A home improvement project can yield unexpected surprises, even when you’ve done it several times before. You see, no home renovation task is ever the same so there can always be something that can catch you off-guard, especially if you have not done your research well.
To tell the truth, each one of us is a homeowner that loves to give their imagination and creativity free rein when renovating. We love to make walls disappear, transform the outdoor living space into the living room of our dreams and turn carpets into hardwood, don’t we? But how much attention do we pay to preparations, permits, financing and other tiny details? Hardly any!
Whether experienced or inexperienced, it is imperative for all the homeowners to prepare well for their upcoming home improvement project. This includes gathering all information possible, learning of the state and local building codes, making a solid plan etc. to enhance the usability and value of their home.
Here are the top 5 things we believe every homeowner should know before diving into renovations:
1. Strengthen your Finances
Logistics are the most important consideration. You must never launch into renovations till you are sure that there are enough funds to finance every process, product to use, construction, labor etc. This may sound clichéd but the truth is that many homeowners take this aspect so lightly that later they have to abandon or halt their project midway because they run short of cash.
Under-financing is never a smart move and it is best to secure your line of financing before you begin hammering away. You can look at several options for financing the home improvement, such as a home equity loan, home owners loan, a home equity line of credit, personal loans or using your savings (cash).
2. Prepare for Your Estimated Timeline to Extend
Often frustration among homeowners mounts when they do not prepare for unforeseen circumstances during renovations. You see, a number of things can go wrong, the weather can turn unfavorable, workers can fall sick and other things that can cause delays.
You must have a plan beforehand to cope with the situation if renovation takes longer. If it’s a major improvement project, you might be living in other accommodations. Make sure you keep an emergency budget aside before the work begins to use in a situation like this.
Even removing or replacing old fixtures, vanities, bath tubs, wiring etc. could take several weeks and your renovation timeline may stretch. Therefore, you must be realistic when setting a timeline for your renovation process.
Even prepare backup plans proactively so that when something goes wrong unexpectedly, your construction continues smoothly because of the backup resources.
3. Ensure Your Plans and Budget Align
One cannot blame homeowners for dreaming big. After all, for each one of us, our home is our ultimate haven and we want to make it look the best possible. But this does not mean we turn a blind eye to our existing financial situation.
Before you dive in with renovations mindlessly, it is best to crunch numbers with your family and take realistic decisions. Try to stick to improvement plans that fit conveniently within your budget and put you under no financial strain.
This includes preparing for the unexpected while also ensuring satisfactory returns on your long-term investment. Sit together as a family and decide how much you should spend on the home and if you plan to borrow, then how you will handle the monthly expenses alongside the loan.
4. Improvement Plans must Secure Returns
When making your home improvement plans, you must ensure that ultimate goal of the project is to enhance your home’s market value, as is of the other properties in your marketplace. To do this, you must calculate the ROI as follows:
- Take your property’s present value and then add your project’s estimated cost, including the interest rate you will have to pay for the home improvement loan.
- Then take this total and compare it against the other homes that underwent similar renovations in your area and are in the market for sale.
- Once you have the estimates, you must verify that your total does not surpass beyond fifteen to twenty percent of your property’s net value.
Most importantly though, you must note that we cannot rely on the ROI as the sole metric for measuring home’s value against its improvement project. Yes, ROI is a helpful tool but you must consider it more for indicating how your renovation project will improve your living conditions.
5. Meet Local Codes
Every home renovation project requires certain certifications and permits. Before you begin the actual manual work, you must first line up the necessary documents so that you can rest assured of your project adhering to all local codes.
If you fail to observe this step, there are chances that a part of your renovation project may unintentionally violate local rules. When you have obtained all the eligibility certifications from your local authority, you will at least be confident of no interruptions later on for breaking any law.
Homeowners must note that every state has a set of local rules and regulations for remodeling or renovation projects. No matter how many times you undertake a home improvement project, you must acquire certain permits first.
You must note that local and state authorities both issue several permits so that homeowners comply with building codes.
Generally, the prices ranges from $398 to $1,561 if your average cost is at $979. This is another cost you must note when planning your budget. While rules and regulations vary per state, the most common ones that require a permit include new buildings like barns, garages, guest houses, extensions or add-ons to existing structure and interior renovations such as bathrooms, kitchen etc.
A home improvement project demands a lot but every effort is worthwhile in the end, if the house turns out just like you imagined it. But for this to happen, you have to take calculated steps to ensure you protect your investment and align every necessary detail beforehand for seamless progress.
In the end, not only does your renovated home enhance your property’s market value but also boosts your quality of living and sense of satisfaction.