Skip To Content
Back to News

Top 10 home renovation pitfalls

Help your clients avoid these costly traps

Home renovations are no small task, and a big responsibility for homeowners. It requires research, time, and proper budgeting. If your client is considering remodeling, it’s a great opportunity to remind them that, while this is a great way to boost and protect the value of their investment, it’s also a huge undertaking. Here are 10 potential renovation pitfalls to warn clients to watch out for.

Help your clients avoid these costly traps

1. Poor planning

It is critical to create a detailed plan before renovations begin. This plan should include the necessary products, costs, timelines, and who is responsible for certain tasks (such as subcontractors). Once this plan is completed, it’s important that homeowners stick to it and adjust it, as required, as the project progresses. A good plan is a roadmap for success. 


2. Rushing the hiring

Choosing inexperienced or unsuitable contractors to complete renovations can lead to additional costs and longer timelines. Encourage clients to take time to consider different contractors and not rush into any hiring decisions. Homeowners should carry out multiple interviews, reach out to references, and have detailed discussions on what the project entails. Don’t hesitate to ask about materials and their usual process. It’s also important to compare prices, quotes, and take a look at previous projects. Ensure all expectations are noted in the contract in writing. 


3. Ignoring the professionals

Even though most homeowners are confident in their vision and what they want for their home renovation project, remind them that it’s important to consider a professional’s point of view. While Pinterest and other online research is a great place for inspiration, builders and contractors have a wealth of experience when it comes to what is practical and possible. Once the homeowner has chosen a good team to complete the renovation, it’s important to trust them and be open to their suggestions and advice. 


4. Uncovering nightmares

Before handy homeowners start knocking down walls in their home, they should press pause and find out what’s behind those walls. Homeowners often don’t consider how changes could affect the plumbing, wiring and structural support of their home. Acting too quickly – and without doing the research first – can be extremely costly.


5. Overdoing the DIY

Some homeowners may attempt to do a whole renovation project on their own to save on costs, or for a fun DIY project, but it’s important that they know their limits. If your client has limited experience, encourage them to consider professional help for bigger jobs, like the ones that involve electrical work or plumbing. DIY home renovations can lead to unanticipated errors and costly mistakes. Encourage clients to stick to the simpler jobs in the renovation, such as painting and tiling, even if they are very handy.

Overdoing the DIY

6. Mismanaging the budget

When it comes to budgeting for a home renovation, it should not be a “set it and forget it” task. Remind clients to check in regularly with their budget and ensure they have a bit of wiggle room. Renovations usually cost more and take longer than expected. Suggest adding an extra 10% to 20% additional funds to the initial estimate. 


7. Buying cheap materials 

When choosing construction materials, you get what you pay for. Even if the homeowner saves money at first, the cost of maintenance is likely to be more down the road, especially for materials and finishes in high-use rooms like the kitchen or bathroom. In addition, recommend that clients over-order the materials needed to complete the job to account for wastage and defects. Even if supply isn’t an issue, materials purchased at different times, such as backsplash tiles, are likely to come from different colour lots. That inconsistency can impact the project’s final look.  


8. Taking wrong measurements

As the old adage goes, measure twice and cut once. This is one of the costliest mistakes for homeowners. Stress to clients the importance of double checking all measurements before doing any ordering for the renovation. For example, if a homeowner purchases and installs customized kitchen cabinets, only to realize that they did not leave enough room for appliances, it could mean starting from scratch – and spending a significant amount of additional money.


9. Choosing form over function

Of course homeowners want their new renovations to look great, but always encourage them to prioritize the function of their space over design. While it’s important to love the appearance of their new bathroom or kitchen, the functionality of the space is what matters most. 


10. Taking on too much

Discourage clients from renovating multiple spaces at once. Help homeowners choose priority areas in the home to focus on, and do a manageable amount of work at one time. That way, if the project is more expensive or takes longer than expected, they have the option of taking a break in between rooms. Then, when the budget allows, they can move on to the next space. 


Home renovations can be very stressful for homeowners, and remodeling costs generally start in the tens of thousands of dollars. Clients undergoing renovations often end up needing more funds than originally expected, especially if they did not leave some cushion in their budget. Remember that CMI offers fast, flexible short-term financing that allows homeowners to make the most of their equity and get their home renovation projects completed. 


Partner with CMI today and see why we’re preferred by brokers across Canada. With access to more than $1 billion in capital, we lend everywhere from cities to towns and everything in between.

Contact Us

    Thanks for contacting us! We will get in touch with you shortly.