Common Renovation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Renovating is one of the biggest ways to add value back to your home while correcting issues that could cost you big time if you left them alone. Unfortunately, not every renovation project goes off without a hitch.

 Whether you’re correcting issues you’ve known about for years or you’re renovating your first home right after buying it, problems and mistakes lurk around every corner. 

 These are some of the most common renovation mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Going for Cheaper Products to Save Money

Although it’s always exciting to save as much money as possible, it’s not always the best long-term plan. Going for cheaper products to save money is nice now, but when you get a home inspection, and they find out you used a screwdriver and zip ties instead of installing hurricane ties, your profit is going to fall significantly.


Make sure that everything you do is above the board and will work for at least twenty to thirty years. You want to make a home that you’d be willing to give to your children.

Forgetting to Plan for the Future

There are tons of renovations that can make a huge profit now but aren’t as important as the long-term ones. For instance, you could invest in doing a major kitchen remodel, but you’ll get a higher return on investment and better security in the future if you instead do a mini kitchen remodel and then replace the garage door with the leftover funds.


Although this can be frustrating, especially when you want to make everything big and beautiful right now, it’s important to focus instead on making the home functional and safe.

Avoiding Simple Steps Towards Energy Efficiency

Many people think energy-efficient housing isn’t anything they need to worry about or that it’s a scam: but when you see the difference in your energy bill after the changes, your mind will be changed as well. Making your home as energy efficient as possible will give you a chance to help the environment, have lower monthly bills, and improve your property’s value.


You can do this by updating your siding, regardless of whether you’re weighing between aluminum and vinyl siding or not, and making sure all windows and doors are properly sealed.  If there’s an air leak, correct it as soon as possible. Insulating and replacing an older roof can also make a significant difference.

DIY-ing More Than You Can Handle

DIY is a fantastic way to save money and get hands-on experience in the smaller projects throughout your property. Unfortunately, if you DIY more than you can handle, you’ll end up costing yourself a lot of money and time, resulting in you having to hire contractors to complete the job anyways.


Get to know your skill level, and be honest with yourself. Being able to name multiple types of drywall corner beads doesn’t mean you’re suddenly ready to remove and install siding on your own.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Forgetting Necessary Permits or Permission

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of making your dream home come true, but it’s important to stop and check any rules, ordinances, or laws that might not allow you to complete the project you want to start. Check locally if you need a permit for specific changes, and then check with your HOA as well.


HOAs are fantastic for property value, but they can also quickly become a nightmare if they have to use or fine you to take down changes you’ve made to your property. People have lost their property as a whole by dismissing what an HOA has said.

Hiring Contractors and Inspectors Without Reviews

It’s easy to think you know what you’re doing when you hire a contractor. They have to be good, right? They have all the equipment and an official website: so they must be legitimate. 


Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and almost anyone can call themself a handyman or contractor without much issue. Don’t hire someone that you can’t find reviews or references for. Just because they’re affordable doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for your property.


This is also true when it’s time to hire a high-quality home inspector to see what projects you need to complete. Work with someone you can respect, and avoid taking a gamble.

Forgetting to Set a Realistic Budget and Timeline

The ideal job would be completed in one day on a budget of $25, but that’s just not feasible for most projects. Before you spend any money or hire someone, you must stop and plan ahead. How soon do you need this project completed?  How much money are you willing to spend on it? 


Setting a clear deadline and budget will help you avoid overspending or rushing a job that needs more time. This timeline will also protect you from drawing out a one-month project over the course of several months or years.

Everyone Makes Mistakes: You Can Avoid These

Whether you’re trying to save money and end up cutting corners, or you’re passionate about form but forget how important the materials are: mistakes happen easily during any renovation. Now that you know about these, work with a professional like a home inspector, and you will avoid more errors in the future!


Brian Jeffries is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on construction projects and materials. He lives in Winter Park, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Brian’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.



New homes are being built left and right now that the industry has fully recovered from the supply freeze of 2020 and 2021. Buyers are excited at the chance to be the first people to live in a home: but is new always better?


