Home renovations are a simple way to fix up an old space and the easier alternative to buying a new house.
They can, however, go in one of two directions: They’ll either run smoothly because you’ve done your research, you have an idea of what to expect and the contractor you hired was sent from the heavens and knew exactly what he was doing. Or they can go terribly wrong and end up putting you deeper in debt than you thought and take an extra month and a half to finish.
So before you decide to roll up your sleeves and bring out the tool kit, take this advice from us to ensure your next home renovation runs as smoothly as possible.
Crunch those numbers
Break out that calculator and start crunching those numbers — home renovations are more expensive than you think. Sure, you may have dreams of redoing the kitchen, putting in a new tub and ripping out the carpet, but do you even have enough money for that? Talk to friends who’ve renovated recently, and do as much window-shopping and price comparing as you possibly can, because sticking to a budget will be your best bet with any home reno.
Before you start ripping out sinks, talk to friends who’ve been through renovations or to reno experts. Or simply turn on the TV, and we guarantee you’ll find a home renovation show that’ll not only inspire you, but prepare you for what can go right — and possibly wrong. Research the contractor you’ve selected to fulfill your dream plans, and talk to previous clients to hear their opinions of how the job turned out. Having a general idea of what you want your final project to look like is also imperative, and don’t forget to have a plan in mind (and some money set aside) should something go wrong.
Call on the pros
Sure, calling up all your uncles and cousins to help you renovate your kitchen may seem like a cost-effective way to get the job done, but do they really know what they’re doing? When planning a home reno, leave it to the pros. It may cost you a bit more, but isn’t it better to leave the job in the hands of someone with years of experience and get it done right the first time around?
Certain renovations are necessary for maintenance purposes. Others are more of a desire, mostly for aesthetic purposes. Before deciding to renovate your house, learn to draw the line between what’s practical and what’s not. Also keep in mind that specific renovations, such as kitchens, bathrooms and paint jobs, usually provide the biggest payback if you ever decide to sell your home.