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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 ardent about investing in real estate, gaining a single-family rental property could be advantageous. Having said that, when trying to find your next investment property, you must comprehend the signs of an unacceptably executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can trigger high-priced repairs and maintenance costs, unfavorably impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common clues of a blotched renovation? Some of the most indisputable clues include nasty workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we take up a few common signs of low-quality renovations so you can properly avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, knowing well and identifying the signs of rushed workmanship is vital. Look for uneven surfaces, for instance, wavy walls or flooring with perceivable slopes, which could insinuate poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or false measurements. For a case in point, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Furthermore, it’s vital to look closely for inconsistencies in finishing such as gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can suggest a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, closely look for grungy grouting and caulking, in conjunction with evident patches or uncorrected errors, which can imply potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation period.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Be aware of peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint conveys improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch at once or denote signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, in particular near moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, revealing improper installation or awful tile quality. Carpets that have uneven seams, fraying edges, or thin padding can be problematic and may warrant repair or replacement.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Cabinets made of flimsy materials that feel unstable or disclose manifestations of sagging. Faucets, handles, or fixtures that immediately rust or corrode are poor-quality materials. Countertops that easily scratch, chip, or stain denote low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Check for poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close adequately or let in drafts. Signs of moisture damage around windowsills or door frames convey poor sealing or installation.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Fixtures: Outlets or switches that are not aligned correctly or reveal sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls due to subpar plumbing work. Low-grade or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Defective or noisy heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that may impel frequent repairs. The absence of maintenance records for HVAC systems can indicate possible troubles.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be aware of cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might camouflage structural flaws or cracks. Hurried cosmetic upgrades, take as example new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying challenges.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might express attempts to hide issues. Check closely those quick fixes that seem different compared to the overall renovation, as they might cover deeper, yet-to-be-settled issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

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

Deviations in craftsmanship quality may be visible in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Becoming aware of these drawbacks helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and likely underlying issues that might dictate closer examination or readjustments.

Documentation and Permits

Comprehensive documentation and valid permits are beneficial in assessing property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may insinuate that the renovation work was made without compliance with local building codes or regulations. To make certain of compliance, study the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation vouches for the legitimacy of upgrades and supposes adherence to regulations, guarding against risks linked with unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Reviewing permits and documentation warrants a smoother investment process and lowers the possibility of legal or structural issues at a later time.

Structural Integrity

Assessing structural elements during property inspections is primarily important. Signals like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could point out potential structural issues. Any visible traces of structural compromise, like those mentioned, warrant closer examination by a professional. Knowing and resolving structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future expensive repairs and promises a secure investment in the property.

Discovering signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is very important for investors. These indicators mostly hint at more major problems that might not be outrightly visible. Being alert during property inspections vouches against investing in a property that might seem delightful on the surface but harbors underlying issues because of subpar renovations. By prioritizing a thorough evaluation, investors can make more informed and capable investment choices in the real estate market.


If you endeavor to make wise real estate investments in Greeley, look no further than RPM of the Rockies. Our services offer market research and other useful resources to profitably aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 970-658-0410.


Originally Published on July 22, 2022

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