If you’re considering buying a new home, it’s a good idea to have it inspected: these are the top reasons why!

New Doesn’t Always Mean Good

Although we’ve been conditioned to think of new as good and perfect, that’s not always how it goes. Although most contractors work hard and want to create a property that’s valuable and attractive: new homes aren’t always good homes. If a company is on a tight deadline and wants to get out as many homes as possible: it can take less than two months for them to put a house together. Although insulated concrete forms can cut down the time by a lot, any house that takes less than three months to build should be carefully checked.

Your Foundation is New and Untested

Your new foundation is in perfect condition: but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. If it’s not a good foundation, or they didn’t level the ground out correctly before they laid it, it can crack within the first year. An expert will look at the drainage, what type of soil is used, and if there are any structural problems that can be spotted right off the bat. This can save you from buying a home that will immediately need a lot of work.

Your Roof Needs to Be High Quality

Roofs protect our properties from rain, temperature imbalances, and countless other issues that aren’t fun to deal with. Although the roof is new and might look nice, an inspector will make sure that it will properly protect your home and that you won’t need a roof cover board to go back and correct their mistakes.


A good inspector will also be able to tell you if they actually used composite insulated roof panels or if that’s just something the company is saying for advertising. 

Electrical System Issues Can Cause Fire

If builders were really running through a project, the last place you want them to cut corners is in the electrical work. A bad electrical system can cause a fire and lead the house to burn down, or at least damage your property. Your home inspector will check to ensure everything was put in correctly and that the electrical system is giving them the readings they expect to see.

Termites Don’t Only Bother Old Houses

Many assume that termites only bother older homes, but this simply isn’t true. Termites will dig into any wood available, and this isn’t always the fault of the builder. They should take steps to seal and protect the wood, but sometimes termites find a way anyway; it’s good to know before you accidentally buy a termite-ridden home. Your inspector will be great at noticing signs of termites and will let you know if there are any reasonable solutions the seller should do before you buy.

If They Cut Corners, You Need to Know

Cutting corners in home construction can lead to things like light switches that don’t work or gas lines that are disastrously connected incorrectly. Although you may know about houses and assume you’ll catch everything, an inspector has been doing this as their job for long enough that they catch far more than the average person. Their duties are far less expensive than buying a lemon of a house and then trying to fix it up despite already overpaying for it in the first place.

How Sealed Is This Property

How well sealed your home is will decide how your HVAC bills will look. Heating and cooling bills can go out of control if they don’t attach the soffit panels correctly or if the windows are allowing a steady stream of air into the home. The inspector will look at every possible entrance to the home and will let you know if they feel like it’s a safe and good space to live in.

Would You Feel Safe Living There

An inspector’s main job is to ensure this property is a safe investment: but it’s also to make sure you’ll feel safe living there. Instead of questioning if everything works alright, you can focus on things like how you’re going to paint your bathroom or decorate your child’s room. This is a space where you’ll live and build memories, so it’s important that you thoroughly research it before moving in.

An Inspection Is Always Important

Whether you’re buying a brand new house and want to have it double-checked, or you had a home built, and you want to review it, an inspection is vital. Have a professional walk through your property so you can rest easy knowing it’s in great shape.


Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 


Water is one of the most corrosive substances on Earth, able to wear down stone and destroy wood: so it’s vital that you do everything you can to protect your property. Whether you’re buying your first home and you want to make sure you pick one that has the right protection, or you’re working on updating your current home to handle the tests of time, it’s important that you make sure your property is waterproof. 

These are the top ways to protect your home from moisture.

Ensuring Your Landscape Drains

Landscape Drainage is vital to anyone who wants their property to be moisture-free. Not only can an abundance of moisture in your soil cause land slippage, but going without landscape drainage grates can also lead to water rising high enough to damage your home, driveway, and other property. Take the time to look at where water gathers and create a solution by making drains that will allow gravity to naturally pull this water down and away from your home over time.

