Home renovations have never been more popular. New garden spaces, updated bathrooms, and more functional kitchens are just a few of the ways Americans are improving their home environment and, hopefully, their home’s value. If you don’t have the skills of a seasoned contractor, figuring out a project’s first steps could derail your renovation before it gets started.
5 Steps for Successful Home Renovations
There is a certain order to completing home renovations. Plumbing and electric need to be done before walls are painted. Kitchen counters should be set before the backsplash goes up. Of course, things don’t always go exactly as planned, and a little flexibility will go a long way. But what do you do when getting started turns out to be the hardest part? Taking a step-by-step approach will help you start and complete your home renovation project as smoothly as possible. Just remember the old adage, “Well begun is half done.”
Step One: Make A Plan
The most important step in completing a home remodeling project is knowing why you are doing it. Are you improving your home because it doesn’t function for your family or lifestyle? If functionality is fine but you just want a change, consider whether updates are really necessary or if the room is simply not to your taste. Are you planning on staying in your home for at least ten more years, or is there a move in your near future?
These questions are important because not all renovations will add to a home’s value. If transforming a beautiful, well-organized traditional kitchen into a beautiful, well-organized contemporary kitchen increases your enjoyment of your home, it may be worth every penny to your quality of life, but not to resale value. Before picking up that demolition hammer, consult with a remodeling company to learn more about which home renovations are likely to help you build equity.
Step Two: Set A Budget
Working with a budget is a drag, but so is planning your entire kitchen renovation around marble countertops you can’t actually afford. Budgeting will help you set the priorities for your project and make sure you end up with at least most of the items on your wish list. And who knows, by setting a budget you may learn you can afford more than you realized.
Whether the sky is the limit or you’re operating on a shoestring, it’s better to be realistic now than disappointed later. One important element of the budget that too often gets overlooked is the contingency—that additional 5% to 10% extra that gets tucked away for emergencies. Without a contingency fund, those unwanted but inevitable construction surprises will force you to reevaluate your must-have list. Goodbye marble counters!
Step Three: Choose Your Team
How many people does it take to complete a remodel? Well, that depends on how big the project is. Even a simple DIY project usually requires help from the home and garden store. For a large-scale renovation, you may need a general contractor, demolition experts, a designer, tile-setters, carpet-layers, painters, electricians, and more.
The overwhelming number of subcontractors and other professionals can be difficult to manage, especially if you don’t have many home renovations under your tool belt. Working with a remodeling company can simplify the project and save money in the long run. Remodeling companies already have a list of reputable people they know and trust, and a network of suppliers.
Step Four: Permits, Loans, and Insurance
Do you need a permit to paint your bathroom? No, but even a simple DIY project like creating a courtyard in the front yard could require a permit in your city. Are you taking out a loan to complete your new kitchen? If so, have your house assessed before and after the job is done. And if your home increases in value after remodeling, you’ll need to contact your insurance agent about the possibility of increasing your coverage.
Let’s bottom line it, there can be a lot of paperwork involved with home improvement. Your contractor will be a great resource for walking you through the process. After all, you don’t want construction shut down half-way through the job because you failed to file the correct paperwork.
Step Five: The Fun Begins
Hurray! You’re finally ready to start ordering materials, taking down walls, and finalizing decisions about paint color and finishes. By making a plan, setting a budget, selecting a great team, and taking care of business, you’ve gotten your home renovations off to a great start.
“Renovations and repairs can be stressful enough without being uninformed and ill-prepared,” say the experts at Seven Valley Home Renovations. And they are right. Preparing for a renovation is like building a house, the more attention you pay to laying a good foundation, the easier the entire build will be.