Renovating your home for the first time is a big undertaking, especially with the slew of tasks that will need to be accomplished. After all, bringing your vision to life takes some serious work; planning, budgeting, etc. Then, there’s the actual living through the remodeling. That said, if you want to have a smooth, hitch-free and within-budget project, consider the following things before starting your renovation.
Renovating your home requires careful planning. It is imperative to get it right. Seek professional help from reliable contractors, architects, and/or interior designers. These professionals help strategize the renovation from start to finish, and provide a concrete plan on what the project entails. They are invaluable for large-scale renovations; they can fully inspect the property and offer insights how best to proceed.
At this stage, determine which aspects of the renovation you can complete on your own and which ones you can’t. A tip to consider: Stick with simple tasks only, like buying materials and doing cosmetic changes. Leave the heavy lifting, structural repairs, as well as electricity and plumbing work, to the professionals. Take advantage of the extra time to do other things, like securing building permits or finding a place to store your possessions during the renovation.
Before turning your house into your dream home, figure out what it will cost. Don’t risk running out of money right in the middle of renovating your home. It’s important to come up with a realistic budget beforehand. First, secure estimates from various contractors and builders. Then add a 5%–15% buffer to cover unforeseen costs. This way, you’ll have a good idea of what you can afford and how much you’ll need to sustain the renovation.
Next, secure the funds for renovating your home; especially, if you’re planning on some large-scale remodeling. If you have not saved enough for the renovations, you may be able to take out a home improvement loan. An alternative would be to secure a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which is a line of credit (similar to a credit card) based on a percentage of your home’s value. Beware of charging everything straight to a credit card; be prepared for high interest rates and shorter repayment options.
Home insurance is crucial to save yourself from a massive financial burden should anything go wrong during your renovation. Check if your home insurance covers property damage and renovations. Make sure your contractors have their own insurance. If you decide to do some DIY, ensure that your insurance and that of whoever helps you is covered for any situation. If you need to live elsewhere during the renovation, you may need to purchase an entirely different insurance called builder’s risk insurance. This is a type of insurance designed specifically for complex, time-consuming home renovations. Remember to keep insurance in mind throughout your planning to ensure absolute safety and protection when renovating your home.
Know that renovating your home takes time. It also causes some inconvenience along the way. One example of a bathroom remodeling timeline shows it can take 23 days to renovate, with drywall work alone taking 3 days. So, prepare to have certain areas of the house out of commission for an extended period of time. That’s not to mention the prospects of dealing with constant noise, dust and dirt every day. Needless to say, living through a home renovation can be uncomfortable, and can take a mental and emotional toll. You’ll need to prepare yourself, so plan ahead to deal with the discomforts accordingly.
Whether renovating your home involves updating a room or building an addition, it is best to do your homework and be prepared. However, once everything is complete, sit back and enjoy your new space. Escape to that refreshed bathroom. Hold game night in your just-built family den. Gather everyone in your updated kitchen to prep a meal together. Also, take heart in the fact that the value of your home may have increased. More equity is always advantageous to your financial profile. After all the hard work, renovating your home is beneficial to your well-being. It’s so nice to be in space that you chose and made to suit your family’s needs.
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Leona Pembroke, Guest Contributor
Leona Pembroke is a freelance writer with an interest in home ownership, interior design and personal finance. She covers these topics with the goal to help others. Leona also enjoys yoga and cooking.
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