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Why Some Renovations Fail (and how you can keep your Des Moines renovation on track)

May 18, 2021 | Industry News

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We’ve all heard the renovation horror stories, and they can certainly start to make homeowners feel a bit apprehensive about beginning their own renovations. The good news is, there are some fairly common reasons why renovations fail. By looking into these reasons a bit deeper, you can better avoid them in your own renovation project. Let’s dive in:

Lack of Research

There is so much research that goes into a great renovation, and it’s all important. Getting the design inspiration and selecting all the right details. But likely the most important area you need to research before diving in is your contractor. Picking any contractor and not really vetting them can lead to major challenges for homeowners. You can strive to avoid this by delving into all the information you can find online, asking family and friends, and talking with your top couple of choices before making the final call.

Lack of Communication

Once the renovation is in progress, it’s so important to try to stay in touch with your contractor, designer, and anyone else who might be involved in the project. When communication starts out poorly, it often stays that way. This mistake can lead to frustrated homeowners and strained relationships with their contractors. Let your contractor know how you prefer to communicate and what kinds of updates you want to receive. If you have questions along the way, do not hesitate to start a conversation. The more open the lines of communication, the better.

Unclear Expectations

One of the most important things you’ll be communicating with your contractor about is your expectations. This means you need to get clear with them yourself first. When homeowners fail to do this, they can’t share those expectations with their contractor, and they can wind up with results that they’re unhappy with. So first, get clear on your own expectations for the project. Then, talk with your contractor. You may need to adjust some of these based on what’s possible or in budget, so be prepared for some dialogue.

Not Sticking to Your Budget

Finally, a major renovation mistake and regret is failing to stick to a budget. This is why it’s so important for homeowners to spend some time building this out before jumping into the reno process. It’s wise to give yourself a range and set a ceiling that is your true max. While you’ll try to come in under that ceiling, you’ll at least have a clear guide to keep you from pouring money you don’t have into a renovation. It’s very important to discuss budget with your contractor and to leave room in your budget for the unexpected. While unexpected expenses can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars and can be difficult to plan for, considering this when you set your budget range can help you manage these challenges if and when they arise.


Do you have any plans for renovating in the near future? What are your biggest concerns? Have you made any renovation mistakes in the past? Do you have any tips to share for other homeowners looking to renovate? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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