Top Ten Worst Things About Home Renovations

I've been watching A LOT of HGTV lately, and I've come to the conclusion that home renovating NEVER goes as planned, and there are a lot of pitfalls that can occur whilst trying to do a home renovation. Even if you've lived in the house a long time, all houses have secrets, and secrets cost money. HGTV makes it look easy, and even so, those professional house flippers and designers still run into plenty of problems and issues to keep them busy.
The Top Ten
1 Permits

City building permits are an expensive, time-consuming, excruciating pain for anyone trying to do something to their home. The consequences of not obtaining the permits are severe enough to warrant doing it the right way, but it requires a lot of time and money.

We're trying to get a deck built at our house and have waited five months and paid $1,200 just to get someone to sign a piece of paper saying we can proceed. You have my money, so why does it take five months to sign a piece of paper?

2 Finding the Right Contractor

Other than signing up and paying for Angie's List, it's so hard to find a great contractor. You call five contractors for bids, and if you're lucky, two will respond. Then, only one will get back to you with an estimate.

It seems like the only option is to call ten people and then choose between the two who actually respond. Then, you just hope you've found a good one who responds promptly and completes the job accurately and quickly.

3 Dealing With Living While Your House is Under Construction

People think about the renovations but rarely consider the changes they must make to their lives during construction. If it's a kitchen renovation, you must consider that you'll be without a way to prepare food for almost the entire duration of the renovation.

If it's a larger space or a bathroom, you might need to budget for somewhere to stay while the construction is happening.

When we renovated our house (carpet removal, kitchen, and wall remodel), we had to stay upstairs for nearly a month.

4 Unexpected Costs

Unless you built your house, there's no way of knowing how legitimate your builder was or if previous owners did some questionable DIY unlicensed remodeling. This can lead to structural, plumbing, electrical, or safety issues that are money traps.

The smart thing to do is plan your renovation at least $10,000 under what you can afford. You never know if your contractor will discover clay pipes when cracking open the basement floor for a new bathroom, or if a wall you want to remove is full of electrical wiring, plumbing, or is load-bearing. Plan for these contingencies and be prepared to sacrifice some parts of your renovation to fix these problems. Ensure you have more in your budget than planned for such emergencies.

5 Prepping

You're super excited to start your renovation, but now you must find somewhere to put your stuff. This can range from dejunking to a total overhaul and reevaluation of your belongings, depending on the job. If your kitchen is being remodeled, you need to find a place for all that crockery, cookware, and food. That's a big job.

Additionally, you must account for all the dust and debris that will be generated. Cover anything you don't want to clean afterward, and be prepared to clean daily the things you can't cover. It's a lot of work.

6 Timelines

Whether you're living through the remodel or staying elsewhere, time is of the essence for you. Unfortunately, your contractor doesn't always feel the same. On TV, contractors have neat timelines and massive resources and manpower to get the jobs done.

In the real world, construction staff are not always ample, and they definitely aren't cheap.

7 Budget

It all comes down to the question: How much can you spend? Your budget can make or break your renovations and remodeling, and there are always unexpected costs.

If you're renovating to sell a house for a higher value, you must ensure that the money you invest is recouped upon sale. Otherwise, you're essentially gifting your upgrades to the new homeowner.

If you plan on renovating to make your space more livable, you need to consider how much you can afford to spend. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice what you should do versus what you want to do when working with a tight budget. Even then, you should remodel within your means to have a cushion for unexpected expenses. If none arise, you'll have wiggle room for finishing touches.

On renovation shows, people often create long lists that max out their budgets completely. There is always a catch, a hidden expense, or an issue that requires adjustments. Bathrooms, kitchens, and knocking out walls are the most expensive projects, and they are usually the most desired. So, budget accordingly if these are your concerns.

8 Doing Your Own Remodel

If you're a DIYer, renovating your house yourself might be what you want to do to keep labor costs down. However, you still have to figure out everything about the remodel - the prepping, the cleaning, the work, the speed bumps, the timeline, the cleanup, and the design.

Also, time is a factor when you're doing it all yourself. It takes a long time.

9 Deciding on a Style/Design

Everyone has a different style, and there are a million designs that look amazing. But what is the right one for you? You should probably stick with just one style so you don't end up with a hodgepodge house. But how do you choose?

Too modern, and it will date quickly. Not modern enough, and you might wonder why you remodeled. You don't want to go too neutral and get bored with it, but too much and it will look cluttered and loud.

10 Not Being Certain You’ll Get the Value Out of Your Remodel

Unless you're 100% sure you'll never want to move out of your house, you need to weigh and measure input versus return. If you spend $50,000 on a remodel (which isn't that much in the world of remodeling), but don't think you'll be in the house for 10 more years, will you get that $50,000 back in the value of the house?

It's an important question to ask, and you need to do the math. If you have a realtor friend, ask them to do a comp in your area to see if you have any chance of recouping your investment. We all work too hard for our money to not see a return for our efforts and investments.

BAdd New Item