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How to Spot a Bad Property Renovation

Large bright room with windows of an ancient villa undergoing renovation. If you want to get into investing in real estate, securing a single-family rental property could be gainful. Nonetheless, when on the lookout for your next investment property, you must be able to identify the signs of an incompetently executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can provoke financially harmful repairs and maintenance costs, adversely impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common indications of an imperfect renovation? Some of the most discernible indications include rough workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we touch on a few general signs of low-quality renovations so you can carefully avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, figuring out the signs of rushed workmanship is beneficial. Carefully watch out for uneven surfaces, such as wavy walls or flooring with distinct slopes, which could imply poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or incorrect measurements. By way of illustration, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Also, it’s salient to check for inconsistencies in finishing, for example, gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can denote a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, pay attention to scruffy grouting and caulking, added to observable patches or uncorrected errors, which can signify potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation process.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Watch out for peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint denotes improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch easily or exhibit signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, particularly, near moisture-prone areas take for example bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, exhibiting improper installation or imperfect tile quality. Carpets that have uneven seams, fraying edges, or thin padding can be problematic and may mandate repair or replacement.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Cabinets made of flimsy materials that feel unstable or reflect symptoms of sagging. Faucets, handles, or fixtures that very easily rust or corrode express poor-quality materials. Countertops that rapidly scratch, chip, or stain, expressing low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Check out for poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close appropriately 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 show sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls traceable to subpar plumbing work. Nasty or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Deficient or noisy heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that may require frequent repairs. The absence of maintenance records for HVAC systems can indicate possible complications.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be heedful of cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might stash structural flaws or cracks. Fast cosmetic upgrades, for instance, new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying problems.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might insinuate attempts to mask issues. Take note of instant fixes that seem out of proportion to the overall renovation, as they might cover deeper, unsettled issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

When inspecting a property, pay attention to design inconsistencies and craftsmanship variations. Sharp changes in style or inconsistent quality between areas could indicate several contractors or a lack of cohesive vision.

Deviations in craftsmanship quality may be recognizable in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Checking out these vulnerabilities helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and plausible underlying issues that might entail closer examination or adjustments.

Documentation and Permits

In-depth documentation and valid permits are vital in evaluating property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may denote that the renovation work was implemented without deference to local building codes or regulations. To safeguard compliance, look into the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation safeguards the legitimacy of upgrades and assures adherence to regulations, hedging against risks connected to unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Looking into permits and documentation promises a smoother investment process and reduces the possibility of legal or structural issues in the future.

Structural Integrity

Examining structural elements during property inspections is vital. Cues like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could indicate potential structural issues. Any visible implications of structural compromise, such as these, warrant closer examination by a professional. Pinpointing out and taking care of the structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future financially harmful repairs and vouches for a secure investment in the property.

Determining signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is important for investors. These indicators generally hint at more severe problems that might not be candidly visible. Being conscientiously watchful during property inspections ensures against investing in a property that might seem gorgeous on the surface but harbors underlying issues caused by subpar renovations. By prioritizing an all-around complete evaluation, investors can make more informed and able investment choices in the real estate market.


If you’re eager to make wise real estate investments in Pillager, go no further than RPM Deluxe. Our services offer market research and other effective resources to aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 218-454-7368.

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