6 Home Renovation Mistakes To Avoid

One of the very best things about owning your own home is that you can change it to fit yourself and your lifestyle. Home renovations are more popular than ever before, and there are countless shows, blogs, magazines and other resources where you can indulge your dreams of a perfect home – if you’re willing to jump into renovating.

But a home renovation project isn’t a journey for the faint of heart. It’s expensive and time-consuming, and there’s a lot that can go wrong before the finished product is, well, finished. To ensure that your home renovation process goes as smoothly as possible, make sure you don’t make any of the following home renovation mistakes.

1. Forgetting about permits

This might not be something you realize you forgot about until it’s time to sell the house — which is basically the worst possible time to discover that your house needs a permit for something and doesn’t have one. So when you’re sure of what form and shape you want your home renovation to take, do yourself a favor and head to the permitting department at your city or county office and ask them what you’ll need.

In general, you probably don’t need a permit to do things like paint walls, replace cabinetry, repaving your driveway or other minor updates. But if you’re going to be changing a room’s purpose or knocking down a wall, then you definitely want to check on the permits that should be filed to make a change like that.

wall tiles installation

2. Creating an unrealistic budget

After watching a few different tanned and glossy couples complete a specific renovation for a certain amount of money, you might feel perfectly comfortable deciding that you can designate that certain amount of money for that specific renovation, too. But like your timeline, your budget needs a little bit of room to stretch. Between material upgrades, hiring extra labor, emergencies or any other budget-breakers, at some point during the renovation, you’ll be glad you built in some budgetary breathing room. 

home renovation

3. Buying the cheapest materials

It’s really tempting to try to discount your way through a home renovation. And one of the easiest ways to do that is by choosing the cheapest materials — but resist! 

The adage “you get what you pay for” is as true for home renovation materials as anywhere else, and if you’re buying flooring, windows or doors that you’ll have to replace in five years instead of twenty, then you’re not actually saving yourself any money because you’re going to have to do this all again sooner rather than later.

Talk to your contractor (or contractors) about the options open to you, and make sure you understand what sacrifices you might be making in quality or longevity for price. 

book stacks on the floor

4. Skipping prep work

If you’ve ever painted a room, then you already understand how critical prep work can be. It’s a lot easier to thoroughly tape off the area you’re going to paint, right? Well, that truism holds for home renovation in general, so make sure you’re doing yourself favors by smoothing the road for yourself.

Cover furniture with drop cloths, for example, or make sure that you’ve got a food prep area set up outside the kitchen that you can use while it’s having work done.

The small steps you take to protect your belongings and make necessities more accessible will be well worth the time they take in the long run.

5. Taking inaccurate measurements

If there’s one home renovation mistake that you should try to avoid at all costs, no matter what, this is it. “Measure twice, cut once,” is sound advice, but when it comes to your money and your house, what’s the harm in measuring ten times before you cut?

Imagine realizing that your new cabinets don’t leave enough room for your fridge, for example, or that you didn’t order enough flooring, or that the bookshelves you’re installing are too tall for the office. All of those catastrophes can be avoided if you measure carefully and accurately, so whatever you do, don’t breeze through this step.

demo days

6. Failing to anticipate a mess

A home renovation is usually a big, messy project. There’s likely to be dust everywhere at the very least, and some of your rooms might not be usable while the renovation is taking place. That’s not always a big deal in the case of a closet or bedroom, but when you’re redoing a bathroom or kitchen, then renovating a house where you currently live can get quite a bit trickier.

Be prepared for a big mess, and think especially hard about how it will affect you if you’re living in the house while it’s being renovated. Use plastic sheeting and drop cloths to keep as much of the mess as you can at bay, and realize that any clothes you’re wearing into the construction zone might need a lot of wash cycles before they return to normal, so dress accordingly.

If you can avoid these mistakes, your renovation will undoubtedly make your house shine. Good luck!

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Rebecca Espinoza


Lark is excited to have Becca join our team as our operations director. She is bringing her organizational skills to help us out with our back office operations. Becca will also be executing tenant leases, property management agreements, transaction coordination, vendor coordination.

Becca is a Colorado native and earned her degree in Human Development and Family Studies/Early Childhood Education from Colorado State University. She then moved to Texas for several years where she taught at a local elementary school. Becca loves children and has adored her years teaching, nurturing and helping them grow.

She has always had a passion for Real Estate and is excited to start her path in this career. Becca currently lives in Sedalia with her husband and 3 children, they love riding their horse, Sammy, collecting eggs from their chickens, running around to gymnastic competitions, lacrosse and football games as well as just spending time together.

Sophia Waters

(Property Manager)

Sophia is our lead Property Manager. She came to Lark with years of experience. Soon we will have more info about Sophia!

Kristin Johnson


Kristin became a licensed Real Estate Agent in 2016 and joined Re/Max Synergy In 2020 in order to help build a property management division. In 2022 in collaboration with her colleagues Kristin decided to open Lark+CO in order to provide an array of Real Estate services to her clients under one roof. These services currently include buying, selling and marketing single family and multi-family homes, property management for single and multi-family furnished and unfurnished rentals as well as design services. In the near future we are excited to add lending and insurance to our portfolio of offerings.

Before getting into Real Estate, Kristin worked in business to business sales where she ran high producing sales teams and developed lasting relationships with vendors, associates and local organizations. Kristin loves meeting and connecting with people – especially potential buyers, business partners, investors and tenants to discuss and understand their specific needs and aspirations. Kristin will find something unique that is tailored to their goals and collaborate on business growth strategies. Kristin successfully sets rents in the Colorado market while helping clients earn their highest potential on their rental properties to achieve financial goals and freedoms.

Kristin adores living in Colorado and enjoys all of the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer. Her favorite is spending time in the mountains with family and friends, her Bernese Mountain dog Hugo, and Lhasa Poo Lola. Vail holds a special place in her family’s hearts and you can find them relaxing in and fishing by the Gore Creek, riding bikes down the gorgeous bike path to Vail Village, skiing the idyllic snow covered runs or cooking up delicious treats with her children.

Kristin enjoys work to the fullest and is excited for the opportunity to be working with you to find the house of your dreams, managing your rental properties or helping you expand your investment portfolio.