25 of the biggest design mistakes new homeowners make — FIXED!

There are many design mistakes that impede the flow and functionality of the space. In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to show you the renovation mistakes you're probably making and how to fix them!
25 of the biggest design mistakes new homeowners make — FIXED!

Many design mistakes impede the flow and functionality of the space.  In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to show you the renovation mistakes you’re probably making and how to fix them!

You got a mortgage and bought a house. Hooray! Now comes the exciting part: renovating it and making it your own. Here in Superdraft, we have the best renovation consultants who are ready to help you get started on this project. But first, let’s look into the most common design mistakes that first-time renovators make. Save time, money, energy, and more when you avoid these:

1. Starting renovation too soon

When possible, spend some time in your newly bought home before making any plans. Get a sense of its soul and character. Learn its flow and where the choke points are, so you know which parts to fix. Knowing the house helps you make informed choices when you plan for your renovation. 

2. Not preparing for surprise costs

Set aside funds to cover unexpected costs during the construction phase. Prepare at least 20 per cent of the total project cost. You need funds in case the project cost more and took longer than expected. 

3. Expecting everything to go according to plan

If you are renovating an older home, you need to prepare yourself for unforeseen events. Who knows what you’ll discover when you take down one of the interior walls or the flooring? What if you found asbestos and need to remove it ASAP?

Always prepare for the unexpected. Nobody can promise a smooth sailing renovation because things might not go according to plan.  

4. Not hiring a project manager from the onset

A renovation is a significant expense; you might spend more than you expected. Get a project manager to coordinate the designers, consultants, and builders on your behalf. Trust us; this method is more efficient than going directly to a designer or a builder. It saves you time, energy — and you get your money’s worth. 

READ: What is the best practice method to ensure the success of your project?

5. Going for the builder with the lowest bid

Based on experience, the builder with the lowest bid isn’t always the best option. Quality work is worth the money. Here in Superdraft, we can help you obtain quotes from builders and help you choose the best offer. 

6. Hiring a designer that’s not a good fit

There are a lot of excellent and skilled designers out there, but not all of them are a good fit. It is best to look for an expert in the works you want to do. 

More importantly, work with a designer who asks a lot of questions about your lifestyle, needs, requirements, style, and priorities. Curiosity and communication skills are crucial to this partnership. 

7. Not reading online reviews

Always look up the reviews of the company you want to hire for your renovation project. When possible, reach out to the clients who left that review to know more about their experience. 

READ: Superdraft online reviews

8. Not estimating construction costs after the design/planning stage

Inform your designer about your budget from the onset, so they can give you design solutions that you can afford. 

Here in Superdraft, our designers consider your budget. We want to give you a plan that you can build. We have an accurate construction costs calculator that you and our designers can use to find out if the project is in the right budget ballpark before you fall in love with a plan and pay for the complete set of drawings.

9. Pretending to understand the design

Tell your designer when you are confused, or you can’t understand the design they are proposing. Your designer should be able to explain his work thoroughly. 

Here in Superdraft, we provide hyper-realistic 3D renders of your project to help you visualise the architectural plans. We also offer immersive and interactive 3D virtual tours, in case you want to experience the design before construction. Virtual tours help you understand how things will fit.

10. Not asking questions

Never shy from asking questions. It is your right because this your home and spending your money. You should know everything about your project. 

11. Making too many design variations

Even simple changes require a lot of work, which is why designers only allow a limited number of changes for free. Making too many changes (and slight adjustments) along the way might cost you more money. 

12. Not setting up a project timeline

It is crucial to establish a start date and a deadline for your project. Be realistic about the schedule. Setting unrealistic deadlines will stress you out and increase the probability of error, resulting in delays. Rushed projects are more expensive too. 

Create a realistic schedule with a buffer for some delays. 

Keep your project organised and on track. For better results, break down the larger plan into smaller, more manageable tasks. 

13. Not prioritising the exterior design as much as the interior design

Work on the exterior of the house before the interior rooms. Build a robust building envelope before you obsess over the chandeliers, carpets, wall colours, and furniture pieces. 

14. DIY interior design

Too many times, interiors are an afterthought. If you are a newbie, engage an interior designer to finish the work. Interior designers ensure that you’ll live in a healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment.

15. Underestimating psychological stressors

Renovations are nerve-racking in nature. It is harder for couples, especially when the two have very different styles and approaches. 

If you are worried about the stress from the disagreements, read this guide. We’ve laid out several strategies for blending two or more design tastes for couples.

16. Skimping on quality fixtures and frills

Invest in high-quality door hardware, faucets, tapware, appliances, and kitchen cabinets. Spend good money on the things you’re going to use every day.

17. Splurging where you should save

On the flip side, try to save on the big-ticket items such as the sofa or dining table. You can dress a sofa with lovely throw pillows and blankets. You can elevate the look of the dining area with a statement light fixture. 

If the tiles still work, consider reglazing them. It is more cost-effective than a total overhaul. 

18. Replacing the windows

Think twice before replacing the windows, especially when it looks decent and has no leaks. A little cleaning can bring them back to life. 

Instead of replacing the windows, consider installing storm windows. Do this to enhance energy-efficiency too. 

19. Not knowing the measurements

The scale is very important. When shopping for furniture, you should know the ideal size of the couch, tables, light fixtures, etc. Write the measurements down so you won’t forget them. 

20. Buying giant furniture

Jot down the measurement of your doors to make sure your new purchases fit through the doors. It is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make, and they only realise it when the oversized furniture got delivered.

21. Buying miniature rugs

Using small rugs is the most common mistake a homeowner makes. Make sure the front legs of the chairs are on the carpet. 

Experiment with various rug shapes and decorations. It is a cost-effective way to spruce up the place.

READ: How to use an outdoor rug

22. Not getting everyone on the same page

When purchasing appliances, lighting, and other items for a renovation, print out all your specifications and installation instructions. Put them in a binder and hand it over to the builder. Through this, your designer and your builder will always be on the same page. 

23. Trying to DIY your renovation project

If you are a newbie and you have zero construction experience, do not attempt to do this project on your own. You waste time, money, and energy when you fail to do the project right. 

Hire professionals to do the project, even if it’s relatively small. Don’t risk it. Construction errors could be expensive to fix.

24. Spending too much on tech

Living in smart homes is ‘hot’ right now, but technology is pricey. Opt for tech that won’t get outdated anytime soon. Prioritise temperature control, bright lighting, smart locks, and security cameras. 

25. Working on too many rooms at once

Homeowners who do a little here and there in multiple rooms often end up leaving the entire project hanging. It’s sad and frustrating for them sometimes. 

If you are renovating on a tight budget and conservative about spending, consider staging the construction. Focus on the major areas first (e.g., kitchen, living room). Finish the parts of the house where you spend most of your time. When the budget allows, move on to the next space.

Want more content like this? Follow Superdraft on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn

If you are living in Melbourne (and nearby suburbs) and you are planning to renovate, contact our Melbourne-based designers.

Love these ideas? Please share them with your friends!

Contact our Sydney-based building designers for more info.



10 Common Kitchen Layout Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

4 Crucial Renovation Mistakes That You Should Stop Making

Start planning for free

Find more articles, guides and inspiration in the planning dashboard. Save them to your dream board, and start planning your dream space today.

You may also like

Join our design community

Forgot your username or password?

Download our '5 crucial things you must know before starting any build project' guide for free today

Simply fill in your details below and we’ll send a copy straight over to you

See how much you could save with a free, no-obligation quote today

Simply fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch to discuss your project

  • Drop files here or

Download The Free Guide Now

Fill in the below to get instant access: