65% of homes in the US are more than 25 years old. This necessitates repairs, upgrades or renovations.
Because of the resources that go into a home remodel, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what to expect and what to do to ensure the process is seamless.
Here are nine things you should consider before remodeling your home.
Table of Contents
1. Your Budget
Coming up with a budget is probably the very first thing you should do. This will help shape most of the other decisions, including the materials to use, the scope of the entire project and the contractors to use.
Most remodeling projects tend to go over budget. Therefore, do a thorough budget that includes everything to the very last nail, then overestimate it by about 20% to be on the safe side.
Have this well documented and track each expense against your budget at every step of the way. If things start going south, the earlier you become aware of it, the better.
2. Think About the Duration You Intend to Be There
Figuring out how long you intend to live in your house can help you determine the scope of a remodel.
If you will be there for a short stay, then go with small changes. If this is your ‘forever house,’ then you can make more significant changes.
For the latter, it is important to make changes to accommodate you in old age or toddlers and younger children. This means designing a home for the future.
Also, figuring out your duration of stay will help out with material choices. For a long term home, you want to go for durable materials that will withstand the test of time.
3. The Functionality of a Home Remodel
Functionality looks at the need for the remodeling.
Are you looking to improve your quality of life in your home, to improve its aesthetics or do you want to increase its resale value?
Quality of life could mean you are having an elderly parent moving in with you and you want the house to be more senior–friendly.
It could also mean having an office or the baby’s nursery away from the high traffic areas of the home. Be clear on exactly why you need the remodel.
Your contractor should be able to give you a fair estimate of how much time your project is likely to take.
If it’s a small project spanning a couple of days to a week, you might want to schedule the project during your vacation time. This could save you a lot of inconveniences.
If it’s a more extended project, think about how your family can live in one part of the house. This keeps you safe, sane and gives the workers the space to maneuver and get the job done quicker.
In addition to this, think about weather patterns. Generally, winter and wet seasons are a terrible time to do your renovations as it might stop or stall workmanship every so often.
5. Obtain Permits
Some jurisdictions require permits to ensure a remodel meets structural and safety requirements.
In some jurisdictions failure to comply with this can be costly as code inspectors can compel you to undo the work. This happens down the line when you are trying to sell your home.
To avoid this, find out if any permits and permissions are required and work on getting them in order before the project begins.
6. DIY vs. Pro
Most people want to save some money by going DIY. However, if your handyman skills are not up to par, you are bound to end up with an expensive nightmare on your hands.
P.E. For Hire outlines overestimating your skills as a common mistake homeowners make when doing renovations.
Make a list of all the things you want to have done. If you really want to do some of the work, pick what you can comfortably handle and work on that before calling in the professionals.
If your project includes breaking walls and making changes near utility lines, then that’s definitely a job that should be handled by the pros.
Similarly, any remodeling work that touches the skeleton of your house will require a licensed engineer. You can find one through referrals from friends and kin.
7. Which Contractor to Work With
Online reviews and references are important, but you will need to go deeper than that.
Find two or three contractors and request for quotes from them. Additionally, check their contractor’s license and liability insurance. Also, check their bond number and lien history.
These will have you covered in case anything goes wrong.
Aside from the business end of things, you need a contractor whose personality is a good fit for you.
Depending on the scope of your project, this person will be in your house a whole lot. Picking someone who hears what your needs are can make the renovation smoother and easier on you psychologically.
8. Have a Contract In Place
Renovating a house is exciting. This excitement might be short-lived once the work begins.
Remember the longer the project takes, the costlier it gets, not to mention the inconvenience to your entire family.
Therefore, you need this job done well and in the shortest time possible.
Having a contract protects your interests.
Draft a detailed contract that outlines the payment schedule, details on each job to be done and the specifications. Also, include timelines and penalties for missing them.
You want your contract to be explicit and easy to understand. In case of a negative eventuality, it will be much easier to interpret and act accordingly.
9. How to Hold on to Your Sanity
If ever there was a time to be proactive about your sanity, this is it.
When remodeling a house, your life will be turned on its head for the duration of the renovation. You will be juggling deadlines, a bunch of contractors, vendors, your budget and kids, and pets if you have them.
There will be people in your home tearing, banging and nailing sending dust and debris all over your formerly tranquil home. It can be draining mentally and physically, and this can affect your relationships as well.
It is therefore important to make plans to get away and reenergize yourself every time you find it necessary.
Be flexible with the home remodel. Expect that some of your ideas will be impossible to bring to life and that it’s okay to change your plans along the way- as long as they remain within budget.
When it gets overwhelming, it helps to visualize the end product and how much it will enrich your life. Also, use this time to get creative about how to redesign your new space.
Are you running out of ideas for your interior home design? Check out these trends to get your creative juices flowing.