If you’re planning to renovate your property, it’s always good practice to learn from other people’s mistakes. Here are the top six home renovation mistakes that everyone makes – and how to avoid them!

1. Know your space
People will never think they have enough storage to put in. Consider utilizing any nooks and crannies in your space; take advantage of opportunities to add hidden shelving and storage whenever possible. After all, that archaic collection of beanie babies isn’t going to store itself!

2. Be smart
A trip to the ER will be a huge project buzz kill. Avoid any potential damage to yourself and your property by taking the appropriate precautions. Wear a hardhat, gloves, mask and goggles whenever necessary. Open the windows when you’re sanding, stripping, painting or varnishing to let out the fumes. Before you start your project, it’s important to make sure that both you and your home are protected in the event of an emergency.

3. Quality Counts
We know it’s tempting to choose the cheapest contractor and materials out there but for obvious reasons, it’s probably not the best idea. Generally, you get what you pay for and as this is your house, there comes a point where frugality isn’t worth it. Don’t skimp on heavy traffic items like light switch fittings, toilet paper holders and blinds – you use these everyday so they need to last. When it comes to flooring (tiles, word, linoleum, carpet etc.) don’t just go for the bargain, make sure it’s durable and low-maintenance. You don’t want something that scratches easily, or is impossible to clean. Representatives at home improvement retailers like Build Mate can help point you in the right direction.

4. Be realistic about your skills
Overexcited DIYers tend to go a bit demo-crazy at first. While demo is fun, it can often go terribly wrong. Make sure to know which walls are support structures, and which contain plumbing or electric work before attacking them. Also, make sure to identify any harmful materials that might be at your job site (asbestos, lead, mercury). A little prep can save a lot of time and headache down the road. Most DIY websites are an invaluable source of information for the jobs you want to do yourself.

5. Avoid breaking the law
While permits may seem like a hassle, they serve an important purpose: to keep you safe and validate that the job was done right. Some insurance providers would not cover you without proof of permit on certain jobs. Call your building department to see if your job requires a permit and ensure you have it before the renovation begins!

6. Go to a showroom
While the internet is a great resource for design inspiration and price-checking, it’s important to see your materials in person. Take a trip to your local showroom and check out that tile backsplash in person. Most home improvement stores will even sell you a sample of the materials you’re considering so that you can take them home and envision them in action! 


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