Six Downright Frightening Renovation Horror Stories

renovation horror

Renovating is never the easiest thing in the world, but occasionally things get just plain awful. We don’t want these horrifying renovation journeys to keep you up at night, so we’ll also tell you how to make your own renovation go as smoothly as possible.

6. Too much texture

Popcorn ceilings aren’t often homeowners’ favorites. But when one homeowner wanted her ceiling redone with a lightly textured finish, she ended up with a lot more texture than she bargained for. According to HouseBeautiful, a subcontractor added the same ceiling texture to every surface in the kitchen. “All of it had to be scraped down, sanded, and smoothed out. It set the project back weeks,” said Susan, the homeowner.

5. Bad business

The professionals you hire make a huge difference in how your project goes, as Ian Altman discovered. From a contactor upset with the amount of money he stood to make on Altman’s job to an electrician disappearing when a job was almost done, the renovation professionals on this project made things difficult. Altman notes in his Forbes piece that it wasn’t a case of malice, but of poor business practices.

4. Off the rails

MyLitter blogger Tiffany wanted what seemed like a simple adjustment to her home – switch out the railing to highlight its vintage charm. After shelling out $3,700, dealing with a revolving door of contractors, and buying the same supplies multiple times, she still ended up railing-less.

3. Seeking a sink hole

It’s Overflowing blogger Aimee’s kitchen remodel was looking “dreamy,” until she got to the countertops. Her contractor quit on the spot, leaving her to sort out where the money she’d paid for her countertops had gone. The story gets wild with a 911 call, police visit, and no hole for a sink.

2. Museum madness

The people in charge of world-renown Dutch museum The Rijksmuseum wanted to update it with an in-depth, three-year renovation. The museum ended up being closed for a decade, with a problem-laden project chronicled in a four-hour documentary film.

1. A first time buyer’s biggest fear

Sometimes a renovation can be a big test of perseverance, as Frost Simula quickly discovered after closing on his very first home. Even though Simula had the house inspected before moving in, he still fell victim to the shoddy (and sometimes illegal) workmanship of a crooked house flipper. Cabinet doors and sink handles fall off, raccoons make repeated appearances, the basement floods more than once, and multiple credit cards are maxed out in Simula’s tale of renovation hell, which he chronicles in painstaking detail on his website, Hoodwinked House. The hard-to-believe renovation has been featured in Remodeling Magazine and on TV news shows, and led to Simula fighting for changes in laws and coining the term “predatory renovation.” His renovation is still underway after more than two years, and makes for a horrifying read that you won’t be able to take your eyes from. Read it and you’ll almost certainly want to to hop a plane to Minnesota to help him out.

The best defense

Before these harrowing tales make you abandon your renovation plans, remember a few things: these stories are (fortunately) not the norm, and by no means are all reno pros crooks. These stories point to the reason behind Kukun’s mission of disrupting the current renovation industry – there’s a need for transparency, educative materials for homeowners, and empowerment. With the right knowledge and tools, home renovation can be a lot easier.

Renovation doesn’t have to be difficult.

Get started with cost and ROI estimates from Kukun.

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Six Downright Frightening Renovation Horror Stories was last modified: January 5th, 2017 by Sheree Whiteley
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