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Property Expert: How To Tell If The Property You’re Buying Had a Dodgy Renovation

Avoiding Renovation Nightmares: How to Spot a Badly Renovated Property

Buying a property is one of life’s most significant investments. Yet, for many prospective homeowners, the fear of purchasing a property that has been poorly renovated or may require costly repairs looms large. The thought of investing hard-earned money into a home, only to discover hidden flaws or subpar renovations, can be a daunting prospect. 

To alleviate these concerns and empower buyers with the knowledge they need, Danielle Mathews, co-owner of Reborn Renovations, details the telltale signs of a badly renovated property versus one that was done well, and provides expert advice on what to look out for.

Signs of a Bad Renovation

Mismatched Materials and Finishes

When touring a property, pay close attention to the consistency of materials and finishes used throughout. Signs of mismatched materials, such as different types of flooring in adjoining rooms or cabinets with clashing styles, can indicate a lack of attention to detail. 

Danielle notes, “Mismatched materials can be a red flag for shoddy workmanship. It suggests that the renovation was rushed or completed without proper planning.” 

Additionally, inconsistent paintwork or wall textures may suggest that the renovations were rushed or completed without proper planning.

Poor Quality Workmanship

Signs of poor workmanship are often evident in the details. Uneven surfaces, sloppy paint lines, or crooked installations are all indicators of low-quality craftsmanship. These flaws not only detract from the aesthetic appeal of the property but may also signal underlying structural issues that could require extensive repairs down the line. 

“Visible signs of poor workmanship indicate a lack of skill or care during the renovation process. Buyers should proceed with caution,” Danielle advises.

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Lack of Proper Permits

Renovations conducted without proper permits pose significant risks to homeowners. Before purchasing a property, inquire about the permits obtained for any structural changes or major renovations. 

The absence of permits may indicate that the renovations were done without adherence to building codes and regulations, potentially compromising the safety and integrity of the property. 

Permits are crucial for ensuring that renovations comply with building codes and regulations. Buyers should verify that all necessary permits were obtained for the property.

Signs of a Good Renovation:

Attention to Detail

Scrutinise the property for consistent design elements, such as trim work, moulding, or architectural features, that exhibit meticulous attention to detail. Look for smooth transitions between different materials and finishes, ensuring a seamless flow throughout the space.

“A well-executed renovation showcases careful planning and execution, resulting in a cohesive and visually pleasing outcome,” Danielle explains. 

Attention to detail not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the property but also reflects the craftsmanship and professionalism of the renovation.

Quality Materials

Take note of the materials used in the renovation, including flooring, countertops, cabinetry, and fixtures. Inspect the quality and durability of materials, such as solid wood cabinetry, high-grade countertops, and premium flooring materials like hardwood or ceramic tile


“Quality materials contribute to the longevity and value of the property, ensuring a sound investment for the buyer,” says Danielle. 

High-quality materials are more resistant to wear and tear, require less maintenance, and can withstand the test of time, maintaining their appearance and functionality for years to come.

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Proper Functionality

Test appliances, plumbing fixtures, and electrical outlets to ensure they function correctly. Check for any signs of leaks, malfunctions, or deficiencies in performance. 

A properly renovated property should function smoothly and efficiently, with no issues or malfunctions. Functional appliances and fixtures contribute to the overall comfort and convenience of the home, providing a hassle-free living experience for the homeowner.

Danielle says, “A high-quality renovation adds value to a property and provides peace of mind for the homeowner. When purchasing a renovated property, it’s essential for buyers to carefully scrutinise the quality of the renovations to avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a sound investment in their future home.” 

With a discerning eye and expert guidance, buyers can confidently navigate the real estate market and find a property that meets their standards of excellence.

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