Are you thinking about remodeling your home? Or are you in the beginning stages of making a few minor improvements around your property? Before you jump into your next home renovation project, here are 10 tips to consider.
Before you start talking to contractors or buying equipment to start remodeling your home yourself, it’s wise to price everything out and get a sense of the project’s cost overall. Know the limits of what you’ll spend and budget for that amount.
Next, decide if you want to go with a contractor or plan to do the work yourself. Going with professional contractors has the apparent perks of expertise but comes with added expenses. Keep in mind that depending on the extent of the project, like adding fence planters you could also choose to tackle the renovation DIY-style.
If you decide to go with a contractor, don’t just go with the first one you find. Take time to interview multiple contractors and review their references and contractor’s license before settling on one. You’ll also want to compare each contractor’s bid for the project. Before making your decision, ensure you can easily find the following items for your contractor:
- Their contractor’s license
- Certificate of insurance for liability and Workers’ Compensation
- Lien history
- Bond number certification
If you notice a contractor has old references, asks for unlimited time or materials, doesn’t get proper permits, or requests too much money upfront for a project, these are red flags. It’s best to stay away and find a different contractor.
Once you’ve settled on the right contractor, you can iron out the details of your project contract. Make sure those details are explicit for both you and your contractor, including:
- The payment schedule
- The work timeline
- Details on all work, including the design and layout for each project and room like an underground room or a living room
- Agreed-upon penalties for missed milestones, if this is a detail you wish to include
An agreement in writing between you and your contractor will offer you additional protection from contractors who might take advantage of you. It will also make you feel more secure as your project begins and the contractor becomes involved in your day-to-day life.
There are many ways to add value to your home, but homeowners don’t automatically consider the property exterior. Renovate the exterior of your home to invest significantly in your home’s overall appearance and value.
Start with renovating or adding a deck or patio, as this provides space for entertaining and enjoying life with your family. It also makes your house more marketable when you decide to resell. In 2018, the National Associaton of Realtor’s Remodeling Impact Report determined that the ROI on decks and patios was 100%.
If you’re going to renovate your deck or install a new one, there’s an excellent chance you’ll need a permit for any of the renovations you have planned. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Check with your local government to see which permits you’ll need to get for your home renovations.
Beyond the actual structure of your home, you want the fixtures and appliances you use daily to be high-quality too. Some of these items you should prioritize include:
- Lighting fixtures
- Kitchen appliances
- Kitchen cabinets
You want these features to hold up to heavy usage and likewise reflect the quality of your home and your renovations.
On the inverse, there are various ways you can save money when planning to remodel your house. One of the easiest ways to save money is to mix higher-expense items with mid-range pieces. For instance, when renovating your living room, choose to keep your family couch but perk it up with some designer pillows.
Additionally, resist the urge to wire every room for the latest tech advancements. Tech rapidly falls out of date, needs to be updated regularly, and is a pricey addition to any home.
When it comes to interior renovations, it’s wise to start with your kitchen. Kitchens add significant value to your overall home. In 2019, the National Association of Realtor’s Remodeling Impact Report estimated that homeowners could recover 59% of the cost of their kitchen renovation. Not only that, but kitchens are also an excellent place for families and friends to gather and spend time together.
Due to constraints like your contractor’s time and even money, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to renovate everything you want all at once. Even if these factors weren’t an issue, remodeling every room in your house would likely leave you feeling unsettled and with little space to live. The best approach is to select a couple of projects you want to prioritize and begin work in those areas.
You can go about this process however you see fit. Some homeowners determine the best start by looking around their house and seeing what needs the most work. Others start with the kitchen for its high ROI and how it benefits home sales. Consider the season in which you wish to do the renovation, too, as this will also affect how you prioritize your project list.
If this is your first renovation, you might not be aware that projects have a bit of a reputation for going over the allotted schedule. Usually, something unexpected comes up – it might snow in May and halt progress on your deck. Or maybe your contractor tells you that the unique tile you ordered for your kitchen is back-ordered until January.
These things happen, and they can be a difficult adjustment to accept. Just do your best to anticipate for your project to take extra time. And when unexpected things do happen, they won’t feel so unexpected after all.
Now that you know how to find a contractor and prioritize which renovation is best for your house, you’re one step closer to beginning your project. All you need now is to make some calls and get started!