Renovating your home will boost your enjoyment of the property and, so long as you choose the right kind of work to undertake, will make your home significantly more attractive to buyers when you decide it is time to sell. Not all renovation projects are equal. The best ones are those which either add the best modern creature comforts to your home, bringing it right up to date, or those which lower your energy bills both for you and any future owner. The following tips will help you make the most of your money.
Begin with a budget
The worst-case scenario for any home remodeling project is that you encounter a series of unexpected problem and you run out of cash. Work has to grind to a halt and you end up spending your time in a half-finished room cursing the day you ever started. To stay on top of the money, add up the total cost of every aspect of your projected and then add a further 20 per cent to the total as a contingency fund. Keep this money to one side and dip into it only when your spending exceeds the figures assigned in the budget.
Once you finish adding up the numbers in your budget forecast, the total cost of your remodeling project is likely to run to hundreds or more likely thousands of dollars. It can be tempting to immediately try to reduce this cost by reducing the spec and utilizing cheaper materials. It’s best to go ahead and use the most expensive and highest quality materials that you can as this will help you avoid having to make costly repairs a few months or years down the line due to quality issues.
Regardless of whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor, it is best to have all the money you need to see the project right through to the end before you get started, especially if you plan to continue living in the home while the renovation takes place.
Be cautious with kitchens
If you are making changes to your home for your own pleasure, it’s doesn’t really matter how much you spend just so long as you can afford it. If, however, you are spending money in the hope of adding value to you home, you need to proceed with caution. While it might seem that spending tens of thousands of dollars to install a state of the art kitchen would boost the value of your property, studies show that this kind of work only raises the price by around 56 percent of the cost of the work itself.
If you want to modernize your kitchen, make sure you maximize the storage space by using add-ons such as lazy Susan’s and pantry pullouts. No matter how much space you have, your possessions will expand to fill every nook and cranny, but trying to retrofit such items can be extremely costly and inconvenient. Adding them right from the start will not only make your kitchen far more efficient but also more enjoyable to use.
If you’re working to your own design, make sure to take account of what designers describe as the kitchen “work triangle” – the proper placement of your stove, sink and refrigerator. These are the most used parts of any kitchen and they should be positioned in a way that lets you move from one to the other with maximum efficiency. If you’re unclear about the best way to proceed, many stores that sell kitchen modules and equipment offer free consultations to help you fine-tune your ideas.
Boost the appeal
If you want to increase the value of your property without breaking the bank, replacing your front door and upgrading your garage door and two more relatively low-cost options that will boost the price of your home but adding to its curb appeal. You’ll recoup between 80 and 90 percent of what you spend on these upgrades but, more importantly, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of finding a buyer in less time as the whole property will seem far more attractive and welcoming.
Other low-cost ways of making a property look better for prospective buyers including making sure your lawn is nice and green, fresh paint inside and out, and fitting new appliances to replace old, worn-out ones. Replacing old, scuffed or worn flooring in your home can make small spaces seem larger and refresh the look of the entire property. It can also be a sound investment for the future as you can expect to recoup at percent per cent of whatever you spend.
If you want a more sophisticated, elegant look, you might want to learn more about the benefits of tile or stone flooring. A wide range of options are available, all of which look fantastic, are highly durable and will ultimately last as long as your home itself.
In a world where people are increasingly concerned about their carbon footprint, not to mention their spiraling utility bills, installing fiberglass insulation in the attic of your home is one of the best investments you can make. The average cost of the work is less than $2,000 but, according to a report compiled by Remodeling Magazine, you can expect a 107 per cent return on your investment.
Finally, there is also the classic trick for creating a welcoming atmosphere of having an apple pie in the oven and a pot of coffee on the stove when you have a viewing in progress.
Find the right contractor
When it comes to finding the right contractor, start with friends and family. If you don’t have any luck there, you can try calling the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of contacts in your area, or speak to a local building inspector and ask for recommendations. Once you have a list of maybes, call them all up and conduct a brief telephone interview to find out key information such as how many similar projects they have undertaken, how many projects they will be working on alongside your own and whether they can supply a few references.
The best contractors will guarantee the work they do and offer a warranty, but make sure you get all of this in writing before you make any payments or let any work begin.