Waterproofing Concrete

Concrete and water don’t get along. If moisture gets in, it can cause cracks, which will get larger and worse over time. It’s vital you avoid this issue by waterproofing concrete walls in your basement and whatever other spaces you have. If you allow any water to get in through cracks, it can damage everything from your flooring to any equipment or storage you have in your basement, so it’s vital that you take care of this as soon as possible.

Using the Right Paint

Although some may assume water is bad for any paint, if you use moisture-resistant paint, you’ll be able to protect your home while still letting it look good. Not all paints are moisture-resistant, so when shopping, especially for outdoor, bathroom, and basement spaces: ensure that you’re seeking out a paint that’s been rated to work in high moisture areas and has good reviews for being moisture-proof. You can still find almost any color or finish you want; just pay attention to the fact that it’s moisture resistant, and you’ll be good to go. 

Maintenance of Roof and Gutters

Your roof and gutters are one of the most important parts of your property. Its main job is to keep the elements out while diverting water away from your home. To carry this out, you need to make sure your roof is always in good condition. If you allow debris to build on your roof or wood shingles to break off and invite water inside, you’ll quickly find that your attic and home can gather far more mold and rot than you could affordably deal with. Maintain your roof to avoid this issue.

Updating Your Window Wells

If your home has any rooms underground, chances are you’ll have window wells that extend underground to allow light into these spaces. Unfortunately, if they don’t drain well, or they’re not covered, you’ll quickly notice they gather water like no other space. The main goal of these wells is to prevent water damage to your basement while also giving occupants an escape route during an emergency. Make sure your window well can handle moisture and is built to help divert it away. 

Extending Downspouts Away From Home

Downspouts are a vital part of any property that has to handle a lot of rain, but if they’re too close to the home, they might not be doing as much good as you want them to. Instead of allowing them to flood your home or cause deep grooves in the ground where they let out water, it’s a good idea to extend your downspouts and help them carry moisture further away from your property to avoid this corrosion.

Seal Any Basement Wall Cracks

Cracks are bad for any home, but they’re worse for properties dealing with moisture issues. If your basement or exterior has cracks, it’s important that you fill cracks in concrete and ensure they’re safe from water as soon as possible. Repair cracks by first ensuring they’re moisture-free and then filling them with a material that works well with the original material. From here, sand it down until it’s smooth, and apply a pmma coating to ensure no further moisture makes its way through. 

Adding an Underground Drain or Sump Pump System

The most important thing any homeowner can do to protect their property from moisture is to give it somewhere to go. If you leave the water to its own devices, it’ll gather and groove paths out of whatever materials it’s running against, causing damage and eventually mold and rot. Using underground drainage or a sump pump, you can pull the water down and out, using gravity to guide the water where you want it to go: and get it away from your home.

Moisture Can Damage Anything Quickly

Over time moisture can destroy almost anything. From rotting wood to corroding brick and cracking concrete, it’s one of the most destructive forces: take steps to protect your home from it soon. Having your home inspected is a great way to start towards discovering and repairing those areas which may allow water to enter your home, give us a call today!


Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

Whether it is a periodic inspection performed by local government or a planned inspection aimed at being proactive in ensuring top quality of the facility, an inspection is nonetheless a stressor for commercial building owners and managers. And while many industrial steel buildings and other innovative commercial construction types score high marks for durability, there will inevitably be some areas of concern that pop up over time. Rather than let these small concerns turn into a full-scale laundry list, keep reading to discover 5 ways to prepare a commercial building for an upcoming inspection.  

Have an Understanding of the Building’s Energy Efficiency

With the United States having a goal of a net-zero economy by 2050, commercial buildings are under greater pressure than ever to become carbon neutral. As a result, inspectors are going to be digging deep to determine the building’s energy efficiency rating. They will look at everything including the building envelope, lighting systems, mechanical systems, power systems, and water heating systems to arrive at a rating.


As a result, be sure to have your energy-efficient features on full display so that they can stand out during the inspection. While solar panels and any renewable energy features are the obvious areas that will catch inspectors’ attention, be sure to delineate any improvements in insulation, installation of architectural facades to better control light flow, and contemporary windows so inspectors can accurately assess how your building will perform in terms of energy consumption. 

