Mistakes, we’ve made a few. Whether it’s getting paint on your flashing while redecorating or bashing your newly plastered wall as you mount your colossal television. But while accidents may often feel like they are inevitable, they are very rarely unavoidable.

So, here are five of the most common mistakes you’ll face when upgrading your London based flat, and five ways that you can avoid them. Starting with-

  1. Overspending

One of the biggest issues facing renovators is a lack of a solid budget when it comes to carrying out your work. This can easily lead to a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ as the smaller bills for unique items and maintenance stack up and force you to extend your scope to match it. This can be avoided by sitting down for an hour and drawing up an end-to-end plan about what needs to change and a non-conservative costing for each task. Once this is complete, you can get a better idea where you sit with your spend and take steps to manage it when you’re in danger of hitting you limit for an individual task.

In short: Work out a budget…and stick to it!

  1. Sizing

We’ve all found ourselves stuck in stairwells or doorways, trying to manoeuvring furniture through narrow spaces…often at a point where it’s far too late to make alternative arrangements to move heavy items. If you have a particularly small or awkward to access flat, review all your delivery options and weigh up the cost of calling a professional team against the cost of asking three friends to help out and wasting their time. This can often leave you forced to contact a moving company at the last minute – something that can be extremely expensive when it comes to property refurbishment in London.

In short: Size everything and think through how it can be moved into your property

  1. Portability

The close cousin to size, take some time to think how any items can be taken from your flat and installed in your new property. Larger statement pieces can look tremendous but choosing to spend your money on a few items with a smaller footprint can make them easier to transport and more likely to stick around between moves. If you do end up needing to transport them, take some time to think out a safe and efficient way to do so – whether it is packing them securely, hiring a professional team, or handling more delicate items yourself.

In short: Think about how your items can be safely moved out as well as brought in.

  1. Mull it over

When it comes to Marie Kondoing your flat or making space before a renovation, there is always an item that is mentally earmarked to be gotten rid of first. This can be because it doesn’t match your design, has experienced a little wear and tear, or is just uncomfortable to use or sit on. If you are buying items in future, take the correct amount of time to weigh up how it looks in your current flat and if it is truly fit for long-term use. Taking advantage of ‘no question’ or ’30-day return’ policies can help you road-test any new additions to your renovation and allow you to return them with minimal fuss if they simply don’t work in the space.

In short: Take some time to consider all major purchases and understand where they fit in with your aesthetic.

  1. Time/planning

There is nothing worse than living in the ‘in-between’ stage of a renovation and ensuring that this doesn’t continue for too long is essential. Always take time to plan out a start, mid and end point for any renovation work and determine any factors that may cause you to miss deadlines. If you truly want to be efficient, choosing some ‘sandbag’ tasks that can be dropped to give you extra ballast when other tasks overrun can help you finish out your renovations or refurbishment exactly when you need to.

In short: Take some time to think out a time bound strategy with an emergency ripcord if it looks like things are spinning out of control.

Meta: Check out the 5 biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to undertaking your property refurbishment In London … and how to avoid them.

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