Add Value Without Adding Hassle
Whether it’s making your current space more efficient, adding square footage or enhancing the durability of what’s already there, figure out what will add the most value to your home. Here are some starter ideas:
- Fiberglass insulation in attic
- Steel entry door
- Stone veneer (manufactured or real)
- Kitchen remodel
- Siding replacement
- Bathroom remodel/addition
- Basement finishing
How to Get Started
Once you’ve decided on a renovation project, it’s time to start planning. The better you plan, the more confident you’ll feel. So, where to begin? Use these steps to help set you on the right track.
- Determine your budget
It's best to plan a realistic amount for your remodel — and try to stick to it to keep expenses and expectations under control. That said, experts still recommend that you add 15%-20% to your budget. Because, well, surprises happen and it’s definitely better to be prepared.
- Do some research
The more you know, the less you’ll stress. Take the time to investigate the necessary materials and their cost. Order samples of everything you can and try them out before you commit. Put as many paint swatches on the wall as you’d like. How do they look next to the flooring samples? In the sun? In the evening? Doing your research will save time now — and disappointments later.
- Set a schedule
Although delays can always happen, it helps to plan ahead and set the dates you would like your renovation to begin and be completed. Remember to factor in vacations, family holidays, etc. Determining and sticking to a feasible renovation schedule will help keep you, your contractor and your project on the same timeline. Plus, you’ll know when you can start entertaining people in your dream kitchen.
Finding a Contractor
While you may wish to manage some aspects of the renovation yourself, consulting a contractor is a great way to reduce stress and simultaneously increase your planning power. Here are a few ways to help ensure you get the right contractor for you and your project.
- Seek out recommendations
Contractors may be plentiful, but you want the one who will work best for you. Start your search by talking to neighbors, fellow homeowners and anyone you know who has completed a renovation recently. It’s also a good idea to consult online reviews of the contractors who are recommended.
- Ask for portfolios
As you start narrowing your options, ask each contractor for a portfolio of recent work. This can give you a better idea of the skills and abilities of each contractor, as well as whether or not they are suited to your particular project.
- Check references
A typical contractor is likely to have a list of ten or more references. Contacting their previous clients is an invaluable resource when determining if a contractor is right for you.
- Utilize their expertise
Once you’ve chosen a contractor, review your plan with them. Savvy contractors will try to help you find ways to save money and time. They’ll most likely have some excellent ideas too.
Your renovation may be scheduled to take a couple of days or months — either way, make sure you create a plan and budget that will support you throughout the process. Then, look forward to sitting back and enjoying your beautiful new space. Plus, know you’ve set yourself up for a nice return on investment if you ever decide to sell.