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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 quite interested in investing in real estate, obtaining a single-family rental property could be helpful. But on the other hand, when trying to get your next investment property, you must be aware of the signs of a sloppily executed renovation. A shoddy renovation can be the cause of very expensive repairs and maintenance costs, disadvantageously impacting your overall return on investment.

So, what are the common signals of a low-quality renovation? Some of the undeniable signals include imperfect workmanship, substandard materials, and incomplete projects. Here, we discuss some of the usual signs of low-quality renovations so you can smoothly avoid them.

Rushed Workmanship

During a property inspection, distinguishing signs of rushed workmanship is crucial. Watch for uneven surfaces, by way of example, wavy walls or flooring with identifiable slopes, which could connote poor attention to detail during renovations. Misaligned fixtures may point to rushed installation or invalid measurements. For instance, doors that don’t close smoothly or unevenly hung cabinets. Moreover, it’s critical to find out inconsistencies in finishing, particularly gaps in trim or uneven paint application, which can represent a rushed completion.

In bathrooms and kitchens, point out slipshod grouting and caulking, inclusive of clear patches or uncorrected errors, which can reflect potential issues that were overlooked during the renovation step.

Dangers of Low-Quality Materials

  • Paint and Finishes: Look for peeling or chipping paint shortly after application. Uneven or streaky paint shows improper application or low-quality paint. Low-grade finishes will scratch instantaneously or convey signs of premature wear.
  • Flooring: Laminate flooring with visible warping or buckling, chiefly near moisture-prone areas particularly bathrooms or kitchens. Tiles that crack or come loose, informing of improper installation or cheap tile quality. Carpets that have uneven seams, fraying edges, or thin padding can be problematic and may claim repair or replacement.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Cabinets made of flimsy materials that feel unstable or present signs of sagging. Faucets, handles, or fixtures that speedily rust or corrode specify poor-quality materials. Countertops that very quickly scratch, chip, or stain, connoting low-grade surfaces.
  • Doors and Windows: Scrutinize for poorly installed doors or windows that don’t close aptly or let in drafts. Signs of moisture damage around windowsills or door frames denote 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 taking into account subpar plumbing work. Dreadful or outdated electrical wiring, evident through flickering lights or tripped circuits.
  • HVAC Systems: Inoperative 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 nasty problems.

Cover-Ups and Quick Fixes

Be attentive for cover-ups in property renovations. Freshly painted foundations or walls might block out structural flaws or cracks. Fast cosmetic upgrades, like new tiles or paint in specific areas, could mask underlying troubles.

Look for inconsistencies or variations in finishes that might exhibit attempts to camouflage issues. Pay close attention on sprightly fixes that seem inconsistent with the overall renovation, as they might cover deeper, unresolved issues.

Inconsistency in Design and Craftsmanship

While inspecting a property, pay special attention to design inconsistencies and craftsmanship variations. Instantaneous 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 perceptible in finishes, fixtures, or structural elements. Having an idea of these weak spots helps assess the overall quality of the renovation and most likely underlying issues that might compel closer examination or readjustments.

Documentation and Permits

Intensive documentation and valid permits are vital in properly evaluating property renovations. A lack of proper licenses may express that the renovation work was undertaken without keeping to local building codes or regulations. To verify compliance, ask for the authenticity of renovation details with local authorities.

Proper documentation promises the legitimacy of upgrades and points to adherence to regulations, warding against risks closely involved in unpermitted or non-compliant renovations. Scrutinizing permits and documentation enables a smoother investment process and successfully lowers the possibility of legal or structural issues with time.

Structural Integrity

Checking structural elements during property inspections is key. Warnings like sagging ceilings, wall cracks, or uneven floors could mean potential structural issues. Any visible manifestations of structural compromise, that is to say these mentioned, warrant closer examination by a professional. Finding out and dealing with structural concerns at the inspection stage helps prevent future ultra-expensive repairs and warrants a secure investment in the property.

Looking carefully for signs of rushed workmanship, cover-ups, inadequate documentation, and structural issues during property evaluations is advantageous for investors. These indicators customarily hint at more grievous problems that might not be straightout visible. Being specially attentive during property inspections promises against investing in a property that might seem pleasing on the surface but harbors underlying issues resulting from subpar renovations. By prioritizing a complete evaluation, investors can make more informed and trusted investment choices in the real estate market.


If you yearn to make wise real estate investments in Quincy, look no further than RPM Associates. Our services offer market research and other favorable resources to efficiently aid real estate investors. Please get in touch with us online or call 508-509-4485.


Originally Published on July 22, 2022

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