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St. Louis Buyers Ready to Renovate: Be sure to avoid these common mistakes!

Dec 23, 2019 | Industry News

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Are you thinking of buying a home in St. Louis, thinking all you need are a few renovations to make it your own? This can certainly be a good plan if you’re aware of all that a renovation entails. Looking for your dream home can be frustrating at times if you’re expecting a property that already fits your needs and lifestyle. Renovating a newly purchased home can fulfill your house dreams or it can turn into a nightmare. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’re more likely to have a happily ever after.


Spending Too Much

Many people decide to buy a fixer upper hoping to save money, however, when doing the math and calculating the budget, make sure you realistically account for the costs of the renovations the house needs as well as a contingency fund for any unforeseen issues. In addition to these costs, you’ll also need to account for the time and money it takes to stay in another place as your house is getting renovated. You’ll need to cover the costs of your new mortgage and a couple months of rent in a home away from home.


Rushing Into Things

As exciting as buying a house may be, it’s a good idea to actually inhabit your new home prior to actively renovating. Get a feel for the home, notice the natural light or lack thereof, understand how the layout of the home functions – or doesn’t function –  for your lifestyle.  These are all key components to consider when determining what needs to be renovated. Keep an active wish list of the changes that would make your life easier so you can refer to it when requesting contractor bids.


Setting Unrealistic Timelines

Rule number one when going into a renovation is to expect the unexpected. No matter what the circumstances are, your project will most likely fall behind and you should be prepared for that.  There are many reasons for a renovation to take longer than planned – it could be your contractor has too many projects going on at once, materials may not be available, or permits take longer than expected. Just as you need a contingency fund for your budget, you also need a contingency fund for your timeline.


Hiring a Contractor Too Soon

Hiring a contractor and an architect are two of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a renovation. Take the time to do your research and interview multiple candidates prior to hiring. Ask for references and samples of their work. Make sure they are bonded and licensed and don’t pay the total sum upfront. Your contractor and architect are not the place to cut corners either. You get what you pay for so, if you’re making your decision based on the lowest bid, you may regret it in the end.


Being Unsure of What You Want

During a renovation you’ll be asked to make many decisions, whether it be countertops, flooring, or tile, so make sure you’re sure about your choices. Making changes along the way can get quite costly and will most certainly delay the progress. In addition to this, be careful not to get too excited and overextend yourself in upgrades. You set a budget, so if you want to change the countertop from wood to marble, make sure you’re willing to give something up to keep your budget intact.



When deciding on a renovation, make choices that will best fit you and your lifestyle. You don’t have to break the bank to get the home of your dreams, and by avoiding these common mistakes and determining what will make the home function for you, your renovation will be well worth it. We would love to hear your renovation stories.

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