It feels satisfying when you have finally dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s on a mortgage. Getting the finances ready for a big purchase, like a house, can be a bit of a test. The real challenge, though, is in making your new house into a home.

This can be as simple as buying a few plants and rearranging furniture, or it can be as extensive as constructing a new home. Whatever your house needs, you will have to watch out for these common remodeling blunders so you don’t commit it in your own project.

1. Wanting to renovate right away

Before planning an overhaul, get to know the house you’re occupying. Identify the workflow inside different rooms; if a person returns from the grocery, where do the packages go? How is it like moving inside the kitchen, the laundry room, or other spaces? Identify the choke points in the home and see if your renovation can address these. 

If possible, you should also learn about how your home fares under different weather conditions. This is why it’s a mistake to renovate shortly after purchasing your home; you need to know as much as you can about living in the house. Otherwise, how would you know what should be repaired?

2. Not preparing a timeline or cost analysis

At the start of your project, you should already have a budget. Know how much you’re willing to spend and add 20 percent to that figure. Most people underestimate how much it costs to have a place renovated, so adding this much will keep you in a safe range in case you overshoot the expenses. If you are short, cut back where you can. Give yourself a deadline for planning your budget; though you theoretically have all the time in the world, contractors won’t wait for you.

Another thing people underestimate is the amount of time it takes to complete a project. With your cost analysis and budget, you should also have a timeline. This should detail milestones in your contract, and who you should expect certain deliverables from. If you’re hesitating to commit to a full-scale project, consider renovating your home one room at a time.

3. Hiring the first person they see off a list

Be willing to pay a premium for quality service. Home builders who offer cheap and quick services might not give you a good return on your investment. It is better to make a deal with someone who has higher rates but a good track record. Ask your prospective contractors for the names of people they had worked for the past, and see if you can ask questions about their experience.

It’s also good to check your contractor’s portfolio to see if you have similar tastes and aesthetics. Ask a lot of questions, not just during the interview but throughout your contract with them. You should be in constant communication about your needs, their building and designing constraints, and other matters that have to do with the project.

4. Knowing nothing about home renovation

Though you’re paying others to take on the work of renovating your house, you should also know a little about interior design, construction, and other relevant matters. Before beginning, you must have your furniture sizes and types of accessories in a list. Specs for items like appliances and lighting should also be included in this list.

Furthermore, you could print out all of this information and store it in a binder which will be onsite. This handbook will be a great resource for your builders and designers. It is also valuable during appraisals and open house tours, in case you decide to sell your home.


A house renovation takes time. If you’re planning on giving your home a new look, it’s important to live in your house for a while, get a feel for the workflow, and research construction and interior design principles. Your contractors will definitely appreciate someone who is on the same page with them and can make reasonable requests and projections.

If you’re looking for the best home builders in Indiana, you would find them at Duke Homes. We have been a trusted home builder for 30 years and we bring solid craftsmanship and artistry to each project. Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more.