6 Things New Homeowners Should Know About Doing Renovations
Did you know that the average homeowner spent nearly 60 percent more on home projects over the past 12 months than in the 12 months prior? That’s not all; the industry has seen a 7 percent increase in total nationwide spending on home improvement, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Report.
If you’re a first-time homeowner, this is all new to you. As you embark on you first few renovations, keep the following tips and ideas in mind.
Start with Projects That Increase Your Home’s Value
Renovation projects should not only improve your enjoyment of your home, but they should increase the value, should you choose to sell down the line. Real estate is an investment and renovations are a simple way to help increase the return on your investment.
According to the 2018 Cost vs. Value report, the five projects with the highest ROI at resale are:
- Garage Door Replacement
- Manufactured Stone Veneer (siding of your home)
- Steel Entry Door Replacement
- Deck Addition
- Minor Kitchen Remodel
Don’t Forget About Outdoor Renovations
Upgrading the outside of your home is just as important as the interior. Improving curb appeal can boost the perceived value of your home, not to mention make all your friends jealous when they stop by for a visit. In fact, improved landscaping alone can boost the perceived value of your home by 12 percent, according to RealtorMag.
When considering what to improve outside, don’t stop at landscaping. Consider an often-overlooked, yet important area of your home: the garage, specifically, your garage doors. Not only do they provide high ROI, but they make a significant impact on your curb appeal:
“Depending on the land area, the car, driveway and garage amount to at least one-third of the total curb appeal. No matter how luxurious your car is, if your garage lacks aesthetics, the overall sight of your home will ebb,” suggest garage experts.
They continue, “Installing new garage doors are a good investment, especially if you plan to keep the home in your family for years. If you have a rundown garage door, restoring it can also help you save on energy, since newer garage door models have better insulation. Modern designs will also enhance home security.”
Be Flexible and Prepared for Surprises
The saying “nothing ever goes as planned” is as true in home renovations as most other situations in life, if not more so. You can plan everything out on paper, detailing what you want to happen, how much you expect it to cost, and how long it will take—but there will be unexpected hiccups.
The surprise hiding behind that wall you’re tearing down and uncooperative weather are just two examples of things that can happen when you’re doing renovations. A such, it’s a good idea to provide a cushion for both your expected expenses and the time estimated for completion.
Setting aside an extra 10 percent of the projected cost and staying flexible about when you need the project to be completed will alleviate a lot of stress along the way. And, if things go smoothly, you’ll have a little extra money and time at the end of the renovation.
Don’t Cut Corners
While it’s tempting to go for a cheap DIY project that promises to save you money, or work with a friend who swears they can do it better and faster, this is not the time to cut corners. Home renovation experts at HGTV say this is the biggest mistake they see homeowners make and caution that if you can’t afford to do it well, don’t do it right now.
Cheaper or faster does not mean better, especially in renovating. Be certain of the materials you’re using and the help you’re getting; always with someone who has proven experience and testimonials.
Get Necessary Permits
Even a minor renovation, regardless of the size or time, may need to be permitted. If you’re hiring a contractor, they may take care of this step for you, but the onus is on you as the homeowner to ensure it happens.
When you go to resell your home, an inspector will look for permits that associate to any work that’s been done on the home. If you add a second bathroom, without a permit, you can’t promote your home as having two bathrooms. Not to mention, if someone reports you mid-renovation, authorities may ask you to rip everything down and halt work immediately. Don’t take the chance, and get the correct permit.
Remember: You Don’t Have to Spend A Lot
Whether you plan to buy new soft furnishings or re-decorate the spare room, the cost can stack up pretty quickly. This is when you turn to a savings tactic you may have thought was dead, but definitely isn’t: coupons. They can save you money on every aspect of re-decorating, from paint and flooring to tiles and bathroom cabinets, suggests Daniel Ender, General Manager of Couponbox.com.
Ender also shared a few tips to find the best discounts: “Make a list of the items you need to re-do your home and spend an hour searching online. Check all major coupon sites and don’t forget to look for manufacturer coupons as well.”
Tackling renovations can seem overwhelming, but it can be fun, exciting and rewarding when done right. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your first renovations.