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Watch Out for These 10 Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Don't let simple missteps cost you time and money.

Photography by: Johnny Miller

A Plan

A detailed, start-to-finish outline of your renovation will help you get there on time and on budget. One of the primary goals of any renovation should be to add value to the property, so view all structural and aesthetic fixes through that lens.


Every detail down to the paint chip should be held in a binder that serves as a constant reference point. Consider this your decorating file.


Hiring Wisely

Your contractor as more than just an employee. He or she is your partner for three to six months! Make sure to interview him or her thoroughly and make sure you are on the same page before you start. And, during the renovation, be nice and respectful. Getting angry because things are not going your way will just make completing the project more difficult.


Learning the Lingo

Do your homework and make sure you understand everything your contractor or decorator says. Learning the lexicon will save you both time and money.


Small Details

A lot of times, not too much thought goes into to the walls of a bathroom. Paint them white and call it a day, right? Wallpaper actually works well in a bathroom, as does beading and molding. Your bathroom walls are actually a perfect place to add detail.


Being Realistic

You may really want a giant leather armchair but do you have room for it? Dark walls are nice but in a room that doesn't get much light, it could look like a dungeon. Take measurements of everything!


Knowing Your Limits

Many people think that renovations are as easy as the ones they see on television. Remember that these programs are developed and prepped for weeks, maybe months. Talk to a professional who can explain a procedure with real depth and detail before deciding to DIY it.


Knowing What You're Working With

Understand what the structure is that you will be working on. Understanding how something is made will make it easier to change, modify, or repair it.


Protecting Your Stuff

Overprotect your work areas -- it only will help minimize any potential issues.


Lopsided Tiling

Don't use the walls, floor, or ceiling to line up your tiles! Unfortunately, they might not be as straight as you would like to think. Better option? Use a level.



You will be making a lot of purchases -- sometimes not the smartest ones. Make sure that everything you buy is returnable and make sure you keep all the necessary receipts.