Renovate Your Home: 6 Things NOT To Do

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couple planning to renovate home

When you renovate your home, there can be pitfalls. Here are 6 things to avoid when renovating your home to help you get around those renovations pitfalls.


When you renovate your home, it can be intimidating even for the best of us. With a blank slate, or worse, a canvas that needs to be refinished, it can get overwhelming even if you’re a pro.

Here are a few considerations of things not to do in revamping your home.

1. Don’t downsize the number of bedrooms

It’s easy to think that turning four bedrooms into three large ones would be an attractive premise when reselling your home, but you would be wrong. More is better and will get you a higher selling price on your home, even if you do a luxurious reno in making the rooms larger.

2. Don’t go overboard on wallpaper

Whether you’re using wallpaper trim or just using wallpaper all over, be wary of going overboard. If there’s too much it’ll turn off future buyers who might think it’ll be way too arduous to remove or cover. Instead, pick your battles wisely and opt for just an accent wall. Better yet, why not think about stenciling, which is easy to paint over for future homebuyers?

3. Don’t remove closets

Oprah once said real estate was the best investment because God wasn’t making anymore land. Well, your house isn’t making anymore space, either, so don’t remove closets just to make a room bigger or enlarge a bathroom.

Sure, people can buy wardrobes or make a “built-in storage” solution, but you’re asking a lot of a homebuyer. They love closets. Everyone loves closets. Where else will we hide our skeletons—I mean, junk?

4. Beware the funky little designer sink

We’ve all seen the little bowl-style sink on a pedestal for the bathroom. So charming! Yet, in practice, they’re horrible if you’ve got decent water pressure. Water splashes everywhere if you’ve got the wrong faucet with the wrong sink.

Just because designers think bowl sinks are pretty doesn’t mean they’ll be great to live with year-in and year-out. Think about practicality. Wouldn’t you like a sink that contains all the water? Think about when you have to hand-wash garments, for instance.

5. Don’t do first-time projects you can’t afford to fail with

Whether it’s installing your own kitchen counter or re-plumbing your shower and bathroom, there are some projects that involve a level of precision you can’t fudge. This isn’t painting your ceiling, folks, this is the kind of stuff where, if it goes wrong, it can cost a few thousand to do it right.

Save the margin-of-error stuff for yourself, but make sure you’ve got pros ready to help for things like the new kitchen counter.

6. Don’t skip the permits

If a licensed contractor would need a permit to do work in your home, then you need it too. Skipping permits could put you in hot water come time to sell your home if you can’t prove the work done meets codes and safety standards.

Anyone who’s ever bought a renovated home that was chock-a-block full of hidden issues can tell you it’s not worth the grief to take a chance on buying homes that don’t have the right paperwork for any projects undertaken.

That ain’t all

These are just a few things to watch out for, big and small. There are more, of course. Your home isn’t just where you live, it’s your investment. Taking shortcuts, planning badly, or muddling through a renovation without the proper know-how, these are all ways that you could be causing huge losses on your biggest investment of your life. Proceed cautiously and you should be just fine.

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.