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Common Renovation Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Renovations are complicated.

It’s easy to talk about renovations, adding on another room or ripping out a wall, but the reality involves a number of moving parts – contractors, building materials, project managers, labour costs, consents – that don’t always work together. Getting it right can be stressful, time consuming, and incredibly expensive.

Mistakes don’t help. If things go wrong, you’re looking at more time, money, and stress – even for seemingly small errors.


Kris MacGregor of MyHome Renovations has worked on hundreds of building projects – these are some of the most common mistakes he sees:


1: Budget blunders

Homeowners often have a very unrealistic idea of what their renovation will cost. Some have a ballpark figure from a builder friend, or a years-old quote that’s no longer accurate. Materials and labour costs have increased significantly over the past decade, so it’s essential to get a professional, up-to-date quote before you decide to go ahead with a project.

2: Rushing into the renovation

Some homeowners are so excited about a renovation project that they want to get going as soon as possible. But without thorough research and consideration in the planning, design, and product selection stages, you’re more likely to change your mind during the project or find that your renovation isn’t exactly what you wanted when it’s complete.

3: No built-in backup plan

Almost every renovation includes some surprises – extra costs, delays, or unexpected issues with the house or land. When these things pop up, homeowners without a 10-15% contingency built into the budget are forced to scramble to find extra cash, or beg the bank to extend their mortgage. Of course, if you work with MyHome, we can help reduce costs by cutting back the project or downgrading product choices – if it comes to that.

4: Choosing the wrong people for the job

Builders and contractors are not created equal. Choosing people who specialise in your specific type of project is essential – some builders have plenty of renovation experience, others specialise in commercial projects, some know all about villas and bungalows while others focus on building new houses. With the right professionals for your project, you’re less likely to run into problems.

5: DIY project management

If you’re a professional working with people, it’s easy to imagine that you have the skills to project manage your build yourself. After all, it’s just organising, right? In fact, large renovation projects can require hours of management time every week, usually during business hours. Working all day and sending emails or texts during the evening just doesn’t cut it – it slows down the project overall, and you’re more likely to end up with expensive mistakes.

6: Changing your tune

Renovations require hundreds of decisions, big and small. Being indecisive is understandable, but it’s problematic if it happens during a project. It can be very expensive and time consuming to go back and change or redo work because you have changed your mind.

7: Cutting the wrong corners

Many owners try to save money by hiring separate subcontractors to complete work. Problems occur when these subcontractors don’t have the expertise they need to complete the job. MyHome’s Kris MacGregor remembers the homeowners who got a contractor to tile their splashback, and ended up having to have the work completely redone (by MyHome) – essentially paying for the same job twice.


MyHome Renovations can’t prevent every tiny mistake, but we can help you avoid the big ones, communicating every step of the way so there are no surprise costs at the end of a project. We project manage your renovation from concept to completion, using trusted builders, contractors, and suppliers, so you know everything will go as smoothly as possible. Avoid making mistakes on your next renovation – talk to the MyHome team now.

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