4 Signs of a Bad Renovation

Each year, millions of homeowners take on remodeling projects both large and small. Some of these projects are DIY improvements, like painting a room or adding a kitchen backsplash, and others are major construction jobs that often require large crews.

As you can see in the chart below, the most common remodeling projects homeowners take on are kitchens and bathrooms, with around 23 million homes having bathroom and kitchen remodels completed in 2010. While some remodeling projects improve the layout, function, and quality of the home, others simply attempt to mask problems.

These shoddy renovations happen all over the country and in all types of properties: in rental homes and in homes for sale, in large homes and in smaller ones, and in cities and in suburban areas. How can you tell if the house you’re thinking of moving into is a pig with lipstick on? Here are a few signs to look for.

Data Source: Census Bureau

Cheap materials

When you walk into a property, it may look beautiful upon a quick inspection. But if a closer inspection of each room reveals laminate countertops that are made to look like granite, textured kitchen wallpaper that’s designed to look like a backsplash, prefab cabinets, and a chandelier that’s made of plastic, the place was constructed with cheap materials.

“One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you’re going to get what you pay for,” Don’t Sweat It host Steve Watson said in an HGTV publication.