That being said, if you can navigate a renovation smoothly, it can be one of the most rewarding investments you can make in your home. So before you take on a renovation, consider this list of the top renovation mistakes to avoid and how to get around them.
1. Adopting a one-size-fits-all strategy
The number one trap for would-be renovators is using the same strategy on every single project. There are templates, tools and processes, but what you do in one house you can’t automatically take across and cookie-cut on to another because when you do that you’ll miss value. For each property you renovate, sit down and work out your strategy and the main considerations for that property — you’ll end up with better results every time!
2. Thinking renovation is like reality TV
It’s glamorous, it’s fun and there is a plethora of tools and painting around the clock. However, what you don’t see on reality TV is all of the work that has gone in to the preparation of the project. If you look at the process of renovating, there are many stages prior to busting down the doors on your renovator. Finding the property, vetting the property, assessing the feasibility, creating the renovation plan ALL before the cameras turn on.
3. Under-estimating the cost of a renovation
When renovating for wealth or even for enjoyment, it is very easy to underestimate the costs involved. If your budget blows out, you’re not going to be able to afford those final touches that can be so important to the finished product. Break your budget down in detail so you’re less likely to go over it. Think about purchase price, stamp duty, insurance and costs for property improvements. And don’t forget about the hidden costs like demolition and site clean up.
4. Not having a good team behind them
Finding the perfect team may take some time. This doesn’t mean that you should delay the start of a project until you have found your A-Team. Some rookie renovators pick the first accountant that is listed in the Yellow Pages, just for the sake of having that tick in the box and rush into their renovation.
It is much more ideal to choose someone better suited to your goals and strategy. The easiest way to see this fit is obviously to work with them. After your first project it will be pretty clear if your chosen A-Team might need to a re-think.
5. Believing a magic renovation profit percentage template exists
A reno myth that has long existed is that there is a some kind of magic renovation profit percentage template. Many novice renovators try to stick rigidly to a percentage template, such as spend $50,000 to make $150,000. Instead, they should be considering how much money they are willing to walk away with as profit from the renovation. It’s about being really clear about your goals from the renovation and then you can literally do the math.
6. Neglecting the entrance of the property
It’s important to have the perfect kitchen and bathroom but many renovators often forget about the initial presentation of their property. Your driveway, lawn and entry to your front door are all part of the first 60 seconds that guests will see and you only get one chance to set a first impression. Ensure your renovation plan includes the deck, veranda, door hardware and overall presentation of this space.
7. Not utilising every inch of property
Many properties have quirky and unused spaces that can be converted into valuable assets for the property. This could be as simple as adding a study nook to the end of the kitchen space or expanding the kitchen space to include an entertainer’s island bench. Squeezing every last drop out of that floor plan to maximise value of your property is essential. Following these changes with styling to show off the space will seal the deal for great space utilisation.
8. Replacing rather than repairing
Too often people are so keen to bust and tear, it is demolition fever in some cases. In many cases people throw the baby and the bathwater out way too early! It is essential that one of your first steps when putting together your renovation plan is to see what is in tact and what can stay. This is a fine line obviously…. you must make sure that you are not just being all sentimental and going too far with the restoration and associated costs. But if those existing bathroom floor tiles will work with the new look, why remove them? Product and time are money!