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Common Mistakes People Make When Renovating Their Homes


A Construction Budget, Engineering, and Building Permits are Key


© 2012 by Irina Chirilov; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

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People love their houses. They work hard in order to purchase them, and then they buy nice furniture for them, different things to decorate them, and quite often they decide to insure them, in order to protect them from various perils and risks.

Basically, most of us invest a lot of money and energy into making a few rooms the place that we dearly like to call “home”.

Ensuring that our home continues to keep its nice appearance throughout the years is also important; this means that the house needs to be refreshed through a renovation process from time to time.

This can be done by yourself if you are a handy person, or by using the help offered by a professional. Find one at Angie’s List. Our readers now save 45%.

Renovating your home usually implies a serious financial investment as well, but at the same time any home renovation project is also a home improvement project, which can increase the value of your house substantially.

When you decide to do a home renovation project, it is very important to learn about it as much as possible, in order to get the best results at the end of the job, as well as to avoid the mistakes that people usually do when they get involved in a home improvement project.

Read on to discover some of the frequent errors that many people do whenever they plan to improve their residences by themselves.

Craft Your Renovation Budget

Deciding to renovate your house without using the help offered by a team of professionals will allow you to save some money indeed; nevertheless, if you decide to do the project on your own, it is vital that you have a correct estimation of the costs that are related to it.

Underestimating the requisite funds is, according to the specialists, the most frequent problem; without proper planning, most people will discover that they will need to pay more than what they were expecting.

Why? Generally because they need to buy more materials and specialty tools that they didn’t take into account from the very beginning. Budgeting is key. Tripping up here is a major mistake.

What is the solution then? Find a knowledgeable person and ask him to look over your budget as a disintrested third party, adding the missing items, correcting the quantities (and thus the prices) and so on.

Hone Your Time Management Skills

Besides money, it is important to approximate the time properly, also taking into account the possibility of having something unexpected happen during the process.

It would be a pity to be forced to occupy a living area when your house is a mess, because you didn’t take into account the extra days that are needed because the paint didn’t get dry enough, for example, due to the bad weather.

And even if your construction budget is crafted perfectly, make sure to put aside an additional amount of money and two or three extra days of work, so that you can finish everything and purchase whatever is necessary.

Why? No matter how carefully and accurately we create a time line, inevitably Murphy’s Law marches in, in the form of rain-outs, late deliveries, etc.

If you plan to change the rooms up, for example, to create a nursery for a new baby or to demolish some interior walls in order to enlarge the living room, you will have a lot of debris that needs to be disposed correctly.

Talk to a specialized company to come and take the garbage and the debris, or find a suitable place where you can transport all of it by yourself, without breaking any rule or regulation.

This will likely be another budgetary issue; you will have to pay for a dumpster pull or pony up the bucks for a landfill dump fee.

Know Your Load-Bearing Walls

DeWalt DC385B 18V Cordless Reciprocating Saw If you need to demolish a wall or just to cut a hole in it, be careful that you do not affect the structure of your house during the operation. You don’ want to remove a load-bearing wall without installing adequate headers.

Check this with a structural engineer, as you do not want the house to fall on you during the next earthquake, etc. In fact, every decision that implies serious modifications, even if doesn’t affect the structure at all, should be planned carefully.

You also do not want to attack a wall with a reciprocating saw and encounter a run of Romex or some plumbing. This is a common but avoidable mistake.

The idea is to do whatever it takes so that you will not regret it later, when the wrong things have been done already.

Home improvement generally mean a lot of mess in the entire house, and not covering or protecting properly the pieces of furniture inside it, the floors or the sofas will mean adding to the mess and spending more in the end.

So, you should start the process by carefully covering everything, so that you can use your furniture afterwards.

Licensed Contractors vs DIY

The changes related to pipes, electricity, and gas lines should be done by the licensed experts as dictated by your local building codes. You will need building permits and inspections for these tasks

A huge mistake some homeowners make is not pulling permits. True, you may not get caught, but city inspectors have been known to order all work undone and re-done, even if it is up to code. Bye bye budget.

A proper painting job and drywall repair and finishing can be done by most of us however, and these labor costs savings will go a long way in offsetting the budget. Do what you can; let the pros tackle the rest.

The mess will surely be big during the renovation process, but so will the satisfaction when everything will be once again at its place, and you will just walk from one room to another, admiring your work and feeling once again at home.

Have you a sweet dream or a nightmare with your renovation? If so, if you have any tips for our readers, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

About the Author:

Irina Chirilov, the author of this article, is a home renovation enthusiast that works as a blogger for tubs to showers, a bathroom renovation website which offers free information and tips.

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