Not many things are more annoying (or embarrassing) than spending both time and money on a basement renovation project only to find that you’ve made costly mistakes. Renovation mistakes can be avoided altogether with professional consultation, however, and can save you countless hours and lots of money when done right the first time. Before tackling the basement yourself, and potentially causing more problems, let’s go over the top five renovation mistakes that you can avoid before you’re in too deep.

1. Using Cheap Materials – Putting Your Family At Risk

One of the worst things you can do when renovating your basement is using the cheapest materials you can find. It is rare that these materials will be fit for long-term quality and will be a waste of valuable time and money when you have to remove and replace them later on.

Many of the cheap, low-quality materials also pose a health risk to you and your family. These cheap products are manufactured with materials that can be toxic. Over time, they can release airborne gasses (called off-gassing) that are known to create all kinds of health issues – including hormone disruption, respiratory issues, cancer, and even death.

Cheap materials can also pose a risk due to product failure. Low-quality electrical materials, for instance, can cause a fire, electrocution, and faulty appliances. This is very dangerous and can be avoided by using industry approved materials by a licensed contractor aware of the municipal building codes.

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2. Small Bathroom Syndrome – Sometimes Bigger is Better

There are few things worse than trying to take a shower in a two-foot by two-foot cubicle, leaning over a toilet, while avoiding knocking things off the shelves and slipping on your butt. When a basement bathroom is too small, it becomes a cause for safety issues as well as annoyance.

The trick to all renovations is making sure that your budget for everything needed – plus 20%. You never know what unforeseen circumstances will be unearthed during the tear-out process that can put a dent in your budget. Trying to compensate by cutting corners in key areas – like the bathroom – only leads to more frustration and regrets down the road.

3. The Dimly Lit – Lighting Makes All The Difference

One of the most often overlooked components of a basement renovation is the quality of the lighting. Ignoring lighting can cause hazardous conditions, but often just makes the space feel less endearing. It doesn’t add a lot of cost to the overall renovation to make sure that you put a few more lights in here and there to give the space the luminescence it needs to be truly great.

Using small additions like stair lighting, hallway lighting, under cupboard lighting, crown moulding lighting, and various accent lighting around the space can make all the difference between a mediocre space and one that feels warm, cozy, inviting, and fresh.

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4. Decoration Overload – Avoid the Gaudy, Embrace the Simplistic

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and felt immediately claustrophobic, stuffy, and uncomfortable? This is a common side effect of a space that includes way too much decor. When a space is too busy, it can create a sense of low-level panic in the body that over time can have an impact on your sense of wellbeing.

Keeping things sleek, modern, well-furnished, and simple can provide you with all the modern luxuries you want, while still having the comfort you expect. Choosing only a couple of colors, a feature wall or statement ceiling, accent accessories, and spacious layouts can make your space feel inviting, modern, and comfortable.

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5. Hiring Cheap Contractors – Your One-Way Street to Future Problems

Did you find a contractor that is 40% cheaper than all the others you were researching? Think you found a rare deal? Think again. Hiring a contractor that is charging far below the industry standard is typically cause for concern. Are they cutting corners? Are they using cheap materials? Are they scammers? Are they good at their job? Do they have any experience? There are so many red flags to consider, and it’s best to avoid these low-cost options.

Making sure to hire a contractor who is certified, licensed, and above the board will be your best chance of getting a quality end result for your well-earned money. You can avoid potentially dangerous and costly mistakes when you choose a reputable professional to take care of your renovation needs. From start to finish, your experience will be much smoother with a great contractor.

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Final Thoughts

Avoiding the most common renovation mistakes homeowners make when tackling the basement can save you time, money, and headaches. The most important thing to consider before launching into a new basement reno is hiring a reputable professional through a well-known contractor. They will make sure that you are getting the most value for every dollar spent and every hour passed. Make sure your project is in great hands. Here’s to an amazing new basement!

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