House Remodel Facts That Really Matter
As you consider a home remodel, there are things that can make or break your project. Houses have to adapt to changing family needs as time goes on. Remodeling a house includes updating the visual appearance, and changing the layout to suit the needs of the family. These facts that can make your project successful are important things to know.
Typically a remodeling project that is more extensive needs careful management. Knowing facts and guidelines helps you to manage the project successfully. Here are the facts to know about house remodeling to help you succeed.
House Remodel Facts
Remodeling is costlier than building new: Remodeling a room costs more than building a room from scratch. When remodeling you have to demolish the existing room before you can even begin. This added labor increases the cost. Unless you are remodeling the entire home you can be stuck with costs to find specific materials to fit into what already exists. This can be costly if you are in an older home.
Make sure you have structural support: Going to an open concept floorplan is a great idea. If you are taking an older home and trying to go open concept you have to address structural support. When you remove a support wall you have to install a support beam. This may also mean you need to pour a footing under the home for an upright.
Permits and covenants are important: Remodeling can be as simple as repainting rooms, or as complicated as a complete gutting and rebuilding. For anything other than simple interior repainting you will need to check on getting permits and HOA agreements. City building permits determine what you can build. Home Owners Associations limit what your property can look like. Check with both before beginning your project.
Consult experts before starting: Before you begin working, during your planning stages, find experts to consult with. Architects and contractors can help you make the best decisions for your remodel. Looking at websites and magazines is good, but a professional can help you determine what will work specifically for your home.
Doing it yourself can be good, or bad: You can save a lot of money by doing your remodeling work yourself. General work that an unskilled laborer can do is usually within the skills of a dedicated homeowner. However, when you begin to work with plumbing, electrical, or HVAC you should call in a professional.
You can probably use a general contractor: If you are going to pursue a large-scale remodel you will likely mix do it yourself projects and several different contractors to get things done. The best way to handle this is to hire a general contractor. A general contractor handles deliveries, schedules inspections, manages sub-contractors.
You will retain some of the value you put in: Your home remodeling project shouldn’t be a money pit. Don’t expect to add the entire amount to your home’s value, though. On average, remodeling your entire home retains about 75% of the amount you invest into the project. This is an average of remodeling projects for an entire home. Different projects have different returns and should be balanced against each other.
Embrace energy efficiency: You can save as much as 30% by embracing energy efficiency in your remodeling project. Energy efficiency means looking at your home and as you do your projects selecting materials that reduce your energy use. This can be better windows, more insulation, or new energy star rated appliances. You may even qualify for tax incentives if you pursue this course on your project.
Be careful in the morning: You are more likely to get injured in the morning. Most work-related accidents happen between 8 in the morning and noon. So pay extra attention when you get up and start your projects.
Safety is important: I’m sure you have seen it a thousand times, someone who just wants to get things done and doesn’t worry about safety. When doing your own projects there is a tendency to skip on safety. Make sure you always wear the proper protective gear. Gloves and goggles are the minimum equipment you should always have on when doing a project.
- Ladders are always safety hazards. Be sure to have the ladder stable on all legs. Try to have a spotter to steady the ladder. Avoid being on a ladder without that safety person.
- Use caution with concrete nail guns. They are as dangerous as the name implies. Always be extra careful and make sure you don’t get hit by debris.
- Electrical work should only be done by a professional. Even if you know your way around basic wiring, there is no way of knowing if the last homeowner did. Use extra precautions when knocking down walls to be sure you don’t come across hidden wiring.
- Digging can be dangerous. If you are trenching or excavating anything over 5 feet deep you need to use precautions and do it carefully.
Baby boomers are important: Almost a quarter of all home renovations are pursued by people at or over the age of 65. If you are renovating your home for sale, keep this fact in mind. Adding in accessibility features and wider doorways can help your home appeal to them.
Spending Guide: Generally you shouldn’t overspend on rooms. As a general guide, you should spend the percentages listed below on each room. This is a percentage of the value your home pre-remodel.
- Kitchen – 15%
- Master Bathroom – 10%
- Bathrooms – 5%
- Attic or Basement – 15%
- Living Room, Dining Room, Bedrooms – 3%
- Patio or Deck – 5%
There will be problems: When you are pursuing a house remodel there will be problems. These problems can’t always be foreseen and may not even be known about when you start. As you open up walls you have the chance to find bad wiring, old plumbing, and structural issues. Add at least 10% of your budget to a contingency fund. The older your home, the more you should have set aside.
Quality materials last longer: Quality materials are more expensive up front, and take a larger hit on your budget. You might not be able to get as much as you want taking this route. However, the long-term costs will be lower and you won’t need to replace materials as often.
Contractors are busy: If you can get a contractor at the last minute it likely means that they aren’t someone you may want. The best contractors are booked months ahead of time. Keep this in mind and plan your remodel to your advantage.
You won’t get everything you want: One of the main facts about a home remodel is that you won’t get everything that you want. You will need to compromise and prioritize what you want out of your remodel.