Make Sure the Air Quality Is Top Notch

Building owners have long known the importance of ensuring high-quality interior air, as toxins and allergens are hazardous to health and can stand in the way of comfort and performance. However, air quality is a hot-button issue for which inspectors are on keen alert in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Therefore, it is critical that you have taken steps to ensure the quality of the air in your commercial building. Regularly service the HVAC system to make sure filters are clean and functioning properly, install tunnel ventilation dampers in areas of the building where air has a tendency to stagnate, make windows intuitive to open and close for tenants, and design some functional exterior space so that tenants can get outside for some fresh air, as necessary.

Check for Any Fire or Safety Hazards

Safety should be at the top of the list for any type of building, but it is of critical importance for commercial spaces. Simply put, safety hazards are a lawsuit waiting to happen.


Before the inspector arrives, make sure that there are no areas of the building that will get red-lined as a hazard. Are there adequate fire doors and smoke baffles in the building? Is the fire escape accessible and the stairs in good condition? Are there any raised or damaged sections of flooring? Is the building ADA compliant?

Don’t Let Minor Issues Become Major Issues

There is a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to “quick fix” items. If you notice a small crack in the wall that could easily be fixed with a little sealant or a window that does not quite close all the way, it can be easy to take a “wait till tomorrow” approach.


However, these small issues are just one severe weather event away from becoming a monstrosity. Not only will these issues compromise the safety and energy efficiency of the commercial building, but they could result in a fine, depending on the type of inspection you have coming.


Therefore, do your own walk-through ahead of inspection time to check the condition of your stucco siding panels, roofing materials, windows, and any other areas subjected to the forces of nature. Getting on top of them ahead of time can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.  

Listen to the Concerns of Tenants

In many cases, it does not take a professional eye to spot an issue. As such, one of the most underrated things a property manager can do ahead of an inspection is to listen to the concerns of the tenants. Have there been any complaints in recent weeks that have not been taken seriously? Are there any areas of the building that tenants or patrons comment on with regularity? If there are items coming to the attention of the casual observer, there is little chance that they will escape the professional eye of the inspector. 

Ace Your Commercial Building Inspection By Using This Helpful Checklist

No matter how routine, an inspection is sure to cause at least a little anxiety in commercial property owners and managers. To help mitigate these feelings, it is important to stay ahead of the curb and take building quality into your own hands. By understanding the building’s energy efficiency, ensuring top-notch air quality, checking for fire and safety hazards, not letting small fixes snowball, and listening to the concerns of tenants, you can put your commercial building in a prime position to shine come inspection time.


Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

Home Inspector Pro

Unfortunately, in many areas of the United States, natural disasters are common. On the coastlines you have hurricanes, in the midwest there are tornadoes, and out west, you’ve got earthquakes. If a disaster were to occur, your home might sustain damage. Occasionally, these damages can be fixed, but sometimes you have to demolish and rebuild entirely. 


With new homes in general, homeowners often skip getting a home inspection because they assume since it is new, that everything is good to go. However, with all new homes, you should still get a home inspection, especially if the home was built after a disaster. 


Let’s take a look at why you should inspect your new home following a disaster and what the most important areas to check are. 

Why Inspect Your New Home After a Disaster

Inspecting your new home after a disaster provides many benefits like double-checking contractor work, added safety, possible cost savings, and more. 

FEMA Rebuilding Requirements

FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, offers public aid in the rebuilding process after disasters. In order to take advantage of this money, the homeowners and hired contractors must follow certain guidelines. You should always hire contractors that are familiar with the process and requirements if you plan to use any FEMA assistance; however, getting a new home inspection following the disaster allows you to have your home inspector verify that the contractor followed through and met the requirements in terms of the construction itself. 

