Planning A Renovation: A summary of common mistakes that you really should try to avoid!

Planning a renovation for 2013?  When you start planning your project you should realize that knowing what you shouldn’t do is almost as important as knowing what you should do!  Check out the following 10 common mistakes made by those planning for a home renovation and do your best to avoid them!  

  1. Not measuring properly.  Measure and measure often, a half an inch difference can be a devastating discrepancy.  If you are unsure of how to measure properly, bring in someone who can!
  2. Starting the project without the proper tools or attempting to make a tool into something it isn’t!  Not having the proper tools on hand can not only slow down your project, it can also ruin the supplies you are working with.
  3. Setting an unrealistic budget.  You need to plan for the unexpected, and your budget should allow for this.  The unfortunate reality is that you don’t know what problems and issues you’re going to come across when you start in on any project so give yourself some room to play with.
  4. Buying cheap materials.  Like anything else, you get what you pay for and the cheapest item is most likely not the best item when it comes to longevity and overall quality.  
  5. Not shopping around. So buying cheap materials is one big problem often made, but so is overpaying for the products and materials that you do buy.  The best way to avoid breaking your budget is to shop around and get multiple quotes from tradespeople.  Compare prices and don’t shop too quickly!
  6. Not getting the proper permits.  Although some permits may seem unnecessary you should get them anyways.  Not only do inspectors help to ensure a job is done correctly and up to code for the municipality you are living in, you should consider the following; some insurance companies require proof of permit to insure certain renovations, some buyers don’t want to buy a home that hasn’t got the proper permits and finally sometimes your neighbours decide to complain to the City!
  7. Unsafe working conditions.  This is important for not only yourself but for those that you hire to work on your project.  Some tips to keep in mind include (but aren’t limited to!);  wear protective safety glasses, shut off the breaker before working near electricity, don’t stand on the top rung of a ladder, and invest in (and wear!) a good set of work boots.
  8. Not preparing the job site properly.  This can go one of two ways!  First you can over-prep, meaning you take down too much and all of a sudden you have more on your plate than you can handle.  Or second, you haven’t prepped enough and now you don’t have places to store goods and materials as they arrive (and hence they get damaged) or you have to waste time getting things ready when you should in fact be working on the actual project.
  9. Not preparing the walls for painting and picking the wrong type of paint.  A quality paint job is largely affected by the preparation.  Make sure to clean the walls, patch the holes (and sand them!), and prime.  Also be aware that choosing the wrong type of paint can make a huge difference.  There is a paint for pretty much every different surface, think flat for ceiling, semi-gloss for the trim and eggshell or satin for any place that might need to be cleaned.
  10. Making yourself into a professional that you are not!  Being a Do-It-Yourself Renovator can be really rewarding, but only if you recognize your own limitations! Do not work beyond your limits and talents, hire a professional for the jobs you cannot comfortably take through to completion.

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