Let’s be honest – home makeover TV shows make all renovation projects seem easy. But while some renovation projects are definitely easier than others, most people overlook the complexities and possible pitfalls of a remodel, which can quickly make a dent in their budgets.

Thankfully, after flipping more than 1,000 homes, we have learned over the years that there are some common home renovation mistakes that can be avoided with a little bit of forethought and some strategic planning.

Don’t Underestimate Your Budgeting Needs

It’s impossible to start this list with anything else but not underestimating your budgeting needs. This is the point where many folks hit a snag. There are two main budget-related mistakes that can hinder or derail your renovation project.

To begin with, diving into a project without a set budget is a big mistake. Considering today’s economic landscape and the impact of inflation, prices for materials and labor have shot up significantly. What you may have thought your project would cost a year ago may have changed considerably.

Secondly, it’s crucial to have a contingency fund built into your overall budget. Not padding your final budget cost with room for unexpected issues that may arise can leave you short on funds when you need them most. This is especially the case when renovating spaces like your bathroom, kitchen, or basement, where plumbing and electrical issues can quickly add up.

Never Forget to Get the Proper Permits

No matter how big or small your renovation is, always research and get the required permits before starting. It might seem like just another hurdle, but adhering to local building regulations is essential.

Overlooking this, in hopes of going unnoticed, might lead to troubles down the line. Beyond risking your safety and your home’s stability, it could also bring hefty penalties and complicate selling your home later on.

Don’t Focus on Form and Not On Function

A new design aesthetic is usually the primary driver of a home renovation project. And that only makes sense since, over time, our different tastes and styles change, and it only seems natural to want our home to keep pace. However, there is a risk when focusing too much on that new design concept without keeping in mind the functionality of the space.

Sure, that brand bathroom with modern fixtures and sleek design may look stunning, but if it’s not practical for your daily routine, it may quickly lose its value. Make sure you are balancing form and function when making decisions about your renovation project to ensure a space looks the way you want but also stays functional.

Don’t Try to Tackle Too Many Improvements at Once

The excitement of completely overhauling an old space might be tough to throttle, but it’s essential to determine which upgrades are most urgent. Although some renovation tasks require significant demolition and can be tackled simultaneously, most updates should be approached step by step.

While you may have already purchased a variety of new appliances or fixtures and are eager to start using them, take a step back and really plan out how long each component of your renovation will actually take.

It’s crucial to ensure that basic amenities, such as a functioning toilet and shower, are available even during renovations. Biting off more than you can chew with simultaneous projects might result in extended delays, possibly displacing you from your home for more time than you’d planned.

Be Realistic About Your Timeline

If everything goes perfectly, some home renovations can be done very quickly. But when was the last time everything went perfectly in your daily life? It’s important to be realistic about your timeline and budget for unexpected delays or changes in plans. This is especially the case for larger projects that require the assistance of contractors or various professional services.

Unfortunately, those handling your renovation might not always have the same priorities as you. This is why open communication and a contingency plan for unforeseen delays are crucial. Setting realistic expectations for your project timeline can reduce stress and avoid any surprises, also ensuring your budget remains on track.

Avoid Focusing Solely On Cheap Material Costs

It’s perfectly fine to want to incorporate more cost-saving measures into your renovation projects. Planning projects well in advance can often allow for much smarter purchasing options for supplies that help to stretch your budget.

But remember, always hoping for the cheapest materials might not always give you the best long-term value. While some choices like laminate over hardwood or budget-friendly paint options can save considerably on upfront costs, skimping on other materials might result in large future repairs or replacements. Finding the right balance is important.

Recognize When You Need Expertise

Taking on a DIY project can seem like a budget-friendly way to improve your home. However, if you don’t have the right knowledge and experience, it can result in expensive errors. If you have doubts or don’t have the necessary equipment, it’s probably a good time to call in an expert.

While enlisting an expert might appear as an added expense, in the big picture, it is often more economical by helping you avoid costly mistakes and guaranteeing quality work. Moreover, home renovation professionals typically have access to material discounts and can operate more quickly than most homeowners, helping balance out the costs.

Avoid Making Costly Mistakes in Your Next Renovation Project

Home renovation can be a fun and profitable experience when you plan well and make smart choices during the process. By recognizing some of these common pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them, you’ll ensure that your project stays on budget and ends up being a successful investment for your home.

Author Bio:

Michael Alladawi, CEO & Founder of Revive Real Estate, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive Real Estate to share his industry knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes. Michael’s passion for his work is as big as his desire to create lasting partnerships. For Michael, it all comes down to how much value one offers, both in business and life relationships