How to avoid house renovation disasters

Our house renovation did not always go to plan, so here are some tips on how to avoid house renovation disasters. Hopefully, I can help a few people out, and they can avoid making the same mistakes that we did.

Making a stud wall

We ‘found’ an old doorway that had clearly been boarded up a few years ago. Our house must have originally had a hallway, and this would have been the door that ran from the back of the hall into the kitchen. It had been boarded up with chipboard which couldn’t be plastered over.

This set us back a couple of weeks as Jay had to make a stud wall himself, which he had never done before. It would have been fluke to get it right first time, so it had to come down and be built again. Luckily, Jay had learnt from his mistake and got it perfect the second time, using the right tools

The floor had to be levelled twice

With a house, know that nothing is going to be straight. Literally, none of our walls are straight, and our floors weren’t level enough for the wooden flooring in the kitchen. It also didn’t help that cement had been used to glue the tiles to the floor.

When Jay was lifting them up, a huge metre-wide chunk of concrete came up with the tiles. This had to be filled in with concrete, and then the floor was properly levelled.

But even after one ‘go’ of levelling it wasn’t level, so we had to do it again.

avoid house renovation disasters for mess

Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

Some of the plastering had to be redone

Thanks to our wonky walls, the plastering was done twice to try and level them out. Some walls were fine to be left, but our chimney breast was visibly out of line. It was re-plastered to bring it straight with the other side.

This doesn’t sound like a big job, but it meant we had to wait another week for it to dry before we could emulsion the walls.

Some of our skirting didn’t even touch parts of the wall, because it was so out of line, so we had to fill this in afterwards with caulk.

The radiators went on before the skirting board

This is a logistics problem that no one thought through. It wasn’t too much of a problem. It just meant me and Jay were on our hands and knees with a laser level. We had to get the skirting cut straight and then nailed on correctly.

Top tip to avoid house renovation disasters: try and paint the skirting before it goes on the walls. If you have a workbench, balance the skirting on it and prime and gloss it. It might take a couple of days, but when the skirting is on the wall, it’s difficult to paint it accurately whilst crawling on the floor. I did get some on the freshly-painted walls (ssh, don’t tell Jay).

Always leave a toilet in when renovating the bathroom

Even if you have to plumb it in again at the end of every day, it’s crucial that you leave the toilet in. I had to use my neighbours’ for around 8 weeks. Luckily, we weren’t living there full time, and Jay often used my flower beds instead (thanks).

Photo by Paco S on Unsplash

Keep every single receipt

The amount of money we have probably wasted because we wanted to take something back, that we didn’t use, is probably ridiculous.

Luckily, places such as Wickes have a six-month return policy, so you still have time to find that receipt even four months later.

If you’re lazy, it’s best to stockpile things that need to go back, so you can do it in one trip.

I hope these tips on how to avoid house renovation disasters helps you somewhat! Really think about the order of things logically to avoid making things more difficult for yourself. You wouldn’t put the flooring in and then paint the ceiling!

Any other tips you’d add? Let me know in the comments.