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How to avoid these common 8 renovation mistakes

Home renovations can add value to your house, but a botched job will have the opposite effect. (Photo: Getty)

Upgrading your kitchen, re-doing the bathroom, repainting, DIY-ing the outdoor area - there are some upgrades that will do wonders for your property price.

However, a poorly executed renovation can potentially devalue a home, warns Amerex Renovations and Additions owners Steve and Suzanne Burke.

“For many, our home is our biggest asset and by keeping it well maintained we are actively protecting our asset.

“So why is it then that many cut corners and perform shoddy DIY work?” they asked.

Some renovation mistakes are repeated time and time again, they said. So if you’re thinking of getting some work done in the home, here are the biggest renovation pitfalls laid bare and how to avoid them:

1. An unrealistic budget

Can you actually afford what you want done?

You could be in danger of running out of money before you finish if you don’t set a realistic budget, the renovation experts pointed out.

“Think it won’t happen to you? Think again,” they said. Make sure to plan and budget your renovation ahead of time.

“If you have no idea, ask a professional to provide a quote for the complete scope of works before you start.”

2. Not tackling existing issues

Don’t be surprised to find something unexpected when you tear down walls or rip up the floors of an older home, said Steve and Suzanne Burke, like dodgy electrical or plumbing work.

“Even if the cost is unexpected it will usually save you money in the long term by fixing it now.”

3. Botched bathroom renovations

Bathrooms are usually one of the first rooms in the house that need renovating – but performing the renovation work in the wrong order can have disastrous consequences.

“Save yourself time and angst and get the professionals to do it. Their work will come with a warranty and if you experience any issues it will be their responsibility to fix it.”

4. Changing your mind too much

Changing your mind often will see you waste both time and money – and the further into the process you backflip, the more it’ll cost you.

“Indecision often comes about due to lack of confidence in your choices,” said the Burkes.

“Consider engaging an interior designer for a couple of hours to help you lock in your choices at the start of your project.

“This will give you greater confidence and reduce your stress levels too.”

5. Hiring your mate or your cousin for the job

Somehow, you’ll invariably know someone – a relative or a mate of a mate – who can help you with your renovation work.

But this can often be a recipe for disaster: what if you’re unhappy with their work? Could that lead to a break-down in your relationship with them? Can you agree on the costs up-front?

“These are all ingredients for a nasty disagreement,” said Steve and Susanne Burke.

“We don’t recommend engaging family, friends or a friend’s mate. We have seen it go wrong so many times.”

6. Awful DIY paint jobs

Painting is often the final touch to your newly renovated home, but a poorly-done job could ruin it all.

“The risks for DIY painting include leaving unsightly brush-marks, paint drips and messy edges or taking forever to actually finish,” the experts said.

Weigh up whether this one might be better left to the professionals.

“Be honest about your own abilities and time. If you think you might be caught short in both areas, consider outsourcing to a painting professional.”

7. Cheap fixtures

You might like the idea of saving a few dollars now, but it may not pay off in the long-term. That’s why the Burkes recommend the best-quality fixtures you can afford in areas of high use like the kitchen or the bathroom.

“Consider the life-time cost of the fixture, not just the initial purchase price,” they said.

“If a cheap choice now means replacement in the short-term, it is probably not the best choice.”

8. Tiles on sale

You might be tempted to snap up that bargain, especially if you’ve found a tile you like… But there are a few things you need to keep out a careful eye for.

The Burkes recommend you ask the supplier the following questions:

  • “Are the remaining tiles all from the same batch?” Tiles from different batches can vastly vary in colour, which could ruin your final look; and

  • “Are there enough tiles remaining in stock for future repairs and wastage?” You might find tiles on sale because they’re end of line stock.

“Don’t get caught short.”

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