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How to Spot a Bad Property Renovation

Large bright room with windows of an ancient villa undergoing renovation. If you’re earnest in investing in real estate, getting a single-family rental property could be worthwhile. Yet, take note, when going after your next investment property, you must ascertain the signs of an inefficiently executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can induce financially excessive repairs and maintenance costs, negatively impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common indicators of a shabby renovation? Some of the most conspicuous signs include inferior workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we speak of a few common signs of low-quality renovations so you can easily avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, looking for signs of rushed workmanship is imperative. Be alert for uneven surfaces, particularly wavy walls or flooring with unmistakable slopes, which could simply mean poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or unsound measurements. For example, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Similarly, it’s crucial to look for inconsistencies in finishing, by way of example, gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can depict a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, carefully look out for sloppy grouting and caulking, over and above recognizable patches or uncorrected errors, which can expose potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation process.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Check for peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint denotes improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch instantly or disclose signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, primarily near moisture-prone areas, by way of example, bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, showing improper installation or unsatisfactory tile quality. Carpets that have uneven seams, fraying edges, or thin padding can be problematic and may entail repair or replacement.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Cabinets made of flimsy materials that feel unstable or show marks of sagging. Faucets, handles, or fixtures that easily rust or corrode connote poor-quality materials. Countertops that promptly scratch, chip, or stain, disclosing low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Watch out carefully for poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close well or let in drafts. Signs of moisture damage around windowsills or door frames mean poor sealing or installation.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Fixtures: Outlets or switches that are not aligned correctly or render sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls because of subpar plumbing work. Rough or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Inadequate or noisy heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that may need frequent repairs. The absence of maintenance records for HVAC systems can indicate possible troubles.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be wary of cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might veil structural flaws or cracks. Rash cosmetic upgrades, for instance, new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying issues.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might signify attempts to cover issues. Give particular attention to speedy fixes that seem disproportionate to the overall renovation, as they might cover deeper, unsolved issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

While inspecting a property, pay attention to design inconsistencies and craftsmanship variations. Fast changes in style or inconsistent quality between areas could indicate more than one contractor or a lack of cohesive vision.

Deviations in craftsmanship quality may be revealed in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Knowing and identifying these inconsistencies helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and potential underlying issues that might demand closer examination or modification.

Documentation and Permits

Extensive documentation and valid permits are very important in assessing property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may point out that the renovation work was enacted without compliance with local building codes or regulations. To guarantee compliance, check out the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation guarantees the legitimacy of upgrades and implies adherence to regulations protecting against risks that come with unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Checking out and verifying permits and documentation affirms a smoother investment process and reduces the possibility of legal or structural issues in the future.

Structural Integrity

Investigating structural elements during property inspections is critical. Indicators like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could spell out potential structural issues. Any visible signs of structural compromise, such as these, warrant closer examination by a professional. Finding out about and dealing with structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future financially excessive repairs and establishes a secure investment in the property.

Looking out for signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is critical for investors. These indicators oftentimes hint at more critical problems that might not be straightforwardly visible. Being carefully observant during property inspections guarantees against investing in a property that might seem beautiful on the surface but harbors underlying issues due to subpar renovations. By prioritizing an extensive evaluation, investors can make more informed and safe investment choices in the real estate market.


If you would like to make wise real estate investments in Nashville, look no further than RPM Investor’s Choice. Our services offer market research and other serviceable resources to aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 615-810-9578.


Originally Published on July 22, 2022

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