7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Your Remodel

Photo by Laurie Shaw

Whatever the reason (promotion, selling, or you just feel like it), you’re ready to remodel your home.

That’s great! After all, everyone wants their home to look great! And if you’re a homeowner looking to sell, you’re probably hoping remodeling will help you get a better return on your investment!

But if you don’t want to be filled with regret, you need to make sure you aren’t making any of these 7 horrible mistakes with your remodel.

1. Ignoring Building Codes

This is a big one…

There are many reasons you might be tempted to ignore building codes when planning your remodeling project. A few obvious examples include wanting to add extra bedrooms before selling the property, adding a staircase where there wasn’t one before, or even just adding a lot of windows to create a sunroom.

But it’ll definitely cost you in the long run.

Even if you can find a contractor willing to ignore the building codes, it’ll end up being a very expensive affair. For example, you might run into unscrupulous contractors using subpar materials and taking shortcuts without telling you, leading to extra maintenance and replacement costs.

And, more to the point, when you get caught, you’ll be subject to hefty fines plus the added expense of a tear-down and/or redo!

Instead, skip the initial tear-out with these 5 Easy Ways to Improve Home Value!

2. Ignoring the Existing Architectural Design

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Look, we get it – you want to make your home your own. That’s the whole idea, right?

But unless you plan on totally gutting the house and redoing everything, you’ll want to keep the existing architectural design in mind when planning your remodel.

For example, updating your patio (or putting in a new one) is a great idea! But are you being mindful of how the material and its patterning interact with the adjoining areas of your home?

Things like texture, color, style, and even material need to flow together well.

No one’s saying you can’t juxtapose contrasting elements, but doing so properly can be very tricky. And if your motivation for remodeling is to sell, doing so will also be counterproductive!

3. Adding Facilities

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We already mentioned adding a sunroom or even a bedroom can be a bad idea if it requires breaching the building codes. But did you know adding things like a swimming pool solely to increase the value of your house can also be a bad investment when remodeling?

It’s true!

While it seems like having facilities like a pool or hot tub are great assets, many people looking to buy a new home might be put off by it. After all, pools (and hot tubs especially) are huge maintenance headaches.

Overall, a swimming pool will only add a maximum of 7% to your home’s value – and that’s in special circumstances. Considering the cost, it’s not really worth it.

That isn’t to say you should get rid of your pool before putting your house on the market. Plenty of families are happy to deal with the maintenance. They might even be looking for a home that has a pool!

So don’t be afraid to do some stone remodeling with your pool – just don’t go putting one in if your only goal is to increase your overall return on investment when selling the house.

4. Leaving Appliances to the Last Minute

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A very common mistake is leaving the task of choosing your appliances to the last minute when remodeling. Don’t feel alone in this – we all do it!

But this can be a horrible mistake that ends up costing you more time and money while adding heaps of unnecessary stress.

Instead, think of the appliance upgrades as one of the foundational building blocks of any remodel. After all, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, you need to be sure the new appliances fit into their spaces properly.

The same is true for color. This might seem like a strange point to make, but think about it – what if you find the perfect fridge for you, but it’s only available in colors that clash with what you just put in?

You’ll end up needing to settle for another model (worrying about matching the size, color, and style)… or waste a lot of time and money redoing your kitchen again.

The same is true for any other appliances you’re planning to upgrade, whether it’s in the bathroom or even replacing your old fireplace with a new one that uses gas!

5. Going Over Budget (Or Not Having One Planned Out)

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Remodeling your home will cost a pretty penny.

Granted, if you’re only working on a smaller area and/or you’re using stone overlays instead of traditional tear-out remodeling, it doesn’t need to cost as much as it easily could.

But if you don’t sit down and make sure you can afford to execute your remodeling plans, you’re making one of the most horrible mistakes on this list.

Why? Because it’s a one-way ticket to a combination of debt, bad credit, and potentially getting stuck living in an unfinished construction site until you have the cash flow to pick it up again.

The best approach is always to have a clear idea of what you want first. Then figure out what you can afford (don’t forget to take impact on property value into consideration here). And finally, go out and start looking at how much it’s actually going to cost!

You also might find yourself making compromises along the way in order to stick with your budget – which should ideally be at least 10% higher than the projected cost. This way, you have extra money set aside to cover unexpected expenses that might pop up.

6. Trying to Cut Costs in the Wrong Ways

It’s very easy to get discouraged if your available funds total less than the cost of what you want.

But if this happens, you need to be flexible and willing to make some smart changes. For example, instead of tackling the whole house right away, perhaps you can start with smaller projects spread out over time.

On the other hand, a few horrible mistakes you could make include:

  • Hiring a substandard contractor
  • Using substandard materials
  • Trying to do some of it yourself without the necessary expertise*
  • Having friends and family members who don’t have the necessary expertise* help you for free

*Some small projects can be done DIY even as a first-timer, but these are limited to things like building new bedside tables for yourself or giving your home a new paint job. This is especially true if you’re remodeling to sell the house, as DIY jobs can often be very noticeable and look like a hasty cover-up hiding bigger issues.

Trying to cut costs in the wrong ways will only cost you more in the long run. This is one of the reasons #5 is such a horrible mistake too!

7. Not Preparing Yourself for the Remodel Period

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Last, but not least: don’t make the mistake of failing to prepare for the remodeling period!

What do we mean by that?

Well, if your contractor is working on your kitchen for a few days, you’ll want to move your fridge to another room temporarily. You’ll also need a microwave or even a compact countertop stove for preparing your meals until your new kitchen is ready to be used!

This is another reason you don’t want to try cutting costs by hiring a cheap contractor. Remember, there’s a difference between cheap and affordable. A cheap contractor is less likely to bother spending time preparing you for what the remodeling process will be like!

At Cre8stone, we always take the time to ensure we’re on the same page as you, every step of the way!


Whatever your reason for remodeling your home, being aware of the most common (horrible) mistakes and how to avoid them is one of the keys to ensuring a successful project.

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