6 Renovation Mistakes You Want to Avoid

4 minutes

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Home renovation can be hugely rewarding, as it improves your living space and adds value to your property. However, without the right focus and planning it can soon go wrong.  

Home renovation mistakes

Whether you’re just doing a kitchen refurbishment or updating the whole house, preparation is key to avoid costly and time-consuming renovation mistakes.

Depending on the size of your property and the changes you’re planning, home renovation work can cost anywhere from a few hundred pounds to replace windows and doors to tens of thousands for a full property upgrade.

Should any of these projects go wrong then the price can soon start to rocket – and your home insurance may not cover the cost of putting things right. 

In the majority of instances, however, these home renovation mistakes can be easily avoided. Here are 6 common ones to steer clear of: 

1. Setting an unrealistic budget

Before starting your home renovations, set a realistic budget based on your financial situation and the improvements required.

Running out of funds part way through can have an impact on both your house and your finances. For this reason, a 10 to 15 per cent contingency pot should be factored into your budget.

Things that can increase your budget unexpectedly include:

If you’re on a tight budget, it might make sense to start with a smaller, cheaper room first, such as a bathroom refurbishment.

This can cost anywhere between £1,500 to £10,000 depending on the size of the room and what you’re looking to do – but can have a massive impact on your home and its resale value.

Another mistake is spending money on unnecessary items, especially when you’re working to a tight budget. If you simply must have that fancy sink you’ve had your eye on, shop around to find the best deal.



2. Starting renovations too soon

When you move to a new house, the temptation is to start work straight away. From stripping wallpaper and ripping up carpets to changing the kitchen cupboards, embarking on big projects as soon as you get the keys isn’t always a good idea. 

Spend a few months living there before deciding what work to do. Spending a fortune on the dining room, only to find a few months later that you always eat in the kitchen will feel like a wasted investment.

3. Ignoring your home insurance

When planning home renovation work, it’s essential that you check your home insurance first to make sure you’re covered.

Whether you’re planning to do the work yourself  or hire professionals, it’s important to know what is and isn’t included in your policy.

Should you start renovating your home and encounter an issue – such as damage due to builders – and it turns out your home insurance doesn’t cover renovations, it can leave you out of pocket.

Not checking this before beginning any upgrades, from a bathroom refurbishment to renovating an entire floor, can delay any further plans you have.

In some cases, you may need to take out an additional renovation insurance policy to protect your property. However, the best way to find out if you’re covered is to talk directly to your insurer.

Our team can quickly tell you what's covered on your home insurance policy and let you know what additional cover is available.

Before starting your home renovations, set a realistic budget based on your financial situation and the improvements required.

4. Using the cheapest professionals

Going for the cheapest quote may seem like a smart move at the time but beware tradesmen whose price seems too good to be true.

According to the Federation of Master Builders, cowboy builders cost the UK economy £10bn a year.

This is because they often:

  • Use cheap materials with a short lifespan
  • Cut corners wherever possible
  • Miss out important services you need

It could mean you have to spend more money to fix the shoddy work they’ve carried out.

For this reason, it’s best to get a few quotes first, which will give you a good idea of the average cost, and to meet the professional face to face. 

Asking friends and family for recommendations can help point you in the right direction. It’s also worth asking for references from any professionals you’re considering and some examples of previous work they’ve carried out. 

5. Working on too many projects at once

Just as starting home renovations too soon can cause problems, so can doing too much at once.

You can quickly become overwhelmed by house renovations if you’re working on multiple rooms at the same time. It can also make your house uninhabitable, especially when there are delays to areas like the bathroom.

This could result in extra costs if you end up having to stay elsewhere while the work is going on – costs which are unlikely to be covered even by renovation insurance.   

It’s a good idea to focus on one room or project at a time. Not only will this help keep your stress levels down, it should also prevent costs spiralling.  

6. Making bad design choices

Consulting an architect or specialist designer is often a smart investment, especially when it’s an awkward space you want to renovate, such as a small attic or an odd-shaped room. 

This added expertise can help ensure there’s no structural damage during your renovation, which could lead to significant additional costs.  

While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at the time, using a professional designer could pay off in the long run. 

Avoid these common renovation mistakes when working on your property and you should end up with a home you love to live in.


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