We’ve heard stories about home renovations gone awry – a testament that sometimes, things don’t really go as planned. Despite this reality, Belinda Grundy, founder of BG Property Styling, believes that while pitfalls in renovation can happen, all of them can be prevented. In this post, Belinda writes the most common home renovation pitfalls she encountered in her years working as a Property Makeover Specialist.

Not having an overall ‘masterplan’

Before construction, a team of building professionals spend a lot of time planning. Home renovations or makeovers are just small as compared to commercial construction but planning is still essential. “What I usually do is to prepare a calendar of works to ensure that a makeover project gets completed on time, within the budget, and with the target results,” explains Belinda. “Without the time to plan, a project may drag on, and all of the works may seem ‘direction-less’ because there’s not a guide to follow.”

Buying a lot or buying ahead of time

There’s news that it’s always better to buy renovation materials in advance, especially when they’re on sale. Wrong. “Planning should precede buying of materials. You can’t possibly know what you need if you don’t know what you have to do,” Belinda clarifies. “It is indeed tempting to take advantage of online or store sales, but when you buy ahead of time, the money you thought you saved from a discount might just be the same money you’ll spend to fix a problem.”

Ignoring upfront issues or not having a contingency plan

When renovation work starts, there’s a big possibility that surprise “problems” will turn up. For example, issues in wiring or plumbing may reveal themselves just as the wall is being ripped apart. Belinda says, “The role of the professionals in these cases are crucial so that these problems will be addressed on time and will not impact the progress of the project. If homeowners insist on ignoring these issues, then they’re in for a bigger problem.”

Taking the shortcut or cutting corners

“This is what I always want to do: to help homeowners add value and appeal to their property right the first time. That means that I can’t settle for anything less than exceptional. That means, I don’t allow cutting corners because a property is, after all, an investment.” That’s Belinda speaking about always going the extra mile in every renovation project. “That’s why I can’t stress the role of hiring professional trades and engaging in tested services. If time is of prime importance, I advise homeowners to always rely on the professionals.”

Ignoring trade licenses or the just-do-it attitude

“I’ll explain it this way: in a renovation project, there are tasks that may be done by unlicensed professionals, there are tasks that need to be done by licensed professionals, and there are tasks that have to be done by specialised trades. I make it a point to explain to homeowners why this and that is needed. As a consequence, every task is aligned to a service professional.” Belinda has worked with renovation companies – her friends in business – consistently ever since. “I know who to approach for this kind of work and another,” she explains.

All of these mistakes in home renovation seem a little different from each other. At first glance, they appear to be independent issues that need independent solution. But Belinda says there’s only one solution: “to prevent all of these from happening. These things don’t need to happen – perhaps this is their main similarity. So my advice to every homeowner is to always consult a professional first.”