Homes can quickly get outdated. The average lifespan of a home in the United States is just nine years, and that number is dropping as technology changes faster and faster. According to the National Association of Home Builders, more than 40 percent of homes in the U.S. are at least 25 years old. That means that, as a homeowner, you must stay prepared to renovate your home anytime.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Tastes change quickly. What was popular in homes a few years ago might not be popular anymore.
- Technology changes quickly, and it’s hard to keep up with the Joneses if your home doesn’t have the latest gadgets and features.
- As homes age, they tend to deteriorate and need repairs or replacements of major systems like the roof or plumbing.
If you’re considering renovating your home, staying prepared for the costs is essential. Renovating a home can be expensive, especially if you’re doing a complete overhaul. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value report, the average cost of a midrange kitchen renovation is $22,000, and the average cost of a midrange bathroom renovation is $10,000. If you’re doing a whole-home renovation, expect to spend much more.
Before you start any renovation project, it’s essential to do your research and plan. Know what your finished product looks like, and draw up plans accordingly. Here are the steps to achieve it successfully.
Finalizing the Budget
As mentioned above, the financial costs of total home transformation will be the most challenging task you’ll have to undertake. It would help if you accounted for not only the cost of materials but also the cost of labor. If you’re planning on doing any of the work yourself, that will save you some money, but it’s also essential to factor in the cost of your time.
Fortunately, you can find multiple ways to secure the finances necessary for the project. You can remortgage your home to free up cash or take out a home equity loan. You can also look into personal loans from banks or other financial institutions.
Finding a reliable mortgage company can help you with this process and make it much more manageable. The financial assistance tool will allow you to fund your renovation project while staying flexible with your finances. You’ll want to compare rates and terms from multiple companies before deciding.
You should always overestimate the costs of your project and set aside more money than you think you’ll need. This way, you won’t be blindsided by hidden costs if anything unexpected arises.
Permits and Building Codes
Next, you need to check with your local government to see what permits are necessary for the work you’re planning to do. Depending on the project’s scope, you might need a license for everything from electrical work to demolition. The last thing you want is to start your renovation only to be stopped by the authorities because you don’t have the proper permits.
It would help if you also familiarize yourself with your local building codes. These codes define what work can be done and how you must do it. For example, the code might require that certain types of wiring get buried underground or that certain types of plumbing get installed a certain way.
If you’re unsure about anything, it’s always best to consult with a professional contractor or architect. They will know the ins and outs of the permitting process and can help you navigate the bureaucracy.
Once you have your financing in place and your permits secured, it’s time to start hiring contractors. If you’re doing a complete home renovation, you’ll likely need to hire multiple contractors for different phases of the work. For example, you might need a general contractor to oversee the project, an electrician to do the wiring, and a plumber to install the new plumbing.
You can find contractors through word-of-mouth recommendations or online directories like Angie’s List. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential contractors, check their references and read reviews before making your final decision.
It would help if you also got quotes from multiple contractors before hiring anyone. Be sure to compare not only the price but also the quality of the work they’re proposing. Once you’ve hired a contractor, get everything in writing, including a detailed schedule of work and payment terms.
Identifying Priority Renovations
One of the most important things to remember when renovating your home is prioritizing the work. You don’t want to try to do everything at once and wind up blowing your budget. Identifying the most critical renovations is essential and focusing on those first.
When you’re limited funds, prioritizing the work is especially important. Here are some tips for doing that:
- Start with the essential renovations, like fixing the roof or fixing the plumbing.
- Look for ways to make multiple improvements at once. For example, if you’re painting the walls, consider changing the flooring too.
- Think about what will have the most significant impact on your home. A new coat of paint can make a big difference, but it won’t have as much of an impact as a new roof.
- Prioritize renovations that will add value to your home. A new kitchen or bathroom will likely increase the value more than a fresh coat of paint.
Renovating your home can be daunting, but prioritizing the work and focusing on the most critical improvements can make it successful.
Home renovations can be a great way to improve your home’s value, but they’re not cheap. Consult with professionals and get everything in writing before starting any work. And most importantly, focus on the essential improvements that will have the most impact. With careful planning, you can transform your home without breaking the bank.