Are you considering an upgrade to your home? It may be a remodeling project or it could be something as simple as painting the walls. If you are upgrading, there are some things to keep in mind that can make the process easier and more enjoyable:
Know your reason for upgrading
A reason to upgrade is the first step in knowing you’re ready. You must know yourself and your needs before making any huge decisions about updating your home. There are many reasons for upgrading, such as:
- You’re ready for a change
- You want things to be more efficient
- Your kids need better space (like they are growing)
- Improving your home for financial gain.
If any of these apply to you, then updating or renovating your home is certainly worth investigating, but it needs to make sense for your lifestyle and most importantly, your budget.
Do your homework
Research the types of renovations that can be done in your area and how much those upgrades will cost. Talk with family members, friends, real estate agents, and contractors who have experience with similar projects (or get referrals from them). Get quotes from architects or designers who specialize in the type of renovation that makes sense for your needs. This way you can make an informed decision based on facts instead of just going by what looks nice.
If you are renovating for profit, you will need to speak with a real estate agent you trust to find out what is going to add the most value for the most minimal investment. If you are on a tight budget, focus on high-value add projects which cost the least and do only those. It is important to have a trustworthy and knowledgeable real estate agent on your side so don’t skimp on due diligence in this part of the process.
Consider the future value of your home
When considering home upgrades, it’s important to think about how those upgrades will affect the future value of your home when it comes time to sell up and move out.
- If you plan to sell: Upgrades like new countertops and appliances can increase the value of your home. Generally, the more money you spend on upgrades like these, the higher your home will be valued. In this case, it’s worth it for homeowners who are planning on selling their homes soon (within five years). If this project is for sale in the short term, look for countertops and appliances which have a great aesthetic at a lower entry cost. I.e. Stone Veneer Bench Tops are a cheaper approach to a traditional solid stone countertop. A stone veneer top will have a thin layer of a high-quality stone ‘veneered’ over an inexpensive main structure. It’s not the real deal, but it’s close enough to look the part and drive up that price tag on your home.
- If you plan to stay put: Don’t worry too much about upgrading for sale if you’re not planning on selling anytime soon. Focus on upgrades that make sense for how you live and what works best for your lifestyle right now. An example of this is if you have young kids in the house and want to upgrade your flooring, you may choose to opt for polished concrete or floorboards instead for easy cleaning, instead of high-quality carpets.
Manage things on time to stay on budget
There are certain things that have a higher priority than others, so it’s important to know which ones they are. Your home is an investment and should be treated as such. If there are areas of your house that need some work, don’t overlook them!
However, there may be other areas that aren’t quite as pressing or urgent. By prioritizing what needs to happen first, it will make the process much more manageable for the entire family.
It’ll also make sure that everyone has an idea of where they stand with their budget before any work begins so they can plan accordingly before making any commitments. Project management is a basic skill but it’s essential to any home upgrade. By ensuring milestones are met on time and within budget, the whole process will be less stressful and avoid costly mistakes if projects are done in the wrong order.
A free tool like Trello is great to help stay on track with project management and can be shared across your whole project team, whether that’s your family, friends, or contractors.
Review the process with a qualified professional
Before you go for a home improvement project, it’s important to make sure you have the right knowledge and skills to complete the job. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the steps involved in a renovation—especially if you’re doing it on your own.
If this is your first home improvement project, consider having a professional help out with the planning and building process. They’ll be able to advise you on what renovations will be most effective, based on their experience with homes similar to yours.
Make the right decision the first time
Upgrading your home is a big decision. It’s important to do the right research and get the right advice so you can make an informed decision based on your needs and goals. Professionals can help figure out what upgrades will work best for your home and budget, as well as how much they will cost in total over time.
Speak to professionals and find some that you trust. Make the call early on what you will outsource and what you will do yourself. Sometimes the real money savings are in paying someone who knows what they are doing and can achieve the results ten times quicker, and without costly mistakes.