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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 looking to get into investing in real estate, acquiring a single-family rental property could be noteworthy. Even so, when looking for your next investment property, you must take in the signs of an unsatisfactorily executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can induce extravagant repairs and maintenance costs, quite negatively impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common signs of a deficient renovation? Some of the most clear-cut signs include terrible workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we talk about some usual signs of low-quality renovations so you can properly avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, being alert for signs of rushed workmanship is basic. Check attentively for uneven surfaces, similar to wavy walls or flooring with palpable slopes, which could point out poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or incorrect measurements. For a case in point, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Plus, it’s really important to look into inconsistencies in finishing, for case-in-point, gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can specify a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, concentrate on poor grouting and caulking, with clear patches or uncorrected errors, which can mean 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 indicates improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch right away or show signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, definitely near moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, disclosing improper installation or low 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 exhibit indicators of sagging. Faucets, handles, or fixtures that instantaneously rust or corrode spell out poor-quality materials. Countertops that immediately scratch, chip, or stain, showing low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Study for 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 expose sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls originating from subpar plumbing work. Low-grade or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Dysfunctional or noisy heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that may entail frequent repairs. The absence of maintenance records for HVAC systems can indicate possible problems.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be sharp for cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might cloak structural flaws or cracks. Impulsive cosmetic upgrades, by way of illustration, new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying concerns.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might convey attempts to bury issues. Take note of swift fixes that seem superfluous to the overall renovation, as they might conceal deeper, not solved issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

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

Deviations in craftsmanship quality may be seen in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Recognizing these weak points helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and possible underlying issues that might ask for closer examination or development.

Documentation and Permits

All-out documentation and valid permits are substantial in deliberating on property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may mean that the renovation work was realized without concurrence with local building codes or regulations. To make certain of compliance, consider the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation provides the legitimacy of upgrades and explains adherence to regulations, covering against risks involved in unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Double-checking the permits and documentation secures a smoother investment process and minimizes the possibility of legal or structural issues in the time to come.

Structural Integrity

Considering structural elements during property inspections is vital. Indications like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could state potential structural issues. Any visible marks of structural compromise, such as these, warrant closer examination by a professional. Checking for and taking on structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future extravagant repairs and makes certain of a secure investment in the property.

Being alert for signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is salient for investors. These indicators typically hint at more intensive problems that might not be clearly visible. Being all-out attentive during property inspections protects against investing in a property that might seem appealing on the surface but harbors underlying issues through subpar renovations. By prioritizing a full evaluation, investors can make more informed and accomplished investment choices in the real estate market.


If you aim to make wise real estate investments in Burlington, go no further than RPM Sterling. Our services offer market research and other invaluable resources to successfully aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 802-861-6468.

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