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7 Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Getting your dream home can range from a minor home renovation to a total overhaul, depending on the look and functionality you want. It’s a tedious and often expensive process, but the beauty and comfort of waiting at the end are totally worth it.

Having said this, home renovation isn’t something you should experiment on. If you’re totally new to home renovation, here are some common mistakes you should avoid:

Taking on the wrong project

Many people make the mistake of taking on cosmetic changes and putting major repairs on the back burner. Before you get any fancy upgrade, make sure that there are no damages hiding in plain sight. One effective way of telling a “need” apart from a “want” is by doing a comprehensive home improvement assessment to check for problem areas and opportunities for an upgrade.


Buying materials without surveying your home 

If you’re going the DIY route, make sure you’re buying the right materials – and the right amount. After deciding which renovation to tackle first, list down all the resources you will need including the tools you will rent. This can keep you from making impulse purchases and ensure that you’ve got everything you need from start to finish.

To get the right information on the construction materials you will need, you can enlist the help of a Chartered Building Surveyor.


Hiring amateur builders 

As you probably already know, cheap quotes and subcontractors who are available to work immediately are just two of the things you should be wary of when hiring workers.

To make sure that you’re getting the best contractor for the job, ask for recommendations from your family and friends or book a site inspection. Showing your prospective contractor what needs to be done allows them to assess the situation, how much and how long it will probably take to complete the project.


Underestimating costs

This is the most common mistake when it comes to home improvement. To avoid or minimize overspending, draw up your budget by listing all tasks and materials that are needed and then follow it up with a survey of products and services. An ideal ceiling would be 20% atop your allotted budget. Home upgrades do not come cheap – make sure that it won’t mess up your finances.

Another way to go about it is to enquire about flexible payment schemes for major home improvements. At D Harrison, we are offering 0% interest finance for all contracts over £1000. Ask us how you can get your dream home improvement here.


Ignoring rules and regulations

Depending on your location and the type of home improvement you want, you will need to comply with the requirements of the law. Before undertaking any home improvement, make sure that you have checked with the local authority for any needed permission.

Related: 10 Things You Can Do Without A Planning Permission


Settling for cheap materials

Sometimes you end up spending more by opting for low-quality materials that won’t last very long. A quality home improvement is a great investment. When choosing materials for home renovation, never substitute cheaper materials if it’s not a good fit.

  • Traditional buildings do not go well with waterproof sealant or paint.
  • Don’t use these materials if you’re living in a period home: stone cladding, roughcast, pebbledash, PVCu.
  • Don’t substitute hard cement mixes with soft lime mortars.


Not following a floor plan 

Sloppy design or no design at all can potentially ruin your home’s potential. Before taking on a major home improvement, consult with a licensed architect first or a trusted local contractor.

Getting A New Driveway? 4 Things You Must Know

Getting a new driveway involves so much more than choosing the right paving material. This investment can be quite costly depending on the look you want to achieve and you’ll be using it for so many years so getting the basics right is very important.

Here are a few things you should consider when getting a new driveway:

Prepare well.

A poorly laid driveway can potentially cost you more – and nobody wants to pay twice for a rework. Whether you’re getting a block paved driveway, resin, or tarmac, make sure that the surface is well prepared. Tarmac and resin can usually be laid on top of an existing driveway provided that there are no cracks on the surface and potholes are a minimum of 300mm. Overlays are cheaper than a full new driveway but it will be very likely that the pre-existing damage can impact your new surface. Depending on how terrible your new driveway is, you could spend more for getting minor repairs done to get it redone. Not to mention maintenance costs rise every year.

Not all contractors are created equal.

While price may be a major factor when hiring a contractor for your new driveway, going for the specialists on the driveway you want is still the best way forward. When hiring contractors, you may want to get an estimate from several candidates to get an idea of how much a new driveway costs. Next, take it further by asking your family and friends whether they have worked with these contractors before. Keep accurate notes of these questions:

  • How is the workers’ work ethic?
  • Are they trustworthy?
  • How closely did they follow the contract?
  • What’ the total cost of the project?
  • Were you satisfied with the job?
  • Do you notice any problems with the driveway so far?

Before giving it a go, make sure you have booked a site inspection with the driveway experts and know about the process straight from them.

Think about aesthetics.

If you’re serious about increasing the value of your property, matching your new driveway to your home and landscaping is a great way to do it. Think about how your new driveway will affect the style and overall feel of your home. Will it be a curved driveway? A bending one? How about drainage? More than aesthetics, your new driveway should blend with the ground shape.

Get protected. Learn about the warranties that come with your new driveway.

A new driveway is an excellent investment. It instantly increases the value of your property and it beautifies your home in more ways than one. You’re also going to use it for so many years so it’s important than your contractor offers sufficient warranty for your new driveway.

At D Harrison, we are offering 10-warranty for newly installed driveways. If you want to know how our paving surfaces will work on your front garden or you wish to know about how to get them at 0% interest, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

How To Choose The Right Paving Material For Your Driveway

Choosing the right paving material for your driveway can be the biggest decision you will make in terms of hardscaping. Not only will it make parking your car an ease, the paving material you will choose will also greatly contribute to the kerb appeal of your home.

But with the overwhelming choices out there, from texture to colours to patterns, where should you start? Here are a few tips to get you sorted:

1. Ask or look for samples

If you’re aiming for a particular theme, getting a few inspirations for your driveway on Pinterest to show your contractor is a great idea. But whether it’s achievable will still depend on your contractor’s design offerings. To make sure that your driveway idea and your local builder are a perfect match, you can ask for samples of their previous works or visit their showroom to personally look at the paving materials.

2. Consider the feel and texture

Do you want a modern look for your driveway or an old world feel? If you want a modern look for your driveway, the following paving materials can give you just that:

paving material

Shannon in Natural,

paving material

Sienna in Graphite,

Opt for these options if you want a classic look:

paving materialTegula in Bracken,

paving materialPedesta in Slate,

3. Consider purpose

If you’re installing stones for a garden, a depth of 25mm will be suitable for walking. However, you might need a thicker paving material for your driveway. A depth of 40mm or more can definitely withstand the weight of your car.

4. Concrete or natural stone

Though natural stones have better appeal visually and aesthetically, there are still concrete options out there that give value for your money.

If you’re torn and overwhelmed with all the little decisions you have to make to achieve the desired look for your driveway, you can also try a mix-and-match of paving materials for specific paths.

Either way, the best decision you will make will still be the informed one. If you want to explore your options, book a free appointment with local contractors or visit their showroom.