10 Home Remodeling Mistakes You Should Avoid

November 7, 2023

Whether you are planning a full kitchen remodel or a living room refresh, a remodeling project is an investment in your home and your lifestyle. Like any investment, you want to make sure your project is successful, that expectations and goals are clear from the beginning, and that your budget is well spent. 

If you are simply repainting a room this process may be relatively simple, but the larger your remodel, the more complex it becomes. Depending on the scope, it could involve a team of experts for structural changes, wiring, plumbing, or skilled carpentry to be sure you get the desired result. The first step in a successful remodel is to carefully plan your scope, style, materials, and budget. Partner with an experienced design and remodeling team to make sure your project is successful and stress-free. 

Image of timeless, white kitchen with a black center island.

Let our 10 home remodeling mistakes you should avoid help you get started in creating your ideal home!

1. Focusing Only on Trends While Ignoring Your Home’s Style

If you are planning a home remodel then browsing, liking, and sharing home design inspiration ideas on social media may be your latest obsession. Checking out the latest trends is fun and inspires your remodeling plans. You might find kitchen cabinet styles, storage innovations, or color schemes you never thought would interest you. 

While following trends can be useful, it’s important to not let this be the sole driver for your kitchen design or bathroom remodeling plans. A major home project like a kitchen remodel is an investment in your home and lifestyle, which means you want to choose materials that will last and a style that you can commit to long-term to get the most out of your time and monetary investment.

It’s also important that your newly remodeled space fits with your existing home’s design aesthetic. The exception to this could be if you are planning to completely gut and remodel your home, or at least your first floor. Alternatively, if you are remodeling a space that is closed off from the rest of your home, such as a home office or a powder room, you could choose a style that will stand on its own in contrast with surrounding rooms.

Image of a white farmhouse kitchen with wood accents on the kitchen island.

This doesn’t mean that your home design plans must be boring, nor does it mean that you can’t incorporate elements of new design trends that you love. Any choices you make must not jar with surrounding spaces, even if you are going for an eclectic design style. 

2. Failing to Plan Ahead

Are you a planner? If so, you probably carefully map out your vacations, dinners for the week, and outfits to wear to work and can appreciate the benefits of a good project plan. That means you are one step closer to a successful home remodeling or renovation project because you understand how critical it is to plan when doing work on your home. Even if you only intend to paint a room or replace light fixtures, you still need to think ahead, plan the steps for your project, procure materials, and employ the help of professionals where needed. 

If your home remodeling plans are more involved, then even more planning and preparation are required. Any project that affects your room’s layout, wiring, plumbing, replacing major fixtures, or redoing surfaces such as flooring and countertops is complex. You need a design and a plan to bring that vision to life. You will also require experts on site following a clear timeline, with each step dependent on the previous one being completed. If you are not a trained project manager with time on your hands, then bring in the experts to manage this process for you. Not only will it minimize the stress levels, but it will also help ensure your project is a success, is completed on time, and sticks to your budget. 

Planning in a home remodel also means looking at your requirements not just for today, but for the lifespan of the remodel. Ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your home and consider what your family’s needs will look like for the anticipated lifespan of the remodel. Your requirements may differ depending on whether you are a young family vs. a couple designing for aging in place. Create designs that will suit your lifestyle and needs for years to come, or that can easily evolve with your changing needs. An experienced design professional can help you assess your remodeling goals and create the perfect design for you.

Image of a kitchen with a marble backsplash.

3. Starting Without the Required Permits

Before commencing work on a project, you must understand your local and county building requirements and obtain all necessary permits for your project. Failing to do so before the start of your project could result in fines, legal difficulties, and a negative impact on your ability to resell down the line. If you are going about this project alone, make sure you do careful research before starting. This is one of those areas where it pays to work with a full-serve remodeling firm, as they will handle these requirements for you. This way you know all your ducks are in a row before any demolition commences.

4. Not Working with Experienced Professionals

This leads us to our next point, which is the importance of working with trusted professionals when making changes to your home. Remember that any job bigger than a very basic DIY project will require professional help (unless you are a qualified plumber and electrician too!). If you try to take on jobs that involve making structural changes, updating or moving wiring or plumbing, or anything that requires delicate or skilled work you risk leaving your home in worse shape than when you started.

An experienced design and remodeling team can be key to a successful project. Your designer will help you to better understand your space, identify your needs, and find creative ways to bring your design vision to life. They know about the range of materials available and can assist you in finding the perfect ones for your kitchen remodel or bathroom design without having to drive from one store to the next. Your remodeling team will help you complete your project to your specifications while sticking to an agreed timeline and budget. Experienced remodeling teams have seen every issue that can arise and will help you complete your project in as stress-free a manner as possible.

