25 Biggest Renovating MistakesThese expert tips will you help avoid the most common mistakes when remodeling your home.
From ignoring prep work and safety, to setting unrealistic budgets and selecting the wrong fixtures, this is a fearless exposé of the most common renovation mishaps. Find out how it happens, why people do it and, best of all, how to avoid making these mistakes in your own home. 25. Gutting Everything
"Make sure you have a well-set plan before you start your renovations, because you don't want to go in there and just clear everything out, when you might be able to work around some areas," warns Carey Evans of Don't Sweat It.
"I see this time and time again where people just start, and they think they're going to pull a piece of wallpaper off, and by the time the process is over, they've completely gotten themselves into a deep, dark hole that's very difficult to get out of," adds Eric Stromer of Over Your Head. 24. Buying Cheap Materials
Don't Sweat It host Steve Watson says, "One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you're going to get what you pay for." His carpenter Jimmy Little adds his two cents: "If you're going to do it, do it. If you can't afford to do it, wait." 23. Excessive Use of Duct Tape "My esteemed colleagues, duct tape is not a permanent solution. It is merely a temporary fix," says Stromer. "People use duct tape because it's cheap and it's quick and it's easy, but it's definitely a temporary solution. Don't leave it up for more than a couple hours ... ever," Little adds. 22. Inaccurate Measurements Nancy Soriano, editor in chief of Country Living magazine says this about this common error: "I can't emphasize enough how an inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And if your dimensions are off and it's not equal and symmetrical, you're not going to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you're not sure about how to measure or you can't follow the directions, don't hesitate at all to call somebody, ask them to come over and to take the measurement for you."
Hammer Heads carpenter Carmen De La Paz says, "Another mistake that homeowners will often make is not taking into consideration the lighting in their home. The lighting in your home can completely change the colors, the feeling, the ambiance."
Designed to Sell's Lisa LaPorta adds, "There are really three main types of lighting: general lighting, task lighting and drama or accent lighting. You need a combination to have a really good end design." 17. Going Too Trendy "People often make the mistake of wanting to be too hip and trendy in their new home by picking the latest, hottest, coolest things," says De La Paz. "What they don't take into consideration is that trendy means that it's short term." Jim Collins says, "You want something that's going to stand the test of time, and you want something that's going to last for years and years." 16. Building Small Doorways Evans issues this piece of advice on the subject: "Make sure you're looking at the entire floor plan of your home when you're planning your doorways. Look for, and make sure that every room has multiple exits. Or, if those doorways are in high-traffic areas, make sure thye're wide enough to let multiple people to pass through." 15. Failure to Anticipate Chaos "I think it's really important to anticipate the time and the pacing of your renovation," notes Soriano. "You probably want to do that up front, get it over with, and then you can slowly start to piece your life and your home back together." 14. Incorrect Storage of Materials
Marc Bartolomeo of Save My Bath says, "You should always store materials in a cool, dry place." Watson adds, "A roll of plastic will save you a lot of time and a lot of money, when it comes to wood and concrete. When it comes to tools and stuff like that, keep them inside." 13. Not Using Green Materials De La Paz weighs in on this one, saying, "People will often make the mistake of not going green with their home project for two reasons: (A), They don't know how to, and (B), they think that it costs more money." Not necessarily true, emphasizes Evans, "If you're doing your renovation green, you're really ahead of the market right now. So going green is a very smart investment."
"Flat is basically for your ceilings and sometimes for your walls," adds carpenter Jeff Devlin of Spice Up My Kitchen. "Whereas your semigloss would basically be for trim in a bathroom or in maybe a dining room. The glossy will give it a more upscale look." 11. Building Narrow Halls and Staircases "When you're renovating, bigger is always better when it comes to hallways and stairs," Collins says.