Reno Rookies Beware: Watch Out for These 5 Renovation Pitfalls

(Feedsy Exclusive)

Spatula? Check!

Grout? Check!


Know how to tile? Well, I did see this one video on YouTube…

Many of us are trigger-happy when it comes to starting renovations. Feeling excited, we’re so fired-up about our special projects that, just like a kid waiting for Xmas, we find it impossible to wait, jumping in before we’ve actually thought everything through.

Better hold onto your horses folks! This is one of those times in life where we have to exercise some restraint. Jumping the gun here can lead to some serious – and expensive – problems down the track (such as having to call a professional to re-do that tiling?).


To keep you focused, here are the 5 biggest pitfalls and problems you need to watch out for when renovating your home.

1. Wonky Priorities

It’s easy to get distracted by all those fancy paint swatches when you waltz into your nearest home & garden shop, but should you really be debating between a blue or yellow-based whitewash for the living room, or be fixing that leaky toilet?

Make a list of things that need doing “Urgently” and a second list of things that would be “Nice to do”. Tackle your “Urgent” list first. They might not be the most fun parts of your reno, but it’ll make your house immediately liveable.

2. Not the Right Kind of Help

So what if your neighbour’s son-in-law was an apprentice carpenter for 6 months back in the ’90s? That doesn’t mean he (or your neighbour) is the right person to answer your wood-based queries!

Ask your work colleagues and close family members if they can recommend someone, or hunt through search engine listings to find businesses with great feedback ratings. Don’t get stuck with someone inexperienced, unskilled, or worse – unqualified – for the job at hand.

3. Lack of Communication

Humans the world over are united in their hatred of having someone breathe down the back of their neck while they’re working. So if you’re feeling the need to do so, then you’re probably not communicating well with your partner/tradie/architect/interior designer.

Establish open lines of communication right from the start. Be in touch with your contractors once a day to follow up on progress, or have instructions clearly defined so everyone can get their jobs done with minimum distraction.

4. Breaking the Bank

Budgets can blow out oh so easily during even the most meticulously-planned renovation. When planning your budget, prepare your action plan in advance in case you head for (or hit) the red. Will you fire the tradies and pick up the paintbrush yourself? Or will you pause everything until the cash flow returns? Make your decisions now to avoid getting stuck later on.

5. Unrealistic Time Frames

With that rush of adrenalin as those first strips of wallpaper are pulled off, you might think, “This is a breeze! We’ll be done by January!” Don’t fool yourself. Not only do unexpected life events crop up, but you might suddenly find that – underneath all that wallpaper – lies a totally outdated electrical system that urgently needs replacing.

Give your renovation calendar plenty of wiggle room so you won’t get stranded while waiting to move in – or worse – have to move in while the job’s only half done.

What do you think of our list? Is there anything you’d add to it, or do you think we’ve covered all the bases? Share your thoughts with us!

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