8 Most Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Thinking of renovating your home? We’re all for it. There are many reasons why renovating your home is a worthy investment, but this article isn’t about that. Instead, let us share with you the most common mistakes made in a renovation project — as told by our clients.

  • Not planning spaces for or knowing measurements of your furniture and appliances

Some people think that buying furniture only comes after you’ve renovated the space. Others rush into buying the furniture as soon as the blueprint is settled. Well, they are neither right nor wrong.

Furniture such as sofas, tables, and chairs come in various sizes, and are often placed in spots which allow for adjustments. When it comes to your kitchen, however, appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and cooker hoods are often placed in specific spots. Such appliances have very exact measurements, too, which means there won’t be room for adjustments if the space turns out to be too big or too small.

It is important to pick out these kitchen appliances beforehand and note down their measurements. This way, you will be able to set aside just the right amount of space for them when finalising the layout.

Speaking of buying furniture and appliances, it is also extremely important to know the widths of your doors and whether or not your purchases can fit through. This may sound like common sense, but it is one of the most overlooked points.

  • Jumping into a renovation too quickly

It is easy to get excited about renovating and furnishing your new house once you get your hands on it, but there’s plenty of benefit that goes into waiting. Try living in the house for a few months before starting to renovate your home. This way, you would already have an idea of what each space is for — not just each room, but the spaces within the rooms.

You’ll be able to learn that you might prefer having your couch against the wall to open up more space for guests. Or maybe you prefer placing the couch in the middle for easier access. An open kitchen sounds like an efficient and convenient idea, but the smell of oil and grease wading outside the kitchen and into the living room might turn you off.

Allowing yourself to occupy a new house for a few months can teach you many things about yourself and your preferences. This way, you’ll be better able to know what you want, how you want it, and where.

  • Underestimating costs

Although you do get a quotation from an interior designer, this quotation is not always fixed. In fact, most of the time it is subject to change. This is because changes are bound to be made throughout the renovation, which might result in higher costs.

It is very possible that interior designers will charge a markup on their quotations that may even go up to a 25% increase. Therefore, the best solution will be to get multiple quotes from your interior designers so as to estimate your budget. You can even get quotes from various suppliers to get a better idea of just how much your renovation may cost.

  • Not hiring an interior designer

Of course, you can do away with all these costs by circumventing hiring designers altogether. While it is possible to skip that step and go straight to a building contractor, someone with minimal design experience may not be able to foresee the potential problems of certain room designs or space layouts. Even professional interior designers often need to go back and forth with the contractor plenty of times to finalise every small detail.

Undertaking a home renovation project on your own can be tough, especially without guidance or professional advice in executing such changes. On the other hand, a design-build company takes on your project as a whole and eases the burden off your shoulder.

Blaine Robert Design has over 30 years of experience and has helped hundreds of clients on their renovation projects. Let us be in charge of the entire process and we guarantee you only the best results.

  • Hiring a designer that does not understand your style or your needs

That being said, do take caution when finding an interior designer to handle your renovation needs. It’s obvious that going for the cheapest interior designer does not always turn out well, but hiring a good designer also does not always guarantee you a satisfactory outcome.

Firstly, you need to assess if the designer is a good fit for you. Do you like their aesthetic? Do they understand your style? Do they have the same priorities as you? How do you feel about their vibe when you visit their offices? All these are questions worth asking to see if the designer is one that will suit you.

If the designer doesn’t ask you detailed questions about your needs, preferences, and the way you live, that is a clear red flag that they are not the designer for you. As an interior designer, listening and understanding skills are very important. They could easily determine whether a client will like the end result or not.

As an additional tip, you can request the previous few projects that the designer has undertaken to get a sense of their style and workflow. Furthermore, you can contact these clients yourself and ask them about their experience. These are people who have the most recent knowledge about the designer at their current skill level.

  • Using the same type of lighting throughout the house

There are two main kinds of lighting — warm and cool — and they are used for very different things. Most people assume that to make a house look put-together, it is important to stick to the same type of lighting throughout. But that is not always the case.

Warm lighting is best used for areas where you’re likely to unwind, such as the bedroom or bathrooms. By simulating the colour of sunset, it triggers your body’s circadian rhythm and lets your body know that it is time to rest.

On the other hand, cool lighting is better used in areas where you will be doing lots of activities and need to be focused. These can include the kitchen, study room, or home office.

If you want the best of both worlds, you can always ask your lighting suppliers for lights that allow you to switch between the two modes. This way, you can opt for cool lighting in the day and warm lighting at night. This is especially helpful in places such as the living room where it can act as both an activity space as well as a relaxing space.

  • Not asking questions

It is okay to admit that you don’t know every single detail about your home renovation project — this is, after all, why one would hire an interior designer. But it is your money, and you have every right to ask how it is being used.

Rather than pretending you understand what the designer is talking about only to be disappointed in the outcome later, ask questions. There is no such thing as a dumb one. Sometimes it can be hard to visualise certain elements from a digital or paper point of view. Remember you can always ask your designer to explain their plans to you in the house itself, so that you can better visualise how it will look.

  • Not planning for the future

Many people always leave interiors until after the whole renovation is done — as we mentioned in our first point. However, it is not always good to leave interiors as an afterthought.

When you’re planning out a house, think about what you might need in the future. Are you likely to start a family? Will your elderly parents move in with you someday? Will your kids still like their brightly-coloured room as they grow up? By planning ahead, you can avoid incurring additional unseen costs when the time comes that you might need to switch up your home layout and features.

Planning for the future also means to keep in mind its resale value. Sure, you might love your home right now. But would future buyers like it? Before making huge decisions such as knocking down walls, consider whether this might increase or decrease the value of the house. Set aside some of your budget to work on interior design and decor to raise its value.