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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 keen on investing in real estate, possessing a single-family rental property could be valuable. Although, when trying to get your next investment property, you must consider the signs of an erroneously executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can cause uneconomical repairs and maintenance costs, badly impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common indications of a substandard renovation? Some of the most obvious indications include bad workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we speak about some customary signs of low-quality renovations so you can efficiently avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, becoming alert for signs of rushed workmanship is important. Look out for uneven surfaces, for example, wavy walls or flooring with evident slopes, which could signal poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or incorrect measurements. As an example, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. On top of that, it’s basic to monitor for inconsistencies in finishing, similar to gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can mark a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, look for messy grouting and caulking, together with detectable patches or uncorrected errors, which can indicate potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation process.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Be aware of peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint says improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch as quickly as possible or reveal signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, especially near moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, hinting at improper installation or poor 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 reveal marks of Faucets, handles, or fixtures that hastily rust or corrode state poor-quality materials. Countertops that promptly scratch, chip, or stain, denoting low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Investigate for poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close nicely or let in drafts. Signs of moisture damage around windowsills or door frames say poor sealing or installation.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Fixtures: Outlets or switches that are not aligned correctly or present sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls is because of subpar plumbing work. Atrocious or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Unsound 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 problems.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be watchful for cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might cover structural flaws or cracks. Unexpected cosmetic upgrades, such as new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying troubles.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might indicate attempts to enshroud issues. Closely focus on instant fixes that seem inordinate to the overall renovation, as they might cover deeper, unsettled issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

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

Deviations in craftsmanship quality may be revealed in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Distinguishing these troubles helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and prospective underlying issues that might entail closer examination or renovation.

Documentation and Permits

Methodical documentation and valid permits are much needed in appraising property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may mean that the renovation work was carried through without conformity to local building codes or regulations. To make sure of compliance, analyze the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation makes sure of the legitimacy of upgrades and indicates adherence to regulations, protecting against risks accompanying unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Checking permits and documentation vouches for a smoother investment process and allays the possibility of legal or structural issues afterward.

Structural Integrity

Looking attentively at structural elements during property inspections is essential. Unmistakable signs like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could convey potential structural issues. Any visible signs of structural compromise, the same way as these, warrant closer examination by a professional. Being able to see and address structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future expensive repairs and safeguards a secure investment in the property.

Being attentive to signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is pertinent for investors. These indicators conventionally hint at more urgent problems that might not be quickly visible. Being methodical during property inspections makes sure against investing in a property that might seem stunning on the surface but harbors underlying issues originating from subpar renovations. By prioritizing an overall evaluation, investors can make more informed and trustworthy investment choices in the real estate market.


If you are keen on making wise real estate investments in Smithville, search no further than RPM Principles. Our services offer market research and other functional resources to profitably aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 816-890-9800.


Originally Published on July 22, 2022

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