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Don’t make these five common renovation mistakes!


Renovating can make your home or office feel fresh, new and inviting. It’s an exciting opportunity to dream about your ideal space and make it a reality. If you’re going through the time, effort and expense to renovate, make sure you do it right the first time around by avoiding these five common mistakes. 

1.    Having your head in the clouds

The key to a successful renovation is setting a realistic goal. Instead of trying to renovate your entire home at once, focus on one room at a time. When budgeting, always set aside an extra 10 to 20% of the budget for unexpected expenses—you never know what you’ll find lurking behind a wall or under the floor. Also, budget for additional time, as you want to make sure the project isn’t rushed and that you have time to give proper attention to important decisions.

2.    Falling for a scam

To avoid getting scammed by a dishonest contractor, keep an eye out for red flags. Be wary of a contractor who asks for more than 10% of the project cost up front; professionals who are in good standing will get supplies and equipment rented on credit, so they shouldn’t need your money to proceed with the job. 

Another red flag is a contractor who suggests not obtaining the required building permits or asks you to get them yourself; that should be the contractor’s responsibility. Make sure that your contractor puts everything you’ve discussed about the project into a thorough contract.

3.    Not researching your contractor

The best way to make sure you’re getting a quality contractor is to do your research. Get quotes from at least three contractors. If one is significantly lower than the others, it’s probably too good to be true. If you find a contractor you want to hire, get references from their most recent clients and make sure they’re fully licensed and insured before proceeding. You can also check out a contractor’s reviews and ratings on HomeStars.com. Your home insurance won’t cover fixes for poor-quality workmanship, so you’ll want to make sure you hire someone who will do the job right the first time. 

4.    Choosing aesthetics over function

Take this as an opportunity to assess the state of your home and find out if there are any basic structural fixes that you need to work on during your renovation. A brand-new floor isn’t going to last long if you have a roof that leaks. If you discover that your pipes or wiring need to be replaced, ensure that work is completed before you renovate, as you don’t want to rip apart your newly renovated room after the fact. 

Prioritize what you spend your money on by thinking about which fixtures you’ll interact with. You’ll notice and appreciate the difference of a quality cabinet or faucet more than a decorative tile. 

5.    Forgetting about insurance

When you renovate your home, the value of your home changes and the risk changes. Your insurance provider must be notified before the renovations begin!  This allows them to make any necessary adjustments to your coverage based on the extent of your renovations; and ensure any added risk, plus the value from your renovation, is covered under your policy. Insurance carriers have different guidelines around renovations. Talk to your broker to discuss what is the best insurance solution for you.  

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your renovation goes as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions about how your renovation plans will impact your home insurance or would like to get a quote, contact an TW Insurance broker at 1-888-338-2685