So you’re thinking about remodeling… sure, who wouldn’t want an updated, upgraded and overall better living space? Whether it’s adding some new fancy amenities or reconfiguring a whole new floor plan, it takes a bit of planning and thinking ahead. But where do you actually start?
Here are some pointers to help get you on the right track for your next big remodeling project.
1st – Determine what is wanted vs. needed – List out all the things that you would like to see changed or improved in your remodel. Then list all the things that absolutely need to get done. This is important when trying to budget your finances. If you are going over budget on a project, this list will help weed out the all things that are not imperative. Having a jetted tub is nice in a bathroom remodel, but is it essential?
2nd – Establish your budget & stick to it – Figure out how much you are looking to spend and how much you have saved. Will you need to put your next kitchen remodel on some or all on a credit card? Possibly consider seeking out other sources of finance such as home equity loan, home-improvement loan, second mortgage, etc.
The 2nd part is trying to maintain the magic number. Once you’ve determined how much you can afford, try to plan on spending about 80% of it. Save the extra 20% for any of the “unforeseens”. Anything not in the original contract will be additional cost. For example, on a roof remodel, a roofer can find that the roof decking is not acceptable for roofing shingles, you’re talking anywhere from $500 to $4000, determined by size of roof, local plywood and labor cost. Depending on what the circumstances are, it could be hundreds or possibly thousands in change orders. Better to be prepared than stuck in a hole.
3rd – Start getting some ideas – It’s a good idea to have a mental image in order to describe your vision to your contractor; a great place to start is the internet, particularly Houzz.com. Houzz.com has hundreds of thousands high quality photos of every home remodel project you can think of and it’s very easy to navigate.
Not computer savvy? Pick up some home magazines in your local book store or check out the library. Probably better off with the something current though to spot the latest home remodeling trends. If it’s an exterior remodel, start driving around your favorite neighborhoods, it’s amazing how much you will all of a sudden notice when you start specifically looking for something! Prime examples, porticos or vinyl shake siding.
4th – Remodel strategically & think ahead – Try to determine how long you actually plan to live in your home. If you plan to sell in a few years, you may want to hold off on certain remodel projects, like adding that new addition to your home. If you go all out, you may wind up putting your particular house beyond the average value of your neighborhood, making it harder to sell. This is just something to consider, by all means, if you enjoy your remodel for however long you spend in your home, I believe it is worth it.
With future buyers in mind, certain remodeling projects can be completed more on the conventional side rather than highly stylized. For example, purple cabinets in a kitchen remodel may only appeal to a certain kind of buyer, making it to harder to sell. You can still enjoy your upgrade, but perhaps done with more subdued style choices. There’s also higher return on investment for certain projects than others. New kitchen remodels and bath remodels are typically the highest while things like a swimming pool are on lowest. Another thing to keep in mind before you go ahead and wall paper the entire house!
Finally, if you’re planning to live in your house forever, be sure to keep comfort and accessibility in mind. There are many options for an “aging in place” remodel. For a bathroom remodel, you can install a chair height toilet or consider a low entry shower with grab bars. Lowering light switches and raising outlets as well as widening up the doorways can apply to any remodeling project.
So before you jump right into your next home remodel, give some of these points a thought. They will help you to get organized resulting in saving time, money and unnecessary aggravation. Happy remodeling!