Avoid these 2 major pitfalls when doing home renovations alone

December 18, 2014

Planning on undertaking home renovations alone? If it’s the first time, here’s some advice you should take into consideration before making a go at it.

Avoid these 2 major pitfalls when doing home renovations alone

Are you planning on undertaking home renovations alone? Many homeowners will do renovation work themselves, whether it’s to spiff up a room, overhaul a dated layout and décor, or in the hopes of increasing the value of their home before a sale. But beware! There are major pitfalls that many homeowners don’t consider before getting started. If this is your first time, here’s some advice you should take into consideration to avoid the two main pitfalls of a DIY home renovation.

1. Going over budget

One of the most common problems when undertaking home renovations alone is going over budget. This happens due to the cost of unexpected materials and/or labour.

It can be difficult to accurately estimate the cost of materials when you haven’t gone through the motions of a specific project or when you’re learning as you go along. That’s why doing research and planning beforehand is important. Don’t assume everything will go smoothly. Find out what the common scenarios are, ask around about other people’s experiences, and prepare for the worst when making your estimate.

Another consideration when budgeting is to plan for error. Add an extra percentage to the overall cost projections to cover any errors, including those made in your calculations to any mistakes you could make while doing the work itself. If you don’t end up using that extra budget, that’s great. But there’s nothing worse than starting out a home renovation project and stopping midway because you don’t have the funds to cover additional unforeseen costs.

2. Going over time

Going over time is the other most common problem. You may undertake home renovations with the understanding that the work won’t be done as quickly as if you had hired a contractor. You may also be open to the work taking an extra month, but when something unexpected happens, work can drag on for much longer. That’s without accounting for stress, exhaustion, and any injuries that may keep you from doing the work on schedule.

If you’re renovating your home with the intention of increasing the value of it before selling it, time will be extremely sensitive. There are key strategic times of the year for placing your home on the market. Don’t miss one of these occasions due to lengthy home renovations.

When planning, make sure to look at your schedule. Consider your workload at work in addition to any personal obligations that could bleed into the time you set aside for your home renovation. Consider to what extent motivation will affect your productivity, add time for research when you know you’ll be undertaking a task you’ve never done before, and don’t forget to include trips to the hardware store in your schedule.

Overall, the best advice is to plan for the worst. Make sure you have a back-up plan in case things take longer or in case you go over budget. If you’re getting a loan to undertake this work, find out if your bank allows for additional funding once the projects starts. You can avoid uncomfortable compromises later on by simply planning carefully and exercising extra caution.

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