Engage a firm through Qanvast and enjoy these perks!Find out more$50K Qanvast Guarantee$50K GuaranteeVoucher KitHome Starter PackStarter PackFind out more

13 Major Renovation Fails (And How To Fix Them)

July 27, 2017
BOOKMARK

Think renovating a space is easy? Think again. With so much to consider - from your area size, layout to all sorts of structural planning and restrictions - forget DIY, even professionals can mess things up big time!

While we don’t know whether to laugh (or cry) over these cringe-worthy blunders, one thing is for sure - a little planning and attention goes a long way! So, don't just have a laugh - here, we have added some tips to help you avoid these mistakes.

Update: In an earlier version of this article, we mentioned one renovation fail which was a dryer, placed 'upside down'. A kind reader has pointed out to us that this is in fact the correct way to place it, and many dryers these days come with this feature for saving space. We have since omitted the point in the article - our bad for making a renovation blunder ourselves here!


1. That Bathroom Tap That’s Gone Too Far (Back)

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Try washing your hands or face in this sink without having to do some acrobatics. Also, be prepared to constantly wipe up your sopping wet floors all the time.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Versaform

Most sinks often come with a cut-out reference template that shows where the faucet holes should go. Use the template to see if your chosen tap is nicely aligned so that water can flow into the sink before actually installing both items.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Example of a sink reference template. (Source)

If the tap spout is too short, ask your contractor/ID to cut a faucet hole closer to the basin, or find another tap that has a longer-reaching spout.

2. Kitchen Cabinets That Should Stop Playing Around

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

They thought it was a good idea to add a little ‘fun’ and ‘variety’ to an otherwise boring drawer space. It wasn’t.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Boon Siew D'sign

Aligned drawer knobs can make or break your carpentry. Sure, professional contractors should have the skills and equipment to drill the right holes in the right places. But to play it safe, inspect to see if they have marked out the areas they plan to drill instead of eyeballing it. And if you’re planning to do this on your own, this helpful tutorial will help you get consistent drawer knob holes, every time.


3. Wall Corners That Will Stress Any OCD Person

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Everything looks great… until you reach the crossroads. The inner OCDs in us are jumping in frustration - why aren’t they joined at the edges?

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: erstudio

Thankfully, small discrepancies may be patched up with a bit of drywall. Once again, do consult with your ID to see if that can be done. If not, a bit of paint in dark colours or home decor can help to mask or camouflage your uneven walls.


4. Badly Laid Tiles That Will Give You A Headache

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

The worst thing to happen to your floor tiles? When it looks perfectly laid out - but a glance at the edges, and it all goes to hell with slanted or badly cut ends.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Architect: JOW Architects

Tiling is a tricky thing; unfortunately, if your floor laying is not up to standard, make sure you notice them before the keys are handed over. You will have to ask your ID/contractor to tear out and redo its entire length before it’s too late.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Third Avenue Studio

DIY-ing? If you have square tiles, measure the length of your room or area that you’d like to work with, and start laying out your floor tiles in an L-shape, starting from the centre. For subway/ brick-shaped tiles, draw two parallel guidelines down an entire floor or wall length, and lay your tiles by those lines, alternating in rows. For more details, check out this tutorial here.


5. The Light Switch That's Done Being Straight

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Yes, you can argue that it still works, but nobody likes a sloppy, slanted switch like this one from the Hardwarezone forums.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Artmuse Interior

There’s no excuse for getting straight switches. Besides asking your electrician to get them fixed ASAP, simply place a ruler or tape measure (like the photo) perpendicular to your walls, and make marks on to show your contractor/electrician where you’d like your switches to be placed.


6. This Ceiling Fan Also Doubles As A Chainsaw

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

This ceiling fan certainly seems out of the way from other obstacles, but obviously someone forgot what happens when they open a wardrobe door.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Urban Habitat

Planning your ceiling fan is a science. You don’t want it low enough to shave the top off your head, and you want a clear path for it to spin. Fret not, here are a couple of rules to follow for finding the perfect place to set your ceiling fan:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Absolook Interior Design

  • Try to place your ceiling fan to the centre of the room.
  • Leave a space of 45 - 50 cm between the fan’s circumference and any surrounding walls.
  • Your fan should be at least 2.1 meters away from the ground.
  • If you’re adding a fan to an existing room, open all doors (including your wardrobes or drawers) by 45 degrees to find out how much usable ceiling space is available for installation. Once again, do give a leeway of at least 45 cm from any obstructions.

