Design Ideas

5 crucial mistakes to avoid when renovating your home

Springtime is fast approaching and with it the season for home renovations. If you're thinking of making a few improvements around your home, whether to prime it for sale or just to improve your quality of living, you're probably anxious to get started. Before you get too far into the planning stages, however, consider these common renovation pitfalls and how to avoid them.

1. Doing it yourself: There are some home improvement tasks you can safely complete yourself, while others are best left to the professionals. Painting a room, for example, is a good task for nonprofessional homeowners, whereas projects such as installing tiles and pavers are best performed by a contractor. Even if you believe your efforts match the best of professionals, a potential buyer will likely be able to tell the difference. Be honest about your skill level when assessing which tasks to tackle on your own.

2. Skimping on materials: If you're renovating your home too increase your property value before a sale, it may be tempting to spare yourself some expense by investing in cheaper materials. After all, you're not planning to spend the rest of your life in the home – so what does it matter? However, a real estate agent or building inspector will be able to spot any cut corners and is more than likely to report these to their clients looking to buy. Commonly cut corners include investing in sub-par materials, such as ceramic or porcelain rather than solid materials like travertine tiles. Buyers will expect to get their money's worth, so don't assume spending less will help you get more come sale time.

3. Inserting too much of your own personality: If you're planning to stay in your home forever, dressing it up to suit your own unique taste and style is fine. However, if you're looking to sell you house in the near future or believe this to be a possibility – due to a new job or life change, for example – you'll want to make sure your home speaks to a broad audience. That means no quirky wallpaper or neon-colored ceramic tiles. Instead, opt for neutral colors, and use natural materials that will blend into most decor schemes. Whites and beiges are good for walls, and stone detailing such as travertine tiles or stone hearths will keep your home looking cozy will keeping the canvass clean for potential buyers down the road. You can always use your decor to suit the room to your personal style.

4. Not budgeting for the unexpected: When you're embarking on a home renovation – whether you're taking the do-it-yourself route or forking over the money for a professional – you're bound to encounter some unexpected expenses. Even seemingly small things such as extra paint brushes or an extension on equipment rentals can add up and impact your bottom line. Have a long talk with your contractor on what sorts of expenses can be expected, and make sure there's a little wiggle room in your budget in the event that something goes wrong.

5. Not setting a realistic timeline: Just as home improvement projects frequently cost more than initially expected, so too do they take more time. Setbacks in construction are common: shipping mistakes delay materials, laborers suffer unexpected illnesses or injuries or building permits tale longer than expected. Remember to keep your cool and have patience – rushing through the project will only lead to mistakes and additional expense.

Keep these common mistakes in mind when planning your home improvements in order to ensure your own projects go as smoothly as possible.

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