Check Regulated Work 

Oftentimes, disasters uncover problems in a home that are public health concerns such as asbestos and mold. When these problems arise, the repairs are regulated and must follow specific procedures. Even though you have built a new home, if the problems from before are not disposed of properly, they can cause problems in the new home. For instance, some types of mold can be airborne or live in the soil. If it was not properly addressed, you could end up with mold in your new home. A home inspector would be able to check any hot spots and verify with contractors that everything was handled properly.

Verify Quality of Work

When disaster strikes, resources are spread thin. After all, there are only so many licensed contractors in every specialty. When these companies get overwhelmed with a lot of new builds and extensive repairs, the quality of work can slip because they are working too fast on too many projects. A home inspector will be able to point out any work that is not quality. This can include a whole host of things such as outlets that don’t work, fixtures not installed properly, or things that are not up to current building codes. Because home inspectors see so many homes at different stages, they notice things you might not even look for. 

An Added Layer of Security

After a disaster, it is common to think about if it ever happens again. In coastal towns, hurricanes might happen every few years, so when you rebuild, it is always in the back of your mind that it could happen again. If you get your new home inspected after a disaster, you add an extra layer of security that your home is in the best shape it can be if a disaster were to happen again. The worst situation would be that something wasn’t properly done the first time and causes additional damage in a future disaster. 

Give Homeowner’s Insurance Confidence

Insurance companies have to pay out a lot after a disaster. Because of this, they are likely to drop the coverage of many residents. Having a private home inspection can help homeowners get insurance coverage. By having an inspection, you are helping to prove that your home has less of a chance for damage because everything has been double-checked to be in the best possible shape.

City Inspectors Only Cover Bare Minimum 

After any home is built, the city inspectors come to sign off. However, the city inspectors are only looking for the bare minimum requirements to meet building codes. Many cities don’t have well-developed building codes. To ensure that your home meets industry standards, a private home inspector is the only way to get a thorough inspection. It is especially important if you have installed uncommon features like a radiant heating system. Only a home inspector would know to look for radiant heat insulation in this case, not the city inspector. 

Small Problems Turn Into Big Problems

Home inspectors find all of the small problems in a new home that get overlooked by the homeowner, city inspector, and contractors. Though they seem small and trivial, small problems can always turn into big ones. Having to do repairs and replacements is especially taxing after a disaster when finances are stretched thin.

Important Areas to Inspect

As you can see, getting a home inspection of your new home following a disaster is vital in making sure you are protected. However, there are a few spots that you should ensure the home inspector you hire checks.

New Windows

Most new homes have vinyl windows which in themselves are durable and a good choice, but a lot of contractors forget to seal them, causing leaks and water damage in the future. The same goes for doors. 


There are a lot of standard practices when it comes to electrical, so your home inspector should make sure there are no fire risks, that everything is wired properly, and secure. 

Garage Including the Door

Always have your home inspector check the garage. They should ensure the garage door is in working order, too because garage door replacement costs can be a major hit to your wallet after a disaster.


The last thing you want in a new home is the plumbing to back up or not work. A home inspector should ensure the plumbing is installed properly and working. 

Insulation Used

Have your home inspector check what kind of insulation was used and how well it’s holding up. They should be knowledgeable about the subject including knowing the difference between R value vs U value for insulation which are two different ways of measuring a material’s thermal performance.


Homeowners should be aware that just because a house is new, doesn’t mean that it is built well. After a disaster, getting a new home inspection can be highly beneficial. Hire a home inspector to get peace of mind regarding your new home following a disaster. 


Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 


Home Inspection Reviews

What Are The Important Considerations at a Home Inspection?

The home inspection is one of the most important items to pay attention to when it comes to buying a new home. It will give you the low down on the most important systems and aspects of the property you are considering investing in. The inspection becomes even more essential when you are buying a fixer-upper house. Homes that need work bring an extra level of due diligence as there is no telling what significant problems could be found.

Before you even get to the point of hiring a professional, you should pay close attention to the state of the home yourself. It is all too easy to walk around a property with rose-colored glasses and forget to look around for defects.

You may already have fallen in love with the property because of its curb appeal or neighborhood – it is all too easy to do. This is why the home inspection report is important. It will, hopefully, prevent you from making a buying mistake you’ll regret.

