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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 enthusiastic about investing in real estate, having a single-family rental property could be helpful. But, when hunting for your next investment property, you must be able to apprehend the signs of a crudely executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can contribute to costly repairs and maintenance costs, adversely impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common clues of a blotched renovation? Some of the most detectable clues include shabby workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we discuss the numerous typical signs of low-quality renovations so you can perfectly avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, checking out signs of rushed workmanship is critical. Be watchful for uneven surfaces, by way of illustration, wavy walls, or flooring with very obvious slopes, which could imply poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or errors in measurements. For instance, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Also, it’s critical to inspect for inconsistencies in finishing, like gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can signify a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, check particularly for sloppy grouting and caulking, along with unmistakable patches or uncorrected errors, which can mean potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation process.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Detect peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint expresses improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch immediately or point to signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, principally near moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, exhibiting improper installation or terrible tile quality. Carpets that have uneven seams, fraying edges, or thin padding can be problematic and may compel repair or replacement.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Cabinets made of flimsy materials that feel unstable or display indications of sagging. Faucets, handles, or fixtures that instantly rust or corrode indicate poor-quality materials. Countertops that quickly scratch, chip, or stain, insinuating low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Properly check for poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close completely or let in drafts. Signs of moisture damage around windowsills or door frames express poor sealing or installation.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Fixtures: Outlets or switches that are not aligned correctly or disclose sparking signs. Leaky faucets, pipes, or visible water damage on walls owing to subpar plumbing work. Not good or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Substandard or noisy heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that may demand frequent repairs. The absence of maintenance records for HVAC systems can indicate possible troubles.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be mindful of cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might blot out structural flaws or cracks. Fast cosmetic upgrades, including new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying dilemmas.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might signify attempts to screen issues. Pay careful attention to quick fixes that seem outright different from the overall renovation, as they might cover deeper, unsettled issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

While inspecting a property, pay particular attention to design inconsistencies and craftsmanship variations. Sharp and sudden 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 discernible in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Discovering these errors helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and plausible underlying issues that might need closer examination or amendment.

Documentation and Permits

Full documentation and valid permits are essential in assessing property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may connote that the renovation work was fulfilled without conformity to local building codes or regulations. To affirm compliance, substantiate the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation affirms the legitimacy of upgrades and can mean adherence to regulations, safeguarding against risks certainly associated with unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Validating permits and documentation safeguards a smoother investment process and brings down the possibility of legal or structural issues at a future time.

Structural Integrity

Verifying structural elements during property inspections is fundamental. Indicators like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could mean potential structural issues. Any visible manifestations of structural compromise, for example, warrant closer examination by a professional. Detecting and dealing with structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future high-cost repairs and ensures a secure property investment.

Figuring out signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is integral for investors. These indicators usually hint at more major problems that might not be downright visible. Being closely attentive during property inspections affirms against investing in a property that might seem enticing on the surface but harbors underlying issues because of subpar renovations. By prioritizing an extensive evaluation, investors can make more informed and sure investment choices in the real estate market.


If you certainly want to make wise real estate investments in Raleigh Court, go no further than RPM Colonial. Our services offer market research and other good resources to suitably aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 540-595-7411.


Originally Published on July 22, 2022

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