Everyone makes mistake, it’s a completely normal and human thing to do. What’s important is that we learn from them and share the knowledge on.

That’s the purpose of today’s blog, we thought it would be a good idea to run through some of the three most common mistakes people make when renovating a home. These are just things that we’ve come across in our years of experience in construction, so is absolutely not a definitive list!

Mistake #1 – Setting an Unrealistic Budget

One mistake that we see time and time again revolves around budget. If you’re new at the renovation game and are basing your costings on someone’s else’s build or taking the finger in the air approach, it can be quite easy to underestimate the cost of a whole renovation. 

Whenever a client comes to us for an estimate on their project at O&U, we always like to make sure that the client is upfront and honest about what their budget is. This isn’t so that we can squeeze as much money out of the project as possible or try to add on unnecessary services in order to increase the cost, it is purely so that we can manage expectations and design within your budget. 

By letting us know how much you can afford, we can then let you know how much of your project is achievable with the amount of money you have predicted for this to cost. One of the worst things to happen with a project is for a client to begin the work and run out of money before the home has been completed. 

How do you come up with a figure for your budget though? As long as you keep in mind that your budget is a prediction and not gospel, any adjustments in the figure will be less of a surprise. Research homes *in your area* that have gone through similar transformations or levels of work to see if you can come to a ballpark figure. We cannot stress enough the importance of the location of the home you are comparing your project to, a home in London will not be comparable to a home in Cambridge! If you can’t research similar projects in your area, break down you projects into manageable sections to see if you can calculate a figure based on this. There’s also the method of saving up a certain amount, speaking to a few contractors and seeing what it is you can get for your money. As long you give some kind of idea of how much you’re willing to spend, more contractors should be able to provide a figure.

Mistake #2 – Sacrificing Functionality for Social Media

There are a lot of people nowadays that are guilty of doing things specifically because of, or for social media. While there is an infinite number of handy tips and inspiration available online, it’s only really valuable if it works for your home life. Take for example open plan kitchens and living rooms, it looks wonderful on Instagram, bright and airy, exactly the kind of style that would “get likes” but if you live in a busy household where the ability to shut off one room from the other is quite valuable, it’s not an easy change to undo so it’s absolutely worth doing some research and testing out a few theories before taking your lead from anyone on the internet!

Mistake #3 – Choosing a Contractor on a Whim

As a contractor ourselves, we know how important it is for clients to be as thorough as possible when choosing someone to take on your project. It’s very easy to be seduced by pricing or words, but it’s incredibly valuable to make sure you’re checking out past work and speaking to clients that have worked with the contractor previously. 

There are a few things to bear in mind when choosing your contractor, this includes past work and style as mentioned above, but also, it’s a good idea to make sure that you get on and feel comfortable with them too. You’ll be speaking with them a lot throughout your project so it just makes life easier if you have a good relationship with your contractor.

As mentioned previously, these a just a couple of things we felt would be good to mention in our quest to help make the process just that little bit easier! 

If you feel like you’re ready to discuss your options, Olive & Umber offer packages that will suit whichever route you decide to go down whether it be tradition or Design & Build. Our D&B service is specifically aimed at those at the beginning of their journey, without architect plans and just looking for the simplest way to go about things. We include a fully project managed service, will assign a dedicated site supervisor to your project, and make sure that lines of communication are wide open the entire time.

Drop us a message if you’d like to find out more by emailing info@olive-umber.co.uk, we can’t wait to hear from you.

Home Renovations - Work in Progress

Where We Operate: Olive and Umber are building contractors based in Peterborough providing design and build service for home renovation, house extensions, loft conversions, plumbing services and new builds across the UK including LondonOakhamHuntingdon, Northampton, Corby, Kettering, Cambridge, Wisbech, Ely and more.