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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 intent on investing in real estate, bagging a single-family rental property could be productive. Even so, when looking for your next investment property, you must grasp well the signs of an unsatisfactorily executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can elicit extravagant repairs and maintenance costs, unfavorably impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the typical signs of a mediocre renovation? Some of the most distinct signs include terrible workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. In this article, we will touch on several common signs of low-quality renovations so you can very well avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, examining signs of rushed workmanship is pertinent. Seek for uneven surfaces, like wavy walls or flooring with visible slopes, which could signify poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or false measurements. For illustration, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Secondly, it’s important to carefully check for inconsistencies in finishing like gaps in trim, or uneven paint application, which can specify a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, check for clumsy grouting and caulking, apart from distinguishable patches or uncorrected errors, which can imply potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation period.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Check for peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint indicates improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch right away or display signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, definitely near moisture-prone areas, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, denoting improper installation or low-grade tile quality. Carpets that have uneven seams, fraying edges, or thin padding can be problematic and may require repair or replacement.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Cabinets made of flimsy materials that feel unstable or indicate Faucets, handles, or fixtures that instantaneously rust or corrode spell out poor-quality materials. Countertops that immediately scratch, chip, or stain denote low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Consider poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close suitably 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 exhibit sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls arising from subpar plumbing work. Inferior or outdated electrical wiring, shown through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Sloppy 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 carefully looking out for cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might bury structural flaws or cracks. Instant cosmetic upgrades, by way of illustration, new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying issues.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might signify attempts to disguise issues. Be concerned with prompt fixes that seem irregular and 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. Brisk changes in style or inconsistent quality between areas could indicate several contractors or a lack of cohesive vision.

Deviations in craftsmanship quality may be perceivable in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Detecting these faults helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and likely underlying issues that might require closer examination or a revamp.

Documentation and Permits

Methodical documentation and valid permits are integral in checking property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may mean that the renovation work was done without following local building codes or regulations. To see to its compliance, check out the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation sees to it the legitimacy of upgrades and makes certain of adherence to regulations, sheltering against risks involved in unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Checking out permits and documentation leads to a smoother investment process and decreases the possibility of legal or structural issues in due course.

Structural Integrity

Properly evaluating structural elements during property inspections is vital. Indications like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could explain potential structural issues. Any visible marks of structural compromise, like these, warrant closer examination by a professional. Determining and working on structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future extravagant repairs and assures a secure investment in the property.

Finding signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is critical for investors. These signs typically hint at more acute problems that might not be openly visible. Being all-out watchful during property inspections sees to it against investing in a property that might seem great on the surface but harbors underlying issues because of subpar renovations. By prioritizing a thorough evaluation, investors can make more informed and confident investment choices in the real estate market.


If you seek to make wise and smart real estate investments in Lewisville, look no further than RPM Pioneer. Our services offer market research and other useful resources to aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 940-435-2526.


Originally Published on July 22, 2022

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