What to Consider Before Picking Up Your Sledgehammer
By Ryan Horvath
It’s the first day of spring and it’s time to start thinking about your upcoming renovation. But where to start? A renovation is a huge project that needs careful planning and serious consideration. It can take a toll on you physically, mentally, and financially. This week’s blog is covering the 5 questions to ask before renovating.
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WHO ARE YOU REMODELING FOR?
Are you remodeling for yourself or to sell your home? If you’re selling, keep it simple. A potential home buyer may not enjoy the custom features that you installed. By keeping it simple, you should be able to save yourself some money as well.
If you’re not planning on reselling, remodel to fit your lifestyle now and in the future. Your kitchen or space needs to have the flexibility to grow as your needs mature. Those to-the-ceiling cabinets are great now but might not be when you’re older.
HOW MUCH RENOVATION CAN YOU AFFORD?
This is one of the most important questions to ask before renovating. You may want a touchscreen refrigerator or a huge range, but can you afford those luxury items? Be prepared to compromise and settle for appliances a little more budget friendly.
If you’re planning on using a contractor or designer, have you budgeted for taxes and consultant fees? These might end up being a surprise that you weren’t prepared for. And speaking of the unexpected, have you budgeted for that? You never know what surprises lay behind your drywall. It’s recommended that you add a 20% budget padding to absorb these surprises.
To get an idea of your budget, download our Renovation Budget Workbook here. Get started on your budget today!
WHAT IS YOUR TIME-FRAME?
Sometimes the best laid plans can take longer that anticipated. If you’re installing a specialty item like Italian tiles, it could take a while to deliver them. Once you figure out how long it will take items to ship, you can start planning out your time-frame.
If you’re working with a contractor, ask them what their crew schedule looks like. When does the crew plan on showing up? When do they leave? A contractor should be able to give you a time-frame and schedule before starting the project.
WHERE ARE YOU PUTTING YOUR KITCHEN DURING THE RENOVATION?
If you’re renovating your kitchen, where do you plan on putting your appliances? Where are you planning on doing dishes? More importantly, where’s the coffee maker going? Consider setting up a mini kitchen in your dining or living room. A mini kitchen should only have your essential everyday items like the coffee maker. Consider buying a hot plate as well. These are great for quick meals and Tasty is full of hot plate meals for you to try. Keep a few of your coffee mugs out. These can double for microwave meals like scrambled eggs. To avoid washing dishes in your bathroom sink, use disposable cups and plates. If you’re planning on eating out during the renovation, you’ll need to budget for this as well. A mini kitchen can save you a lot of headaches and some much-needed money.
ARE YOU A DO-IT-YOURSELF OR HIRING A PROFESSIONAL?
DIY shows lead us to believe that we can do a renovation ourselves. One of the questions to ask before renovating is the renovation small enough that you can do it? Is it big enough that you need a pro? If it’s small enough that you can do it yourself, ask yourself these questions. Do you have the time to take off work? What about the skill set? Do you have help available if you need it? Even the best DIYer needs help.
If you decide to go with a contractor, you should have some questions lined up for them. Research them and ask around. Family and friends are great resources. A contractor should be able to provide you a list of references. Also, ask about their insurance coverage. While you’re at it, check your homeowner’s insurance to see what you’re covered for. The last thing you need is a hospital bill during your renovation. Check out a previous blog on contractor’s insurance by clicking here. Another blog educates you on their lingo. Read it by clicking here.
My last tip before you renovate is to plan, plan, and plan. The better that you can plan for the unexpected, the smoother your renovation will go. Take the time to set out your plan, see if it’s doable, and check to make sure it’s affordable. A renovation should enhance your home’s value, not break the bank.
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