7 TERRIBLE Home Renovation Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

Marc Sawyer
4 min readDec 27, 2021

Home renovations can be a costly and time-consuming project.

There are many mistakes that people make when renovating their homes, but the most common is not fully understanding the cost. It’s easy to get carried away by your initial excitement, but it’s important to have a realistic expectation of what you will spend so that you are prepared for any future funds needed.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid a lot of the pitfalls and have a successful renovation. You just need to know what to look out for.

If you find these tips useful please consider hitting the like button below. It will help other people find ideas to help with their renovation project.

Hi! I’m Marc I design unique spaces for families so they can discover an extraordinary life at home.

Maybe you’re not aware of it, but home renovations can be a costly and time-consuming project. Of course, you are. But have you considered all the hidden costs? There are many mistakes that people make when renovating their homes, but the most common is not planning for the hidden costs and scope creep. It’s easy to get carried away by your initial excitement, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid some of these pitfalls and have a successful renovation.

Not fully understanding and planning for the complete cost.

Don’t forget to be realistic about the cost of your renovation. Make sure you understand how much it will cost to renovate your home before you start, and figure out what’s realistically in bounds for your budget. It’ll save you a lot of heartache down the line. Don’t focus purely on material costs. Labor costs are the most expensive part of renovating a home.

Having an expansive budget at the outset of a project without proper planning may cause you to overspend on some things and underspend on others. Skipping or skimping on important design details — like hiring a professional installer for example — could result in some pretty serious consequences down the road, some more severe than others.

Having some money set aside for unforeseen issues is very helpful.

Not thinking about your future after you complete the renovations.

You need to think about what will happen after you complete your renovation project and how will it impact your life. Did you plan flexibility into the design that will allow your family to adapt to the space? As people, we are constantly finding new interests and hobbies that take us in many directions. Your home should enhance not hinder those ambitions. Design for your family and your uses, not your neighbor or for resale value. Unless you really do something weird, your resale will be just fine. They are going to renovate anyway.

Underestimating how long each part of the project will take and not allowing enough time to finish it all!

You’ll want to have a clear time estimate for every aspect of the project, so you know how much you can get done in a day. The last thing you’ll want is to run out of time before finishing what you planned. If you have a contractor, be sure to keep a schedule of upcoming work and deadlines. Be flexible, but stay on top of recurring delayed work and possible long lead time items. Not planning ahead for construction delays and extra costs resulting from them is a major pitfall.

The amount of time it takes to renovate a home can vary depending on the scope and size. It’s important, however, that you don’t underestimate how much work is involved. Create a clear project timeline, but you also need to make sure that if anything unexpected happens, your renovation will still be on time and within budget.

Picking a design style that’s trendy now but will be quickly outdated.

Building a project that is trendy but will be quickly outdated later on is also important to avoid. Pick a style that’s timeless! Creating a space that is outdated will later have you asking the question as to whether it was worth it or not.

Getting bad advice from friends or family — it’s always best to do research before starting a project

People are great at making suggestions but it’s very important to do your research so you know what’s reliable before taking their advice. Do they have experience going through something similar?

Trying to DIY when you don’t know what you’re doing

If something is too complicated for you, hire someone.

Hiring a professional is always recommended, especially if you are not experienced. Trying to do it on your own when you’re inexperienced could result in long-term problems with your home that cost more money or time than if you had just hired help in the first place!

Choosing a cheap amateur contractor — only hire someone with experience and good reviews! You want someone who can help guide you through the process. Their experience will come in when you need to evaluate your existing home and how the modifications can and will take place.

Not consulting with a professional designer before you start

You should always consult with a professional designer before starting a project, no matter if you’re simply painting a room or going forward with major renovations. Sometimes they can help prevent costly mistakes down the line by saving you from making the above renovation mistakes.

As always, I hope this article was helpful! Thank you for reading. If you would like to see more articles like these please subscribe and hit the like button to let me know that you enjoyed it.

Thanks again! Marc

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels



Marc Sawyer

I’m an Architect. My favorite thing to do is create stories through architectural design. Founder of Whitewash Studio architecture firm in Atlanta, GA.