Common Design Mistakes to Avoid a Home Renovation

Interior Design by Urbane Design

Renovating your home can be a huge, daunting project. When renovating, you could be focusing on more technical things, such as replacing old electrical wires with new ones. On the flip side, your focus may be honed in on the design and cosmetic look of your home. Either way, there are common mistakes that happen to us all! Before you embark on a renovation project, you should know what works and what doesn’t work for your home. Here are common renovation mistakes that you can make and tips on how to steer clear of them.

Selecting the Wrong Designer

There are a plethora of designers out there to consider for your next home renovation. Each comes with their own qualifications and experience. For starters, you will want to make sure that the designer that you select can handle the size of your project. Certain designers will stick to smaller-sized projects, and others will only go big. Make sure that the designer you work with is accustomed to handling a project of similar caliber to yours. 

To ensure that a designer is the perfect fit for your project, you can interview them and check their references. How well-versed are they in remodeling and construction? If your project requires a large amount of that, make sure that your designer has experience in those.

Once you feel confident in a designer’s abilities and knowledge, make sure to review all deliverables regarding the home renovation project. For example, if you want the kitchen layout completely customized, provide all necessary details upfront. No one likes to go back and have to charge their clients more money because they added last-minute items or change orders.

After discussing and reviewing the project deliverables, put everything in writing. Even if it takes several initial meetings to get everything aligned with your vision, wants, and needs – it is worth it. Certain consultations require an upfront cost but can be extremely informative. If you skimp out on meetings like these, hiccups are more likely to occur once you are into the project.

Of course, make sure that you and the designer actually enjoy each other and get along, too. If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right, you should consider listening to it. Home improvement and design projects can be very involved depending on the size and level of customization. When you and a designer are on different pages, things can be difficult! This includes you and your partner as well. Once you find that perfect designer, it will feel like a major weight is lifted from your shoulders.

Buying Cheap Materials

As you make your home renovation budget, don’t be tempted to cut corners by buying cheap materials. Be very strategic on the things you choose to replace or cut with more affordable alternatives. It’s your home, and you may be there forever! Make sure to buy high-quality materials that make you feel good spending time around.

If you want to reduce costs, consider cutting out items that will not affect the space’s general design. The items you cut out should quickly be added later, such as cabinet hardware, kitchen backsplash, or high-end marble tiles.

Rushing the Project

Do not be misled by home improvement shows on TV where a home is renovated within a week. In reality, projects take tons of time. You must carefully plan the project out with specific deadlines, dates, and deliverables to ensure that it gets done right. Don’t forget to account for ‘miscellaneous’ issues to arise. Most of us do not have the resources available for TV home improvement shows – although it would be great if we did. Plan your project to the last detail and assemble a competent team to do the job.

Taking Inaccurate Measurements

A common result of rushing through a project is inaccurate measurements. Would you rather know that you made that mistake before or after installing a huge, custom cabinet in your new kitchen? Measurements are everything when it comes to interior design! Double and triple check your numbers, and take copious notes. Especially if the design is not ‘cookie cutter’, having incorrect measurements can completely stymie a project. If you have deadlines to hit, and budgets to stay within, be diligent with your ruler. 

How do you avoid these mishaps? Again, it boils down to hiring the right designer. As referenced previously, make sure that the designer’s vision aligns with yours. You want to feel like it’s a good fit all around. When working with the right designer, they can provide knowledge that will ensure everything down to the smallest details are done correctly and efficiently. Are you worried about the renovation team messing things up in the building process? By selecting a good designer, they will partner will an experienced build team that is the right fit for your project. Everything will be aligned prior to ordering materials or doing any demolition. 

Wait for Permits and Materials

Lastly, a common design mistake during home renovations is not waiting for permits and materials. All permits must be accepted before demo-ing anything. You could get in trouble with your city for this depending on the regulations in your area. Additionally, all materials should arrive on-site before the demolition begins. If you start too early, the build team might not realize that they are missing some materials and get delayed later on when they have to reorder them.

People often have a misconception that the faster you demo the faster the project finishes up.  Demolishing faster is typical of ill-equipped contractors and designers that need money upfront and lock a person into a job with them. This is not a good business practice, and definitely a red flag.  Especially with COVID delays, this could cause unnecessary stress to an individual and it doesn’t make the job go quicker.  

In conclusion, be cautious jumping into a home renovation idea simply because it is trendy. The trend may not match your house. Follow your intuition, and don’t hesitate to consult design experts to help tweak your vision. They get paid to do this stuff for a reason! Use them as a resource to help you create the vision of your dreams. Your home has endless possibilities.

Alex Capozzolo is a partner of Shawn Buys Houses KC, a house flipping company based in Kansas City, MO. Shawn is a licensed realtor and flips homes full-time. He enjoys swinging a hammer and making a house shine.

Scroll to Top