When it comes to renovating your home, there are a number of common traps to avoid. 

And they are all too easy to make, because like any new initiative, there is just so much you don’t know that you don’t know. 

In this article we’re going to break down  some of the common mistakes people make when undertaking a renovation, together with the unknowns to watch out for as your chosen builderstarts work on your existing home.

The biggest mistake we see is so many people these days want to be a DIY expert and do the renovating themselves without getting a builder involved. The problem with this is there are a number of issues that can arise. For instance, did you know… 

Removing Walls or Posts Can Create a Number of Unexpected Issues

It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make, and also the most common.

Many DIY renovators will open up the space by removing walls or posts, without realising they are carrying a key role in the structural integrity of the house.

Let me explain…

There are a couple of different ways homes are built – the modern method is to build houses with roofing trusses – pre-manufactured roofing structures that sit on-top of the structure and spread evenly across it.

In this case, most internal walls are not load bearing, the external walls are carrying the weight and the truss frame is holding up the roof.

But many older homes  have pitched roofing that was built by hand. 

With a pitched roof, many of the internal walls ARE actually load bearing (it comes down to weight distribution and how the frame is braced if you want to get technical) so if you remove one you run into all sorts of issues – like a sagging ceiling, roof leaks and wall movement. It can even threaten the structural integrity of the whole house.

You need to be careful with modern homes with a truss roof too, as the internal walls can be bracing walls which if removed, will reduce the strength of the structure and impact its cyclone rating. 

Therefore even if you decide to tackle the reno yourself, it’s wise to choose an experienced and licensed builder to inspect the home and guide you in the planning stages!

Beware the leaky balcony…

Another common mistake that occurs time and time is one most people wouldn’t even think of: waterproofing a balcony!

For instance, many new extensions add a master bedroom to an upper level, and a balcony is a stunning addition. 

Who doesn’t want to wake up to the sun shining and the birds chirping as they step out onto their bedroom balcony, coffee in hand?

The issue is the balcony is usually built over an existing lower level, and when it’s not waterproofed properly, it causes all kinds of issues in the room below.

Water damage, ceiling and wall cracking and sagging is common. And if it’s left for too long, even wood rotting and mould issues can arise, which is a huge health risk.

To repair this mistake is costly – you have to remove the entire balcony, tile bed, old waterproofing, and rebuild the whole thing from scratch.

And if the damage has been absorbed into the floor joists, they are going to need to be replaced.

This is a significant problem because there is already a whole storey sitting on top. The repair bill can easily run well into the tens of thousands

Renovating may be harder than you first thought

Now that you’re aware of just some of the  common mistakes, you can begin to  understand why it can be harder to renovate than you may have first thought as you’re dealing with an existing house with many unknown factors.

Truth is, it’s actually more difficult than  a new build, where you’re working off a clean slate.

That’s why it’s so important to work with a builder with an extensive experience in renovations.

The problems that arise are simply too challenging for the average DIY renovator, or even many licensed builders.

If your team hasn’t had direct experience in solving these kinds of issues, they may unintentionally cause issues to arise down the track.

Now you know the biggest renovation mistakes to avoid – where to next?

By now you are more educated than 99% of renovators, and equipped with the do’s, don’ts and common pitfalls to avoid.

We hope this short post saves you thousands in potential issues, and unnecessary headaches as you undertake your exciting new renovation to create your dream home.

If you’ve enjoyed this advice and would like more – feel free to look around our website, gallery or instagram for inspiration, and as always reach out should you need any advice, guidance or information on what’s involved in starting your exciting journey of home renovation.

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