Seven home improvement myths to watch out for

Property expert Thomas Goodman explains the common misconceptions about home renovation which could end up costing you thousands

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Published: January 7, 2022 at 3:01 pm
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When you're planning a home renovation, it can be hard to find reliable advice - one source might tell you to expect everything to cost 10 per cent more than you initially thought, while another could say you should never pay a penny more than agreed.

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With so much contradictory advice out there, when you’re making a major investment, you want to know what’s fact or myth.

That’s why we spoke to property expert, Thomas Goodman at MyJobQuote who outlines seven common home improvement myths to watch out for.

Seven common misconceptions about home improvement

Myth 1: You can DIY everything

While do-it-yourself home improvements are great for some minor tasks, those who aren’t sure of what they’re doing or lack the right equipment should refrain during a large renovation. Failed DIY can have expensive consequences, so sometimes it’s better to get a free quote and hire a professional.

Sloppy DIY tasks that are pricey to rectify include knocking down a wall, which could cost £20,000, electrical wiring which could cost £2,000, fitting flooring at £1200 or fixing a dodgy room painting job at £450 per room.

Myth 2: Renovations will always get you a good return on your investment

You might think you can recoup the cost of your kitchen remodel when you sell, but in reality, home improvements don't always give you an exact return on investment. Typically, you might get between 60 to 80 per cent of the cost spent back.

For that reason, it's best to invest in upgrades that will make your home more comfortable while you're living there, rather than just trying to increase its value.

Myth 3: Paint can cover up anything

When you're starting to paint, it's always a good idea to figure out if there are any problems that could cause the paint job not to come out as nicely as you'd like. For example, ugly nicks, holes or blemishes in the wall might cause new paint not to adhere well. In these cases, you'll want to fix the problem first or hire a professional to do it for you.

Myth 4: Repairing something is cheaper than replacing it

If something breaks, consider how old it is, the quality of its workmanship, and whether the repair will fix the whole problem. If the item is otherwise in good shape and a smart investment, you could get away with a simple repair. But if it isn’t made well to begin with, or if repairing it won’t address the underlying issue, you may as well just start over to avoid expensive costs adding up over time.

Myth 5: You should renovate with current home trends in mind

Many people renovate their homes based entirely on the latest interior trends or idealistic Pinterest images. It’s easy to get fixated on décor styles - however you may end up creating a space that doesn’t work with your lifestyle. Do incorporate the trends you love into your home, but look for ways that are easy to update in the future if styles and your own tastes shift.

And unless you're completely sure you'll enjoy the style for years, avoid installing expensive, permanent materials for your walls, cabinets, countertops, and floors.

Myth 6: Remodelling happens quickly

Home makeover TV programmes are entertaining to watch, however, they are far from accurate on how long it can actually take to remodel or extend a home.

A good contractor can do the work quicker, cheaper, and more efficiently than you can do it yourself, but it will still take several months to complete an extensive remodel of the whole house.

Myth 7: Good planning can prevent all surprises

Renovations have a way of exposing unanticipated problems in your house. No matter how much you plan, it is sometimes only after the contractor begins work will they find the undetected water leak, pests, handyman fixes etc.

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Whilst you should plan your renovation and stick to your budget, factor in 10% above the stated budget as a buffer for surprise costs that may be added to the project.

Authors

Thomas Goodman is a building and construction expert. He works at MyJobQuote.com

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