Common pitfalls to avoid when renovating


As we have covered in a previous article, time and time again people make the same old property development mistakes, ultimately sabotaging their renovation projects. While there are many key elements to a successful renovation, from researching the designated area thoroughly to perfecting the same of the sale, a successful renovation is not only the result of the things that you do, it’s the result of the things that you have the awareness to avoid! Since there are so many of them, here are some of the more fatal pitfalls for you to sidestep when embarking on a renovation project.

Choosing the wrong contractor

The best contractors for you are most likely the ones you select via personal recommendation from someone who you know or trust. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but with websites such as RatedPeople, choosing verified tradesmen with viewable testimonials is the next best correct course of action. Enquiring as to whether the contractor is a member of a trade association is also a good way of ensuring that they are competent and professional. For instance, it is advisable that roofing contractors have membership of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC). Do bear in mind that all trades have similar associations.

Mismanaging contractor relationships

Just because you’ve selected a worthy team of contractors does not mean you can sit back and watch your project complete itself! Your contractors are experts in their trades, and often times their advice is invaluable in terms of the correct course of action for your project. However, if you don’t give the contractor a clear sense of direction, they may be inclined to go down a path which is profitable and/or easy for them but which doesn’t necessarily align with your core vision for the project. Do manage the project assertively but don’t be too proud to take advice. Don’t forget that this is your project and they are helping you to bring it to life, so don’t allow yourself to be pulled off course for the convenience of your contractors.

Failing to prioritise

Determining the types of tiles you’ll have in the bathroom and picking the shade of paint for the bedroom walls is an exciting part of the renovation process, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, the most pressing matters should be attended to before any of the more superficial details are filled in. For instance, no buyers are going to care about the luxurious silk curtains in your lounge if the property is not properly insulated and rot has set in due to a leaky roof! Take care of any decay and structural issues, then undertake the building work, and when everything is plastered and secured – then you can think about the fixtures.

Failing to budget appropriately

The most serious mistake of budgeting is failing to survey the property properly before purchase. There could be all kinds of unforeseen issues which could dramatically affect the amount of money you will have to spend – but you won’t know unless you have the property surveyed. While thorough planning of every detail is highly recommended, more often than not the budget ends up getting stretched regardless. One good way to combat this is to work out the absolute maximum the project is going to cost, and then add on another 20% just in case! While you may not need to use this additional cash buffer, it can certainly help to reduce stress just to know that it is available.

Neglecting insurance

Although you cannot completely eliminate all risks, by planning thoroughly and selecting high quality tradesmen, you can dramatically reduce the chances of something going wrong. For instance, accidents do occasionally occur at building sites, and it’s important to be insured so that you are not liable to pay an amount of money which could stop the project dead in its tracks. You should also think about how the building works will affect your neighbours and the consequences of overhauling the structure of the property. For more information about getting the right insurance package for your renovation project, please check out our Knowledge Base, or alternatively send us an email so we can respond to your enquiry with some personalised advice.

(Photo by Alvimann)

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