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The Gaineses called: They love that new paint color for the kitchen. They’re disappointed that you didn’t prime the walls, though. When it comes to upgrading your home, the beauty lies in the details…but that can also be where the damage resides. Here are five common mistakes to watch out for (and how to avoid ’em like your name is Joanna).

home renovation
Twenty20

You Picked Out the Appliances Last

Sure, you already know you want stainless steel. But buying the actual fridge, stove and dishwasher before you do anything else will ensure that everything falls into place more smoothly. Think about it: It’s a whole lot easier to place cabinetry and countertops around pieces you know will fit the space and your budget than it is to try to make something work because you underestimated the doorjamb.

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Kilz

You’re Not Priming White Walls

In keeping with your favorite home decor blogs, you’ve decided to upgrade your eggshell-colored kitchen to a more daring shade of Spanish blue. (That’ll look fantastic with your new rattan bar stools.) You assume that since you’re going from light to dark, you don’t really need primer. But you know what they say about assuming. Primer is not just for covering a previous dark color. In fact, without a good one like KILZ Premium Primer that seals your surfaces and promotes adhesion, your walls could be a ticking time bomb for mildew, odor and peeling.

home renovation tips
Twenty20

You Didn’t Order Extra Flooring

It’s more than likely you’ll run into a few snags, so ordering 5 to 10 percent extra will save you the unwanted grief. You’ll be glad you thought ahead when some of the pieces come damaged, your partner (who insisted on DIYing) cuts one piece too short or a couple just don’t look quite right. Bonus: Many major retailers will let you return an unopened box, so if you don’t use it, no sweat.

green home renovation
Twenty20

You’re Not Choosing Green Materials

Sustainability is becoming more accessible (we’re talking more than just using a recycling bin), so it’s likely to be less of a cool feature and more of a must-have for buyers down the road. Think about beefing up your insulation to cut down on energy consumption, using reclaimed wood for your new floors, installing terrazzo countertops instead of granite or swapping out your regular windowpanes for low-E tempered glass.

home upgrades
Twenty20

You Didn’t Measure Everything (Twice)

If this feels obvious, ask yourself: Did you actually measure the space between the toilet and the shower door in the guest bath? It’s those small details that will come back to bite you if you’re not on top of your game. Bottom line: Keep a measuring tape with you at all times, and use it for everything.

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