Common Home Renovation Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Remodeling your home is exciting and fulfilling, albeit a bit stressful! Between finding a contractor you can trust, planning your budget, choosing your materials and features, and making sure your project is everything you dreamed of and more upon completion, it may feel a bit overwhelming – before it even begins. Thankfully, we've been remodeling homes for a very long time, and are here to help calm your nerves!


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The best way to ensure you don't lose a wink of sleep from the beginning of your remodeling project to the very end is to plan ahead. Knowing the most common mistakes made by homeowners throughout the remodeling process is the best way to avoid making those mistakes yourself, so let's dive in.


Common Mistakes Made During the Decision-Making Stage

Over this last year, we've all spent a lot of time staring at the walls in our home. If you've found yourself ready and rearing to remodel, you're in the decision-making stage. It's at this point that you will need to decide whom to complete your remodeling project with, and which contractor will be the best fit for your goals.


Learn from these most popular mistakes:

  • The temptation to DIY. Don't get us wrong, there are some worthy DIY projects out there – swapping out the drawer pulls on your kitchen cabinet is a great way to give your space a quick and relatively inexpensive update – but when it comes to rearranging your entire floor plan, a professional design-build team is your best bet! When it comes to moving electrical, plumbing, or appliances, attempting to do this yourself could cause major headaches down the road, and skyrocket the costs you had previously calculated.
  • Not setting/sticking to a budget. Your budget is your best friend. We'd all love to remodel our homes with no-holds-barred, and point or click at every single thing we see, but that isn't necessarily the most efficient way to see a positive return on your investment! Setting a budget during the decision-making stage is key, as your contractor will need to know this information to craft your space to best suit your needs, and your wallet. Remember: industry pricing trends are constantly changing based on product and material availability – an experienced contractor will be able to help you navigate this hurdle and keep your budget on track!
  • Not researching your contractor. Experienced and capable contractors can be found via highly-regarded referrals from friends, family, or coworkers. At the very least, plug them into Google and see what pops up. If they do not have a website, be wary. Without a way to find out more about their experience, their team, and photos of their past work, how will you know they're the best fit for your project?

Common Mistakes Made During the Design Stage

Once you've found your contractor, the fun can begin. Both homeowner and designer share a common goal: bringing your dreams to life! The design stage is also a crucial point for your budget. If you chose not to work with a design-build contractor, your designer and builder will work separately from one another. This opens up a world of possibility in terms of incorrect finish or material orders – and possible budget overages.


At the expense of sounding like a broken record, we cannot stress the benefits of working with a design-build team enough! This method of building is the best way to protect the investment that is your remodeling project. Both designer and builder are under one roof, dedicated to your project. This severely diminishes any chance of miscommunications, as your team is able to brainstorm how to turn your vision into a reality, without the headache of phone tag or other miscommunications.


Learn from this popular mistake:

  • Focus solely on appearances. This is one of the biggest mistakes many homeowners make during the design stage of the remodeling process. It's extremely easy to get caught up in the fun part of making your home look beautiful, and it's important to do so! Just always remain vigilant in sticking to your budget – this is where design-build experts can really make or break your project goals. A design-build team that houses both designers and builders within the same camp is the best way to bring your overall vision to life while remaining within the predetermined budget you set. There is more to a successful remodel than mimicking everything you see on Pinterest – the flow and optimization of your space to suit the needs of your family shouldn't come second! 

Common Mistakes Made During the Construction Stage

Once you've found a contractor and finalized your design selections, it's time to build! While at this point in the process, you should feel comfortable that you are in good hands with your contractor-of-choice, there are still a few mistakes homeowners make during this stage that can lead to frustrations down the road.


Learn from these most popular mistakes:

  • Buying home decor too early. Since the construction stage of the process is now in the hands of your trusted builder, you may get the urge to start proactively decorating. While this isn't frowned upon, always be cognizant of the fact that without seeing a finished and finalized space in real-time, spending lots of money on decorations could lead to making a lot of returns at Target and Pottery Barn in your future!
  • Buying new appliances. We want to be clear: buying new appliances for your remodeling project is always okay – buying them after your space has been designed and construction is well underway is not ideal. An experienced design-build contractor will want to know what appliances you want prior to making the final design plan, to be sure the design accommodates those appliances.

Common Mistakes Made During the Final Completion Stage

Well, you've made it! Your remodeling project is complete, and your contractor has scheduled a final walk-through with you and your family. While every contractor's goal is to hear the words "everything is perfect, see you later!", that sometimes isn't always the case – and that's okay.


The most common mistake made by homeowners in the final completion stage, or their final walk-through, is not being honest. Reputable and experienced design-build contractors are equipped with the ability to address any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. If you do not address these questions, you may regret it down the road!



Ready to Remodel Your Des Moines Area Home?

At Compelling Homes, our goal is to create spaces for homeowners to live, grow, work, play, connect, and thrive in. If at any point in the process, a homeowner has a question or comment about their project, we bring it to the table and find a solution! We understand that remodeling your home is an investment not only financially, but emotionally, and a project is not considered complete until we all feel like we're on the same page.


Compelling Homes Remodeling + Design has a refined five-step process to help you through every stage of upgrading your home in Central Iowa. Our team can provide valuable industry knowledge and insight to guide you through designing your home remodel and selecting the right materials, features and finishes to achieve your vision. When you're ready to start talking about remodeling, so are we!