Tips for Planning a Remodeling Project

Tips for Planning a Remodeling Project

There are many good reasons for deciding to remodel your home. You might want more space for the kids, have your own home office or hobbies room, or knock through some walls to create an open plan living space. If you love your home and have no wish to move, extending or altering your space to suit your needs better is the obvious answer, and it continues to be a popular choice even with recent improvements in the real estate market. If you’re contemplating a remodeling project, here are some tips on the main steps you need to consider before going ahead.

What do you want to achieve?

You need to have a specific objective in mind, and an idea of how this project will enhance your life. If you created a home gym because you wanted to get fit, would you use it? If you converted the loft into a master bedroom, what would you do with the room it has replaced? To be worth the investment, your project has to deliver the functionality you need to improve your lifestyle. There are plenty of design websites on the Internet that can inspire you, so have a browse through and find designs you like that would work in your home. You may well find better solutions to your needs than the ideas you came up with yourself, or at least ways to improve your basic plans.

Remodeling as an investment

This option requires a slightly different approach because you will be looking to add value to your home. You need to consider what will give you the best return on your investment, and what buyers will most want to see. You should take advice from a realtor, who will know what types of homes are most in demand at that time, and how you can best add value to your dwelling.

Financing your project

Remodeling doesn’t come cheap! Unless you plan to remain in your home permanently, it’s worth considering whether you’d be likely to recoup the expenditure should you need to move in the future. Most remodeling efforts will add a degree of value to your home, but not necessarily equivalent to what you have invested, so if this is a concern for you, adapt your plans to ensure you don’t face potentially losing your money long term. If you have savings or investments you can cash in; you could well be in a position to fund the entire project without needing credit facilities. However, for most people, this kind of project will require an injection of outside capital to make it a reality. Don’t take on the first loan you see advertised, and although speaking to your bank is always a good idea, don’t assume they will give you the best rates. Do some research on the credit options available to you using a credit brokerage site like Bonsai Finance before making a decision, because the repayment terms will be highly variable and you could save a lot of money by searching for the best deals.

Who is going to do the work?

The answer to this will have a big impact on your costs for the project because if you are willing and able to do some of the work yourself, it will save you a considerable amount on builders’ fees. You do need to be capable of carrying out this work to a high standard if you plan to do any of the skilled jobs such as bricklaying, plumbing, plastering, carpentry, or decorating. It would be a false saving to make such a poor job of fitting the new bathroom that you then had to get a professional in to fix it. Most people can do some of the laboring type jobs, so if you don’t have any building expertise, you could at least do some of the unskilled work. Be realistic about your abilities, and also how much time you’d be able to devote to the work, without compromising too much on your family life and recreation time. Stretching yourself too far and then falling ill isn’t going to be helpful or pleasant for you or your family.

Looking for builders

Once you’ve decided which tradespeople you will need, you can either employ individuals for each specialism or hire a builder who will provide their own workers and manage the project for you. Make sure you check prospective tradespeople out thoroughly, reading reviews and visiting previous projects if possible. There are a few rogue builders around who will take your cash and leave you with poorly completed or abandoned projects, so always make sure the people you contact are genuine. You should also get at least three quotes, so you have a reasonable comparison on which to make a decision. Remember, cheapest isn’t always best, because a more expensive service might complete the job to higher standards or in a shorter timeframe.

Living arrangements

The amount of work involved in your project will be a determining factor in your decision to live in the house for the duration of the project or find alternative accommodation. There are advantages to staying put, in that you will be on site to monitor progress and deal with any issues that arise. It will be disruptive and possibly dusty and noisy though, so you need to weigh up how much of an impact it will have on you and your family. If you have children, it can be difficult for them to manage with the disruption, and there are potential safety implications, even on the most well-operated building sites. If a hotel is too costly an option, you could consider renting a place or moving into an onsite mobile home.

Completing your project successfully depends on you having a realistic budget, a definite plan, and finding the best people to carry out the work. The results could quite literally be life-changing, so it pays to do your planning very carefully to ensure the best results. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll find that all the hard work and expense will have been worthwhile when the project is finished.


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