The inspection is also a great way to become educated on your investment as well. Waiving an inspection can be really risky. It becomes far more prevalent in markets where there are bidding wars. Many buyers, however, learn the hard way when they discover the fact they’ve purchased a lemon. Don’t be one of them!

Aspects of the Home Inspection Which Are More Important Than Others

Yes, there are some aspects of the home inspection that are more important than others. For instance, the home inspector will make a special point of checking the roof, foundation and mechanical systems such as the heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical. Not only do these areas concern the safety of those who live in the home but are very costly to repair or replace. Having an understanding of the condition of these things is essential.

You should also be aware of some of the other potential issues that can crop up with homes such as mold, radon, lead paint, asbestos and potable drinking water. It is vital the home inspector checks out all of these things for you.

Can I Ask the Home Inspector to Check Certain Areas of the Home?

Yes, is the answer to that question. The buyer pays for the home inspection report, so if you are concerned about certain areas of the home, do ask the home inspector to pay extra close attention to them.


A broken window pane may not be such a big deal, but an HVAC system that has not been regularly maintained can quickly cause problems and cost you a lot of money to either replace or repair.


It goes without saying that the structural components are important, but that is not all. Make sure that you ask the home inspector to check for problems related to electrical wiring and plumbing. They are all red flags when it comes to home ownership.

If this is the first time you are buying a property, it may feel that you are criticizing someone’s home, but that is not what you are doing at all. In fact, what you are doing is looking after your investment. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions of home inspectors. It might be smart to look them over and ask many of them yourself.

What If I Get Negative Feedback?

No home is perfect, but there are certainly some red flags that you should look out for when you read the home inspection report.

We have already mentioned the roof, HVAC system, and the foundation, but when it comes to buying a home, don’t stop there. Other problems can involve considerable costs. In a worst-case scenario, your lender may even refuse to release funds even though you think you have found your dream home. Some loan products such as FHA and VA require homes to be in acceptable condition. When defects are found that don’t meet these baseline requirements a loan will not be granted.

Look out for problems with security, the basement, and the attic. Any structural problems can prevent the sale of the property from going through. It is also a good idea to pay attention to how energy efficient home appliances are if they are part of the sale. In the future, this is likely to become increasingly important. 

Let’s Talk About The Price

There is no reason why you should not use the home inspection report to ask for a price drop if warranted. If you are going to have to spend money getting repairs done, it is important to make sure you are aware of the costs.

A home inspector may be able to give you some idea of costs, but if you are concerned, it is always best to ask a contractor for an estimate. In many places home inspectors are not allowed to quote prices for repairs as it is considered a conflict of interest.

Don’t feel guilty if you feel that you have to re-negotiate the price. It is your money and you have every right in the world to spend your money wisely. If you notice that there are several smaller aspects of the home that need attention, you should keep that in mind.

Individually they may not cost you a lot of money, but once you start adding up all the little details in the home inspection report, and you start seeing dollar signs in front of your eyes, you should do something about it.


When looking over these problems keep in mind that no home is perfect. The focus should be on larger problems and not common maintenance issues.


You should consult with your real estate agent and figure out what are reasonable requests and what aren’t. It is never acceptable to ask for repairs of issues you knew about before making your offer. The home inspection is to find out about things you were not aware of. The point is it’s not for using it as a tool to re-negotiate. Those buyers who do this, end up creating a needlessly tense transaction.

Ask for the larger problems to be corrected either by a contractor or by getting a closing cost credit so you can deal with them yourself after the closing.

Final Thoughts

It is vital to avoid some of the most common home inspection mistakes like choosing the cheapest home inspection. The saying “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true when it comes to home inspections. Make sure you ask around for references from family, friends and your real estate agent if you have trust in them. Saving a couple hundred dollars is silly when you think about the thousands of dollars of problems that could be missed by not hiring the best home inspection professional.


That is why, in fact want to consider only an inspector that is InterNACHI certified as they have the highest level of standards in the industry.