How To Avoid Common Renovation Mistakes

14 Sep 2020

A renovation guide for stress-free home improvement projects

Home renovations have the potential to dramatically improve liveability and home value in one fell swoop. Thanks to a Federal Government grant you can apply for $25,000 towards a major renovation project, but even a minor overhaul is enough to make a happier home.

The secret to relaxing renos lies in this renovation guide. As Western Australia’s most awarded home renovation builder, with more than 30 years of experience and thousands of home improvements under our toolbelt, we spend every day helping clients to avoid costly – and stressful – renovation mistakes.

1.    Underestimating the cost

Whether you renovate for long-term value or short-term lifestyle benefits, it’s easy to misjudge the cost of a home renovation. Especially because when you search “home renovation costs” online, you quickly find square-metre rates which can be misleading and inaccurate.

How to avoid a renovation cost blowout

  • Request a detailed project specification from your builder
  • Go through the contract in detail
  • Allocate extra funds for non-contracted costs (moving or storage, new furniture and finishings etc)
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities for delays and errors
  • Stick to Plan A (more on this later)
  • Work with a reputable, respected builder

2.    Choosing the wrong builder

Home renovating is a partnership between you and and your builder. You will be in regular communication from the moment you choose to proceed, throughout the project and beyond. If you choose to live in the home throughout the construction, you will likely get to know your builder very well indeed. Take your time choosing a home renovation builder because you need someone you can trust and someone you can communicate with freely.

What to look for when choosing a builder

3.    Thinking inside the box

If you’re planning a renovation project, you have probably found a load of templates and renovation guides. Just remember that your home, and your lifestyle, is unique. Use these renovation guides as inspiration but make decisions based on what works for you.

Work with your builder on the unique considerations, strategies, processes and tools that will deliver a high-quality renovation in your home.

4.    Ignoring the home’s character

The biggest tragedy in home renovation is a cookie-cutter approach to remodelling a house with a heart. As a specialist character home renovator, Addstyle Master Builders has a keen eye for the things that make a property truly unique and is expert in complimenting or carefully contrasting original character.

  • Decorative cornices and ceilings
  • Ceiling heights and floor levels
  • Original fireplaces, chimneys or heritage features
  • Masonary styles
  • Archtraves
  • Staircases
  • Windows, doors and entryways

Your home doesn’t need to be heritage-listed to take this approach, either. Before you renovate, spend time thinking closely about all the little quirks that make your place feel like home.

5.    Changing the plan part-way

The more you change your mind, the more a home renovation costs. We understand some adjustments are par for the course; but if you remain focussed on the finished product and communicate closely with your builder, you can avoid making costly direction changes.

How to keep confidence during a renovation

  • Speak to your builder about any concerns or questions
  • Work with a full-service renovator
    • Design
    • Construction and trades
    • Interior design expertise
    • Maintenance and upkeep
  • Prioritise your wants and needs
  • Don’t rush into a home renovation contract

6.    Skimping on the small stuff

In the face of home renovation costs running into the tens of thousands, it’s tempting to pinch pennies on smaller items:

  • Door handles
  • Window frames
  • Taps and fixtures
  • Tiles and floor coverings on sale
  • Light fittings and fixtures

Before you save a few dollars on sale tiles or bargain fixtures, think about how they’ll look years from now. In our experience quality is always the best value.

7.    DIY disasters

Another common way to save on home renovation costs is attempting to DIY your way out of a contractor’s bill. With so many DIY renovation guides online, how could you possibly go wrong? Let us count the ways:

  • Botched plumbing
  • Waterproofing issues
  • Leaking taps
  • Crooked tiling
  • Energy-hungry (or downright dangerous) appliances and lighting
  • Damage to walls and floors
  • Messy paint edges

There are many more, all adding up to extra cost when you call a licenced tradesperson to fix your DIY mistakes.

8.    Forgetting about the little lifestyle details

Another reason online renovation guides are fraught is they forget to account for individuality. Your lifestyle might require more or less laundry storage than someone else’s, or you might prefer an enclosed alfresco area to an open-air patio.

Addstyle’s experienced home renovation designers take the time to understand you and your family, to create a renovation project with everything you need to live comfortably – and nothing you don’t.

9.    Poor communication

This one should probably be higher in the list because honest two-way communication with your home renovation builder is crucial to reducing stress.

  • Raise concerns early
  • Trust isn’t implicit; your builder should earn it with good work
  • Rectify issues immediately
  • Stick to the budget and plan

It all adds up to sleeping easier knowing your builder has your best interests at heart. Communication is the foundation to any mutually beneficial relationship, and a home renovation is no different.

10.  Not trusting your gut

Finally, trust yourself as much as you trust your builder. This can’t be overstated: you are renovating your home, either to live in or grow an investment. That means the final decisions should always be yours, and you should be confident your builder not only hears your desires and concerns but acts on them.

What going with your gut looks like

  • Design decisions based on your preferences
  • Home renovations to accommodate your lifestyle
  • Collaborating with a builder to bring your vision alive
  • Big decisions like layout and structure down to the small fixtures and finishes
  • Choosing a builder you trust

Perth’s home renovation experts

Addstyle Master Builders is the team you can trust to ditch the template renovation guide and create a personalised, detailed plan that elevates your living standards. Since 1988 we have been helping WA families achieve amazing things by collaborating closely on home renovation projects both large and small.

With a full-service team and a large network of vetted contractors, we are committed to delivering stress-free home renovations on-time, on-budget, and on-brand.

Contact us for a free home renovation consultation and find out how we can guide you through the process with experience and empathy.


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