Home renovations can be expensive, time-consuming and sometimes downright disastrous. However, this is a major trend in 2022 with the continued rise in home ownership and the Work From Home (WFH) style of work triggered as a result of the pandemic.
According to a 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Study report by Houzz Inc., home renovations were more prevalent in 2021, with 55% of homeowners reporting activity, up from 53% in 2020, 54% in 2019, and 54% in 2018. also spent 20% more on renovations. Median spend in 2021 was $18,000, up from $15,000 the year before, when median spend had already increased by 15%.
Additionally, higher budget projects (representing the highest 10% of spend) have increased from $85,000 in 2020 to $100,000 or more in 2021.
Earthweb indicates that 80% of homes in the United States in 2022 are at least 20 years old; therefore, they require home improvements and renovations.
US inflation hit its highest level in forty-one years earlier this year, leaving little room for additional spending. So if you’re planning on remodeling your home this year, follow these tips from industry experts. Be aware of these ten common mistakes people make if you want to avoid an unnecessarily high dollar payment.
1. Not sticking to a budget
According to National Remodeling Experts, it is essential to have a realistic idea of the cost of the project from the start and to stick to this budget. Unexpected costs such as hidden damages, permit fees, or unforeseen design changes can quickly add up and blow your budget. Be sure to factor in a buffer for unexpected costs, but stick to your original plan as much as possible.
If you’re working with a professional contractor, they should be able to help you come up with an accurate budget for your project. If you are doing the work yourself, be sure to do your research and get a realistic estimate of the cost of materials and labor.
There are several ways to reduce your renovation costs without sacrificing quality or functionality. If you’re willing to get creative, you can find ways to save money without compromising your vision.
For example, consider shopping at salvage yards or online auction sites for accessories and materials. You can also search for used furniture or appliances to reuse for your project.
Another way to save money is to choose a more economical option for materials or finishes. For example, you can opt for a less expensive material like laminate or tile instead of marble countertops.
2. Choosing the lowest cost every time
Using cheap materials on a home improvement project is tempting since costs have skyrocketed.
The National Association of Home Builders reports that prices for building materials are up 20.4% year-over-year and 31.3% since January 2020 based on an index report. producer prices (PPI) for residential construction inputs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past five months, the index has climbed 10.6%, while the price index for services inputs in residential construction rose 3.8% in February, after rising 5.1 % in January 2021.
Choosing the cheaper option can save you money upfront, but cost you more in the long run. Do your research and select materials that will last. Also consider installation and labor cost when making your selections.
3. Not asking for references
Architectural Digest says it’s important to ask for references if you’re planning your renovation. This way, you can be sure that the person or company you are working with is trustworthy and has a good track record. Always make sure you get at least three references before deciding. Additionally, GoBankingRates lists references as one of 12 important questions to ask before hiring a contractor.
4. Spending too much on technology
If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, don’t go overboard with technology upgrades that will be outdated by the time buyers come knocking. Instead, stick with timeless features like hardwood floors or a new roof.
“Homeowners often want the latest and greatest technology, but they need to think about future buyers,” says Brad Hunter, chief economist at HomeAdvisor. “You don’t want to implement features that will quickly become obsolete.”
For example, investing in a home automation system may not be the best use of your money if you plan to sell in the near future.
“Homebuyers are looking for low-maintenance homes, and many of these systems require ongoing maintenance,” says Hunter. “If you’re not planning on being home for a long time, you might want to wait to install them.”
Other tech upgrades that may not be worth the investment include in-wall speakers, programmable thermostats, and high-end appliances. Instead, focus on smaller, more affordable upgrades that appeal to a wide range of buyers.
5. Not knowing the measurements
Always take measurements of your space before you start buying furniture or making major purchases. Jocelyn Chiappone, interior designer and principal owner of Digs Design Company, offers this advice: “Don’t fall in love with a 94-inch sofa when you can only fit an 84”.
6. Ignoring building codes and working without a permit
Check with your local building department for the permits required for your project. Working without a permit exposes you to a fine and voids any insurance claim if something goes wrong.
So take the time to get it right and get the necessary permits before you start your project. It might take a little longer and cost a little more upfront, but it could save you a lot of headaches (and money) in the long run.
7. Install new devices last
Appliances are often one of the most expensive aspects of a renovation. While waiting to install them, you may find yourself overspending and scrambling to make up the difference.
According to Nationwide, a common mistake people make when renovating their homes is installing all new cabinets, kitchen counters and flooring, then realizing they need all new appliances like refrigerators to match the design. It’s very expensive, because buying all the new devices can add up quickly.
Instead, installing new kitchen appliances first and then working around them when renovating your home is the best approach. You can update your cabinets, counters, and flooring later to match your new appliances.
Additionally, appliances can often be difficult to install. If you wait until your renovations are complete, you may feel rushed and stressed, which can lead to mistakes.
8. No professional consultants — architects/designers
Architects and designers can help you avoid costly mistakes, maximize your budget, and end up with a home that looks great and functions well. So don’t try to go it alone, consult the experts!
9. Underestimating psychological stressors
Physical and emotional stress can harm our bodies, our minds and our relationships. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential for stress when undertaking a home improvement project and take steps to avoid it.
Here are some tips from industry experts to help you avoid stress during your next home renovation:
- Plan ahead and be realistic about your project timeline. Rushing to complete a project can lead to substandard work and added stress.
- Communicate with your family or housemates about the potential for noise, dust and disturbances. Having an open and honest dialogue will help everyone prepare for and adapt to change.
Set a budget
- for your project and stick to it. Trying to save money by taking shortcuts can lead to stress and frustration down the road.
- Hire a qualified contractor you trust. A good contractor will be able to help you through the challenges of a home improvement project.
10. High Interest Home Improvement Loans
Home improvement loans often have high interest rates, which can add up over time and cost you more in the long run.
To avoid this,
- Research the best rates and terms before taking out a loan. Compare offers from several lenders to see who can offer you the best deal.
- It would be better to consider using a home equity line of credit instead of a home improvement loan. Adam McCann at
- says that a home equity line of credit has a lower interest rate and allows you to borrow against the equity in your home.
- If you’re unsure which option is right for you, talk to a financial advisor or home improvement expert. They can help you understand the pros and cons of each option and make the best decision based on your situation.
With a little planning and careful thought, you can avoid these costly home improvement mistakes and save yourself time, money, and headaches in the long run.