Our Top 5 DIY Home Renovation Horror Stories

When it comes to tackling a home renovation, it pays to avoid some of the more common DIY horror stories. Here are our top 5 pitfalls to avoid when considering your next home upgrade: 

Working without permission

Becoming a homeowner doesn’t mean you have carte blanche over your living space. Sure, there’s a lot you can do, but some types of outdoor and indoor work requires planning permission. As an enthusiastic DIYer, nothing is more upsetting than having a visit from the local council and being ordered to undo the changes you’ve just made. While taking down a garden shed might not hurt your pocket too deeply, a larger extension like a patio or barbecue area might. Unapproved alterations may also render your home insurance void, which could have serious consequences.

SOLUTION: Confirm whether you need approval for every change you’re planning.

Rushing things

Once you think you’ve laid all the groundwork for your first DIY adventure, taking things slowly can feel like the last thing you want to do. Rushing things can mean you see changes faster, but it also means you could be left regretting losing the wall you’ve just knocked down, or worse!

SOLUTION: Take your time to develop a good plan, price it and then action it. It also pays to ask for a second opinion from the experts before making final decisions! The same goes for hiring: one of the hastier decisions you can make is hiring the first contractor you interview. It’s worth getting several bids, and making the effort to check references — that way you’ll set yourself up for a hassle-free renovation once work finally does get started.

Succumbing to trends

The hot pink wallpaper you spotted in your favourite decor magazine? It might not stand the test of time, even though you love the way it makes you feel right now. While ensuring your living space is on-trend may put a smile on your face, finding yourself unable to update the look quickly and cheaply when trends change will leave you feeling stuck. 

SOLUTION: Make peace with a neutral colour palette as your base, like wall colours and big furniture. Annual updates then become low-budget, manageable affairs, where you accent with the latest colours, textures and appliances at the drop of a hat. Apply the same philosophy to external renovations too! By making your home’s style blend with those around it, you’re laying the foundation for peaceful co-existence with your neighbours and retaining your home’s resale value.

Cutting corners on costs

Being overly frugal can set you back in the long run. While the cheapest price tag can look like your best option on a tight budget, you’ll only end up paying more for the repairs or replacements. When you’re tackling a home renovation, being sensible with money is necessary, but scrimping on quality shouldn’t be an option. 

SOLUTION: Always work with a trusted, accredited renovation builder to ensure quality workmanship. If this is your first time at the head of a renovation project, it’d also be worth trusting your team to source the materials for you. With the bulk/builders discounts they receive, you’ll often end up paying the same price overall, despite any sourcing fee they may charge. This is why investing in reputable, expert help can make the difference between a home renovation dream or disaster.

Misjudging scale

One of the most common DIY mistakes in home renovation also seems to be one of the simplest — measuring and scale. The to-die-for fireplace you bought on an impulse may not fit your living room once it’s out of the (considerably bigger) showroom. But these DIY horrors could be as simple as shaving an accidental centimetre off your calculations and finding yourself with too few materials or not enough room to install your appliances. 

SOLUTION: Ideally, you’d be able to draw up 3D models of any planned renovation, but when this isn’t possible it could be as easy as whipping out some chalk and asking for some expert help. If you’re planning to purchase a fixture or big furniture, take measurements in store and mark out where you’d place it on the floor. This will give you a good idea of how it balances with the rest of the room. When you’re measuring for counter spaces and the like, it may save you heartache and wasted budget if you call for an experienced tradesman to either do the measurements for you, or double-check your numbers. 

Sometimes, the risks of a DIY are not worth the reward (even of a good laugh). Accept a little help from the expert team at Sertorio Homes — we’ve drawn on our 40+ years of experience in home renovations in Perth to create a guide that helps you build your own renovation team. It’s the quick and easy way to find out whose help you need, and to ensure you contract a team you can trust. And if you’d like to dive into home renovation in more detail, get in touch! We’d be happy to answer your questions or even pop around for a free no-obligation quote that will make sure your next home upgrade avoids making it onto anyone’s horror story list! 

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