.

By planning properly, this will also help you avoid another key mistake homeowners make, which is misunderstanding or miscalculating how long your home renovation project will take to complete. Proper research will ensure you establish an accurate timeline.

Picture of a person researching on laptop with paper and pen nearby

Underestimating your budget for the renovation work

Another reason planning is crucial is that it helps you understand how much things might end up costing you, as well as additional factors that might increase the overall spend.

A big mistake homeowners make is to not account for hidden issues like plumbing or structural problems that can cause your budget to increase during renovations. It’s therefore vital that you create a contingency plan to account for potential, unexpected issues that might come up.

To get a sense of how much your next renovation might cost you, check out our handy home improvement cost guides that are designed to help you research and plan for your next project.

And when you’re ready to go, our tradespeople are here to help. Simply request a quote to get started.


Not checking if you need planning permission or other permits

Not everyone knows that certain projects require you to apply and obtain permits or planning permission before you can get started. Big projects like extensions, loft and garage conversions, conservatories, swimming pools, and outbuildings all commonly need planning permission, but there are a whole range of other projects that do too.

Failing to get the correct permissions can lead to fines and delays, so make sure you apply well in advance of the start date of your project (some permissions take upwards of 8-12 weeks!) or you’ll be at risk of having to undo any works you started without the permits.

To find out more about whether or not your project will need a permit, check out our planning permission guide.

Picture of some home renovation plans

Picking the wrong tradesperson

Picking the wrong tradesperson can lead to a range of problems, including disputes, delays and even a poorly completed job.

To avoid choosing the wrong person, make sure you do your research, verify (where necessary) that the tradesperson has the right credentials, and most importantly, check their references. On Rated People, you can read all of a tradesperson’s reviews on their page before you hire them, so that you can have peace of mind that other homeowners approved of their services.

Alongside this, a mistake homeowners often make is to opt to go down the DIY route for projects that should really be handled by an expert. This can lead to costly repairs and works further down the line, so we only recommend choosing to tackle a project yourself if you’re a confident DIYer. For everything else, leave it to our skilled tradespeople.

We recommend you request a few quotes to get a good sense of how much your project might cost you. Find a rated tradesperson today to get started on your next project.


Choosing the wrong materials

From ceramic kitchen tiles to stainless steel bathroom fixtures, when it comes to picking materials, the options are nearly endless!

Though you can certainly renovate on a budget and without spending huge amounts on fancy materials, choosing poor quality fixtures is often a mistake that homeowners make, and that costs them in the long run when things break and need replacing.

To find a durable but affordable option, research materials and learn about the pros and cons of your top choices, so you can make an informed decision about which to pick. Keep an eye out for online sales that might bring down purchasing costs.

On the other hand, also avoid prioritising what looks good but isn’t very functional. The materials you pick should be ready to deal with your home’s lifestyle and interior design.

Lastly, though choosing the trendiest materials can make your home seem modern, we recommend you don’t focus too heavily on trends either, but instead choose what you actually like and will continue to like in the long run.

Picture of a living room with blue wallpaper

The best way to avoid making any of the above home renovation mistakes is to research thoroughly before you start your project. If you’re reading this blog, then you’re already on track! Check out our cost guides and planning permission guide for more information on prices and permits, so you can avoid getting disappointed by unexpected costs and delays to your renovation.


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