Limited inventory and skyrocketing real estate prices have helped fuel the market for home renovations. In towns just outside of the Boston city limits (Brookline, Newton, Needham, and more), one can drive merely a mile before coming across a home undergoing some sort of major upgrade.

While renovating an existing home can be an ideal way for a family to upgrade systems, home flow and function, and even add more living space, it can also open a massive can of worms if not researched and planned properly (and ahead of time). Here are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen homeowners make in the renovation process:

Being Green. No, I don’t mean energy efficiency (though that *is* important, too). Most homeowners simply don’t understand the cadence of residential construction. They don’t know where to start and who to call at what point in the project, which leads to several steps forward, then backwards. And backwards again. Every step takes time and money. If you’re not clear where you’re headed, you’re wasting energy. Having a guide through the renovation process saves time, money, energy and most often: sanity.

Choosing the wrong type of contractor. Unless your friend or neighbor has the exact same home and same budget as you, taking referrals from a friend often leads homeowners to contractors who are simply not qualified or experienced for their particular job. Think about it: a luxury hi-rise condo in Boston is not the same as a Wellesley colonial. A custom build on the Cape isn’t the same as a new home in Weston. A renovation of a historical home is nowhere close to the same as a two family purchased as an investment property. Every contractor has a set of skills, but almost none of them are universally the same. Finding a contractor who fits your vision, needs, budget, home, and location is a very specific requirement and not one that should be determined without a significant amount of research.

Chasing the (Wrong) Number. Most homeowners have sticker shock when they realize the true cost of a quality home renovation. Unfortunately, many stick with their original number regardless, hoping to somehow find a contractor who is cheaper. This approach doesn’t work. Find a contractor who meets your project goals and can show a detailed, transparent pricing plan. If the budget is too high, scale back the goals or consider a staged renovation. Looking for a team who meets the budget but lacks project planning skills inevitably leads to a problem down the line.

Blueprint Advisors helps homeowners hire the perfect skilled team from the start, guaranteeing a smoother building process and avoiding costly mistakes. Connect with us for a free consultation.