Home renovation is an exhausting and expensive task. If you’re going to invest so much time and money into renovating your home, the payoff better be good. That’s why it’s particularly distressing when a home renovation project doesn’t go as planned. You’re out time and money and you don’t have much to show for it. Here are five tips that can help you avoid a home renovation disaster.
1. Consider return on investment (ROI)
Not all remodeling projects are equal when it comes to return on investment. Of course, if you’re planning on staying in your home for many years to come and you’re remodeling to make your home more in accordance with your personal taste, then there’s no such thing as a bad remodeling project. But if you plan to sell in the next little while, you’ll want to consider return on investment. For instance, if you add a new bathroom, you can expect to pay around $40,000 for the remodel and you can expect to recoup about half of that when you sell your home. A minor kitchen remodel, on the other hand, will recoup about 83% of its cost when it’s time to sell.
2. Create a budget
One of the biggest disasters that befalls homeowners in the middle of a remodel is running out of funds. This is bound to happen when you don’t set a firm budget, including a contingency of 15%, before beginning. Costs have a tendency to creep up and up during a project and there’s bound to be one or two nasty surprises during the course of the remodel. If you had a realistic budget and you planned a contingency budget into your calculations, you’ll have the funds to see the project to completion.
3. Research contractors
Nothing can ruin a remodeling project like a contractor who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s crucial that you do your research carefully and hire the right contractor(s) for the job. If their trade requires a license, ask to see proof that they are licensed. Ask if they belong to a professional trade association as that’s typically a good indicator that they’re experienced and professional. You can check with the BBB to make sure that a contractor doesn’t have a bad reputation in the area. Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations from people who’d had renovation work done.
4. Secure any necessary permits
Home renovation permits protect both your home and your safety. Most major renovation projects are going to require that you obtain a permit (or permits) from the city. A permit ensures that any renovations are in accordance with local building codes. Communicate with your contractor to determine who will be responsible for obtaining necessary permits, you or the contractor.
5. Understand price/quality tradeoffs
When selecting products for a remodel, there’s always a tradeoff between price and quality. On the one hand, you don’t want to automatically go with all of the cheapest products or you’ll have a poor quality remodel. On the other hand, your budget may not stretch very far if you’re selecting the most expensive materials every time either. If you’ve selected a good contractor, he should be able to help you determine a good balance between cost and quality.
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