Reviving your home or cottage is a process that requires a lot of time and care. Deciding to gut the bathroom and add a master walk-in closet is a great idea until you realize you need update the plumbing and you already spent your budget on a heated floor or ultra-modern tub. Below are a few of the most common mistakes that people make in renovating their homes. Overlooking Rooms. Invest in the functional spaces of your home or cottage first – kitchen and bathrooms are the most important rooms to update. Only after these rooms are updated should you move onto less-crucial spaces like a bedroom or an office. Investing in the Wrong Items. If you’re going to invest in higher-priced items like kitchen appliances or bathroom fixtures, you can always balance it with more affordable items somewhere else. Just avoid doing the reverse: spending a lot on an accent wall and then economizing by installing laminate floors instead of hardwood. Landscaping The exterior of your home is very important to maintain and increase your home’s value.   It sets the mood and creates an atmosphere, and it should tie into the renovation of the interior of your home. Not Respecting the Bones of your Home. Live in your home before renovating and respect the bones of the house before making any home improvements. Many homes can be updated with a moderate effort. If you are not sure what to do with your space – hire an Architect for an expert opinion. Hiring the Wrong Contractor A traditional contractor relationship is the most expensive part of the renovation process. Take your time and do your research and go with a referral. If you don’t have a referral, I would suggest bidding out to a few contractors who have done similar work and comparing prices to find the best match for your budget. Major Renovations Hire an Architect if you have a major renovation of your home or cottage planned. Having an architect on board will help to streamline the project and give you the best version of what you’ve envisioned for the home. In a recent survey, Consumer Reports spoke with 300 general contractors to find out what breaks people’s budgets when they remodel their homes. Changing your mind after work has begun: 59% of the contractors surveyed said that altering your plans during construction is the biggest, most costly mistake people make when remodeling. Think through every tiny detail before you get started and do it with a professional. Budget Contingency. Make sure your budget has a contingency of at least 15-20% of the overall budget. When renovating there are almost always unforeseen issues that arise and your budget should be able to accommodate any cost overrun. Budgets are often exceeded when there is unknown structural damage, hidden mould, or unaddressed electrical problems that existed before remodeling started. A pre-inspection can find these beforehand so you can create a more realistic budget and account for such issues.