Image of a bathroom vanity.

5. Cutting the Corner on Quality Materials and Service

You know that quality matters whether you are choosing a pair of shoes or a new car. What about when you are remodeling your home? Your home living spaces are subject to daily foot traffic, pets, moisture, spills, and dropping heavy or sharp items. When you cut corners on quality materials in a home remodel, your room may be more difficult to maintain and less durable, meaning it will have to be replaced sooner. You get what you pay for is never truer than in a home remodel!

This doesn’t mean you have to have an unlimited budget for your home remodeling project. There are so many design techniques and materials on the market that allow you to focus your budget dollars on key items and find suitable alternatives for other materials. Plus, an experienced kitchen or bath designer can help you make smart choices to find the perfect materials to achieve your remodeling goals.

Start by determining your available budget and priorities for your home remodel. Go old school and make a color-coded list! Put your must-have items at the top and work down from there so you have a good idea of which items you are willing to compromise on. Spend money on the materials that will make a difference to your final design. If you are creating a design for a home you plan to reside in long term, then it pays to spend more to get a quality end product.

Image of white kitchen with marble countertops.

6. Emphasizing Style Over Storage Needs

Style choices make the remodeling process fun, as you get to reimagine your spaces with new colors, patterns, and materials. While planning your new kitchen, living room, or bath design style, don’t forget to include sufficient and well-organized storage. Every room in your home needs storage to keep your spaces clutter-free and neat. Without this, your fresh style will be hidden by clutter and your room will be much more difficult to clean and maintain. 

This doesn’t only mean including enough kitchen cabinets or floating shelves. Storage must be tailored to your needs and designed to be easy to use. Work with your designer to figure out what you need to store and how best to keep everything organized. Then choose cabinets, shelves, and internal storage accessories to customize your design to fit your requirements. You will thank yourself in years to come when your room is clutter-free, and you can enjoy your new style. 

Modern and elegant large kitchen with dark cabinets and marble kitchen island.

7. Failing to Budget Carefully

You must understand the costs and your available budget when embarking on a remodel. This doesn’t mean simply pricing up countertops and cabinetry. Consider the full details of your remodeling budget including materials, labor, construction costs, clean-up, and contingency. Getting a clear picture of the full cost of your project before you proceed is essential so there are no nasty surprises down the line that don’t fit into your budget plans. 

Working with a trusted design professional helps as they understand the materials, labor, and extras involved. They can provide you with fully transparent costs and walk you through budget options, so you clearly understand the differences. A firm budget is also essential if you are seeking financing for your project.

8. Not Taking Your Room’s Layout into Consideration

The first thing you must do when planning a home remodel is to examine your room’s layout and the flow of traffic through the space. The layout is the foundation of any design and must either work with your existing floor plan or define structural changes you need to make to accommodate your design plans

Include room for everything you plan to do in your newly designed space, including work, dining, relaxation, entertaining, studying, and more.  Consider who will use these spaces and how you anticipate traffic to flow through the rooms. One place to start is by considering what works in your existing space and, more importantly, what you can’t wait to change. Spend time getting your layout right and the rest of your design plans will fall into place more easily. 

Luxury bathroom design with brown cabinets and large lighting!

9. Going Overboard with Your Remodel

When remodeling your key home living spaces, it’s important to get the design you want with the functionality you need for your family and lifestyle. However, if you intend to sell your home soon, you must also consider how your remodeling choices will affect your resale potential. If you overdo your remodel and price yourself out of your local real estate market, it could hinder your chances of future resale. 

Check out neighborhood homes and consider the size and style of other homes in your area. This doesn’t mean you have to create a replica of your neighbor’s house, but you should examine whether your proposed remodel will be out of step with other area homes when you go to resell. 

10. Not Planning for Important Extras

When it comes to remodeling, the extras are like your accessories for an important outfit. Make sure you plan space in your budget for these extras. You must also take them into account when planning your design as they form part of your room’s style and color scheme. Some of the extras that put the finishing touch on your design include:

View of a kitchen

Start on the Path to a Successful Home Remodel!

Your home is your refuge, a reflection of your style, and an asset that enhances your life. If you are embarking on a home remodel it pays to plan carefully, work with experienced professionals you can trust, and create living spaces that you will love for years to come. Think of this as an investment in your lifestyle and create spaces where you will enjoy relaxing or hanging out with family and friends. Our experienced design team is ready to help you with all your kitchen design, bathroom remodeling, and other home needs. Contact us today to get started!