Home renovation and remodeling projects have increased exponentially. With homeowners spending more time at home they have realized that it is time for improvements! In addition to increased functionality and comfort, remodeling and renovations are much less expensive than buying a home and moving. And, if you like where you live and have established a strong community, a move might not make sense! According to HomeAdvisor, an average remodel ranges from $18,145 to $76,407, depending on project time, length, size, and location. Some projects are more demanding than others, but all homeowners agree that the benefits of upgrades make it worth it.
Many homeowners jump into these projects headfirst without any research, so here are some home renovation tips that will help you along the journey.
Research Your Home RenovationThe most important tip is to do research! Find what other homeowners experience while remodeling and how that will translate into your life. Additional research also helps to understand the responsibilities and decisions that come with remodeling a home.
Many HGTV lovers enjoy shows like Extreme Home Makeover, Property Brothers, and Fixer-Uppers who are quick to show audiences witty banter and quickly resolved problems, but that is not always the case when it comes to actual home projects. Anyone who DIYs or hires out knows that unforeseen problems come out of the woodwork. Be prepared to navigate these issues and understand that they come up with most home remodels.
Know What You LikeThis seems easy, right? It shouldn’t be too hard planning a totally new bathroom after months and months of putting together Pinterest mood boards. Wrong. While hundreds of inspiration photos are great, you now must narrow down styles, fixtures, tiles, appliances, and much more.
Browse through those mood boards and begin cutting out anything that doesn’t seem essential. Can’t live with pink bathroom tiles for 10 years? Move on to something else. This is a long-term investment, so be prepared to think about how the changes will impact the home in the future.
Plan in AdvanceWhen renovating, create a budget and plan in advance so materials can be bought, contractors can be scheduled and the project can be completed in the desired time frame. If the project is not a major overhaul, confident homeowners can tackle the project in their spare time.
Work with the contractor to make material selections for the new space. Having these two essential steps complete allows homeowners to easily plan the length of the project and the costs involved. When estimating costs, be sure to allow for a contingency in the financial budget if an unexpected problem occurs and plans have to change.
Top tips to keep in mind:
- Cut costs when needed
- Balance high and low-end materials
- Decide on top renovation needs and priorities
- Figure out financing
Research Renovation & Remodeling ContractorsContractors can make or break a project. Professional contractors get the job done safely, correctly, and efficiently, especially if working with electrical, plumbing, or an addition. Want to add a firepit out back to enjoy during the cooler fall and winter evenings? Got a friend who just added one on to their house? Get them to help! Wanting to change the home’s floor plan by adding a home office or redesigning the kitchen, it’s time to hire a pro.
When it comes to contractors, homeowners get what they pay for. Start by going to the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association or to NARI to see if they have a member in your area. These local associations have standards for membership that go beyond the state’s basic licensing requirement. A little bit of research on sites such as Yelp or reading Google reviews provides an idea of where to start. After selecting potential contractors or remodelers, set up virtual or in-person consultations to learn more about their personality, work ethic, and price.
Sign a ContractMany homeowners meet and greet a contractor and fall into the “honeymoon” phase. So excited to begin a remodel or renovation, they forget to draw up a contract that lays out important information like payment, timeline, penalties, and work details. A contract protects both the remodeler and homeowner because it ensures that both people enter the agreement understanding what the expectations are.
Set Realistic ExpectationsIt is important to know that home renovation projects, whether they are minor DIY changes or major whole-house renovations, take time. Depending on the scale of the project, expect a 10 to 20% overage on both time and budget. Setting these expectations upfront will ensure no one is blindsided when a project takes longer than initially planned or goes over budget. With today’s lumber and building material prices, homeowners often are asked to sign an escalation clause related to price increases.
While home renovation projects are a big undertaking, they’re also incredibly exciting. With changing lifestyles, now is a great time to consider how you want your home to function for your family. If the desired renovations are too expensive or complicated, it may be a good time to contemplate buying a new home that better fits your current needs.