7. The Kitchen Hood That Must Have Felt Like Cinderella's Stepsister

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

We can totally understand blogger Charles Benedict’s horror (and frustration) upon finding out that an entire kitchen’s top cabinetry wasn’t able to fit in the cooking hob hood.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Icon Interior

Nevertheless, his experience is something we can all learn from. Always check the measurements of your cooking hood, and then add half an inch on both sides to give extra leeway for errors.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Architology Interiors

Especially if you’re buying the hood from a third party, check that this length is communicated properly to your ID/contractor, and that the right amount of space is allocated before starting works on mounting the cabinetry.


8. Short On Space? Just Squeeze.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Even if you do have a tiny, cramped kitchen - that’s no excuse to come up with this mess of a layout (which - even worse - is highly inefficient).

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Aart Boxx Interior

Refrain from placing a refrigerator and hob side by side. Not only does heat emanating from the stove make your refrigerator work harder to cool down (thus using more energy), the handles might obstruct one another from fully opening.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Voila

Instead, keep them apart on both ends by wedging a countertop in between the space, or if it’s a standalone unit, place it by a wall, leaving some space in between that and a refrigerator.


9. A Sink Tap That's Got It All Wrong

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it works. Besides looking like a complete eyesore, this overly huge tap doesn’t even serve it’s purpose.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Habit

Once again, all it takes is a little common sense. Measure the length of the tap’s spout against the basin’s width - it should not go past more than half the width of the sink (or the sinkhole).

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Bowerman

Also consider the angle of the tap. Is it set down straight down, or is the water flow angled towards the user? All that can affect whether the water jets would land correctly into the sink (and not your bathroom floor).


10. A Home Can Have Too Many Drawers

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

We are all for squeezing in more storage space into your home, but when more drawers means less usable room - it’s time to stop doing and start thinking through your plans.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Aerialwerkz

Don’t go trigger happy in adding drawers upon drawers to your kitchen cabinet, just because. To prevent drawers from blocking one another, consider getting push-open drawers without any handles.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: ID Gallery Interior

Otherwise, replace one end of drawers with other compartmental solutions, such as sliding doors, or swinging cabinet doors that open away from the drawers.


11. Always Install Your Doors Before Your Toilet Bowl

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Imagine the moment of terror upon realising that their enclosed toilet area isn’t as private as it seems - and it’s all too late.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Linear Space Concepts

Don’t just account for the amount of space you have to install a toilet bowl - if you’re working on tight square footage, also consider the swing area for your bathroom doors. Your toilet bowl should be clear from this path - you can mark it with tape on your floors.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Fifth Avenue Interior

Of course, you don’t necessarily need a traditional swing door all the time. Other door types, like sliding, bi-fold or folding doors can help minimise the swing area and leave more space for placing your golden throne.


12. The One Power Socket That You’ll Never Use

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

Always remember this rule about power sockets - assume that your appliances are ultra inconvenient and have short cables.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: 82

Visualise where you would place certain electrical devices or appliances, and how many of them will you use in each room. Mark out potential spaces on your walls, so you can imagine them in a realistic context.

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Fifth Avenue Interior

Considering most appliances will either be standing on the ground, or placed on a propped countertop, try to plot your sockets closer to these surfaces, so your appliance won’t have to end up hanging by a string.


13. This Is Why You Shouldn’t Install Door Handles By Yourself

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Source

No doubt - if your door handle is protruding out of a door, just get your toolbox out again, or simply call a professional already.

What You Should Do:

Renovation Fails
Save to Qanvast Board

Interior Designer: Icon Interior

Take note of where your handles are turning before screwing it in. They should be turning down in aligned fashion, and horizontally parallel to your doors. For a dummy-proof tutorial, check out this website here.


No renovation blunders here.

An experienced interior designer will know how to accurately plan a space - so you don't have to. Here at Qanvast, we only feature IDs with a proven track record and positive reviews - simply request for a quote here, and we will match you with 5 reliable interior firms, based on your budget and style. Plus, all recommendations made by Qanvast will be covered under the Guarantee, up to $50,000.

Meet interior designers. Get quotes. Based on your requirements, we will recommend you up to 5 firms with the Qanvast Guarantee. Get Free Quotes

Advertisement
Preparing the next article…