5 home renovation mistakes to avoid

Over the last 18 months, we have spent more time at home than ever before. Our homes are not just somewhere to relax at the end of a long day; now for many of us, they’re somewhere to work, eat, sleep, play and socialise in.

As a result, many of us have started to rethink our living space. Wouldn’t it be great to have a bigger kitchen, a dedicated home office or perhaps even another bedroom?

This reimagining of our homes has led to a surge in home improvements and DIY’ers. After all, if our home is our haven, why not make it as suitable to our needs and as comfortable possible?

But, before you start taking a sledge hammer to that dividing wall or completely revamping your garden, there are a few things that you need to consider first.

Here are five home renovation mistakes to avoid.

Not having a set budget

When it comes to renovating your home, your budget can be as big or as small as you like. However, from the offset, you need to have a clear plan about what you can realistically afford.

For some homes, changing the wall colour and adding some modern furniture will be enough, while others will want to add an extension or revise the internal layout. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you can afford it.

While you will be able to do a certain amount yourself (painting, upcycling furniture etc.), some jobs such as electrical work or laying a foundation will need a professional’s help so don’t forget to factor that in.

Not checking where gas lines are

You may think that the odds of damaging a pipeline when breaking ground on your renovation are slim, but even so around 550 underground gas pipelines are damaged every year in Ireland.

If you have a gas connection, it is essential that you check the position of the gas service pipe that supplies your home before carrying out any excavation work.

Ireland’s gas network operator, Gas Networks Ireland, has an award-winning ‘Dial Before You Dig’ website, phone line (1800 42 77 47) and email address (dig@gasnetworks.ie) that can provide you with the necessary information to ensure you stay safe before starting a renovation project on your home.

Gas Networks Ireland will be able to give you expert advice and help you to locate gas pipes near your home. So, whether you’re building an extension, installing a new driveway or landscaping your garden, you’ll know that you’re doing it safely.

Even if you’re just doing some minor indoor improvements, a small nail or screw in the wrong place could damage an internal gas pipe. The last thing you want to do is make more work for yourself so always contact the professionals first. And, if you are employing a builder or contractor, make sure to remind them to always dial before they dig.

Focusing on appearance

Of course, you want your new home renovation to look good but the most important thing is that your house is both safe and sound.

Be sure to address any structural or safety issues inside or outside the home as well as making sure important things like the foundation and sub-flooring are sound.

Make sure to use registered professionals to do certain types of work, particularly electrical and gas work where it is a legal requirement. Putting up some shelves is a DIY job, but rewiring a house or moving a boiler isn’t.

By spending a little bit of extra time on these important areas, you’ll end up with a much better finished project and can relax in the knowledge that your house is safe and sound!

Sticking to trends

A home renovation project is a great way to bring your interior style up-to-date, but make sure you’re choosing a timeless look over a passing trend so you can enjoy your space for longer.

A funky patterned couch might look great now, but will it date your sitting room in a few years? You might love that dark paint colour for the hall, but will it be hard to replace down the line?

Having a timeless design means that your home will be effortlessly stylish for a long time to come. Plus, it will also make it more sellable, should your circumstances change.

Stick to neutrals, sturdy materials and classic looks to keep your home looking great for longer.

Having unrealistic expectations

Working on your home can be messy, noisy and inconvenient, even in the best circumstances. Do some research before you begin work so you can better understand what to expect before, during and after your home renovation.

It’s also important that you choose a time that will suit your family. Spring or summer might seem like the perfect time to get stuck in, but will it affect the kids’ summer holidays or your own plans to relax?

Contractors are usually less busy in winter so you might be able to get the job done quicker. It’s something you should think about.

Remember, if you are considering breaking ground, contact Gas Networks Ireland’s Dial Before You Dig service first to check for gas pipes in the vicinity. Visit their dedicated website, send them an email to dig@gasnetworks.ie or give them a call on 1800 42 77 47 today.