5 Mistakes People Make When Planning Their Renovation

Avoid these mistakes and get the home renovation that you hoped for!

You’re thinking about a home renovation. You’ve read Focus Construction’s five recommended steps to take during the planning stage. But, you may also be wondering, what common mistakes are made during the process? How do I avoid making them during my own home renovation?

Here is what to avoid:

  1. Lowballing or Miscalculating your Budget
  2. Not Getting the Right Permits
  3. Hiring the Wrong Contractor
  4. Impractical or No Scheduling
  5. Choosing Aesthetics Over Functionality

Lowballing or Miscalculating your Budget

The most important thing about your budget is to be true to yourself. Set a realistic budget and stick to it, no exceptions. Included in that budget should be an extra 10% for emergency or unexpected costs that will likely arise. Also, remember these items:

  • Interior design: Do you need any furnishings? Accents? Paint?
  • Balance: Quality usually means longer-lasting, within reason. Keep your choices on about the same level across the board as spending more on one item may leave you short on another item. 
  • Have your contractor look it over: A professional will be able to tell you if you’ll likely end up over or under your budget. Remember, they do renovations and builds for a living.

Not Getting the Right Permits

Being ignorant of required permits isn’t a valid excuse. Look at your plans and the extent of your home renovations. Is there digging involved? An addition? Are you changing the layout of your home? Whatever your plans, check with your municipality to see what is allowed, what isn’t, and what you need a permit for. Then, double-check with your contractor that you’ve got everything that you need. 

If you attempt to dodge the rules, it could cost you the whole renovation.

Hiring the Wrong Contractor

Choosing the first contractor you interview or choosing the least expensive contractor will likely lead to a renovation that you’re not happy with. It’s also likely that it’ll be more expensive as costs overrun and fixes are applied.

While we might be a little biased, hiring the right contractor will give you the best chance at getting the renovation that you want (we listed what you should look for here). Whatever the renovation is, you are best served leaving it to an experienced and validated professional. Look for a solid track record. Do they have up-to-date certifications and licenses? Do they have insurance? Have you called to verify their references? Who have your friends and family used? Do you like the work that they had done? 

And an underrated trait of a contractor: Do you get along with them and share a vision on the renovation?

Impractical or No Scheduling

Don’t dismiss a schedule. Laying out what you want done, how you want it done, and when you want it done is important. Before a renovation starts, there should be targets set and notes of when subcontractors are integrated, when materials and supplies are delivered, and, when different aspects of the home renovation are completed. The contractor will help you with that, while keeping the targets realistic. Remember that obstacles do appear, so some flexibility is required. 

Choosing Aesthetics Over Functionality

Deciding on colors, finishes, and materials is one of the best parts of planning a renovation. However, choosing what looks good over the quality of function may cause some regret later on. Since you’ll be looking at the renovation and using the renovated areas for (hopefully) a long time, you have to live with the changes that you make. If not, it’s much more expensive to modify renovations after the fact when you’ve made a choice of aesthetics over practicality. 

Call Us!

Focus Construction has over 20 years of experience with home renovations and custom home builds. If you’re thinking about a home renovation in Toronto or the GTA, contact us for a free quote. We’ll be happy to assess your renovation and outline our transparent process to achieve a renovation that you’ll love.