Home Makeover Mistakes to Avoid

Home renovations can pay you back quickly—either in increased resale value for your house or by making it a better place for your family to live. There are some home makeover mistakes to avoid, though, so you spend your budget money wisely and get the results you want.

Photo: flickr.com/photos/marcp_dmoz

Don’t Upgrade the Interior of an Older Home While Neglecting the Exterior

It’s a Catch-22 when you own an older home: Should you put your precious budget into an interior makeover, or should you install new windows and fix the foundation? Windows, foundations, roofs and siding aren’t very sexy, but they keep your family warm and dry even though your carpets are a bit worn and that paint color in the family room is driving you crazy.

If you need to spend a significant amount of money upgrading the exterior of your home, prioritize those items in your spending. As they get checked off your list, give yourself an interior reward to make your environment more functional or pleasant. Little by little, you’ll completely renovate both the interior and exterior of your home.

Also take advantage of insurance claims that might be awaiting you. Each insurance company has different rules regarding when claims should be made, but a recent hail storm might get you new shingles or new exterior paint. Look into this possibility as long as there’s a legitimate reason to contact your insurance agent.

Don’t Mix High End and Cheap Remodeling Materials

It’s incredibly easy to overspend your budget, which is why some home makeovers end up with gorgeous marble counter tops and $99 faucets, or a light-therapy whirlpool tub and stick-on laminate floor tiles. Keep close track of your budget and spend plenty of time shopping before you buy anything.

It’s better to stick to middle-of-the-road choices for most materials and fixtures. Remodel your home based on color schemes or room themes to keep costs under control. If there’s a feature you absolutely must have, don’t break your budget and end up with something tacky to compensate for overspending.

Put some serious thought into how long you’ll own your home and how much you might recoup if you sell. Some high end features and materials won’t appeal to other people, so the money you spend might not bring you a higher resale value. At the same time, cheap remodeling materials often don’t wear well, so again you might not get your money out of a home makeover.

Don’t Cram Too Much “New” Into a Renovated Bathroom

Does your cramped bathroom lack functionality? Don’t be tempted to shoehorn too much into a small space. Put in a space-saving shower, hang the sink on the wall rather than installing a vanity, and trim the size of the commode to free up floor space.

Prioritize features—both for your own family and by guessing what any future family might want in a powder room (if you’ll ever sell your home). Consider designing a “man” bathroom with a simple urinal setup and a pre-fabricated shower surround, and skip any frilly or girly details that take up valuable space. Or, create a room for bathing and skip adding a toilet. (This might be essential if you have more than one teenage girl in the family.)

No matter how you decide to renovate your small bathroom, never skimp on ventilation, lighting and safety. A strong ventilation system reduces the chance of mold and mildew. Proper lighting makes all bathroom activities more pleasant. Safety is essential, from slip-resistant flooring to grab bars to rounded edges on everything.

Do Avoid These Home Makeover Mistakes
If you pay attention to the exterior of your home as well as the interior, you make your home a better place to live (and save money in energy costs). Balance luxury materials with reasonably-priced materials so the whole project ends up looking gorgeous. Finally, don’t cram too much into a small bathroom makeover—or into any small room, for that matter. Avoid these renovation mistakes and you’ll get exactly what you want!

Post contributed by Lucy Massey, on behalf of Empire Carpet

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