Do you want to do up your home in the coming months so you can sell it or rent it out? Or perhaps you want to make the property more appealing and livable for you and your family?
Regardless of your reasons, it’s vital to avoid a common trap that many homeowners fall into; overspending on remodeling work. You can follow a few steps to steer clear of this hazard and keep your finances intact.
Set a Budget
First, set yourself a total budget to spend on the renovation work. Determine the maximum amount you can afford and want to spend on upgrading your home and then work backward from there to decide on the jobs and materials, etc., you’ll commit to.
It’s easy to get so excited while renovating and spotting beautiful products or having creative ideas that you end up outlaying too much. If you have a budget in place before you begin, though, you’ll minimize that risk. Where possible, break your total budget down into sections, too, such as allowances for each room or area of the property.
When budgeting, add in costs such as demolition and removal fees, insurance, delivery, and even potential bank costs if you’re borrowing money for the renovation. Plus, keep a buffer of at least ten to 15 percent since remodeling work almost always goes over budget with unexpected issues or expenses.
Research the Market to See What Adds Value
It’s also wise to research the market to get a clear picture of what adds value and what doesn’t. This step is particularly vital if you plan to sell your home within the next five years or so. Attend open houses and auctions in your suburb to see what elements different properties showcase, the types of buyers interested in them, and the sale prices achieved.
Speaking with realtors who specialize in your location can get you some insights, too. They should provide direction on which elements potential buyers most search for in your area and what they don’t worry about or that might alienate them. For example, if your place is situated somewhere that appeals to young families, a bathroom with a bathtub might be essential, as is a fenced and decent-sized backyard and a decent number of bedrooms.
On the other hand, if you live somewhere that’s popular with seniors, you might avoid adding more steps to your home or incorporating lots of fancy smart-home technology. Keep in mind, too, that unless some jobs are necessary, such as replacing a broken water heater or fixing holes in the roof, there’s not much point in wasting money on invisible home improvements.
If things that most people won’t see or ask about are working fine right now, don’t worry about upgrading them. Invest your cash better elsewhere, such as by installing modern ceiling fans around your home or adding reverse-cycle air conditioning.
Make a Plan
Another way to avoid overspending is to make a plan for all the work involved in your remodel. Determine the approximate order of steps so you can arrange for materials and other supplies to arrive when needed and for tradespeople to complete their work in the most effective order.
Your planning should factor in getting planning permissions if needed, too. Having to remove or otherwise undo work because it’s not permitted is an incredibly frustrating and costly situation to find yourself in. Adhere to the codes in your area and get approval for additions and changes as needed, including those made to historic properties.
If you want to stop yourself from overspending on home upgrades, avoid making decisions based on trends. It’s fun to keep an eye on the latest developments in interior design and building, etc., but you never know how long trends are going to last. As such, you run the risk of spending money on renovation choices that look dated within a short period.
If you do want to incorporate some trends, do so with accessories, furniture, or more affordable fixtures, such as doorknobs and handles or inexpensive pendant lights. Paint colors are something else you can change easily enough if trends don’t last.
Don’t Waste Dollars on Expensive Tech
While increasing numbers of people are buying and enjoy smart home technology these days, these elements are often more fun upgrades than things that add a heap of value to homes. You might want to install decent Ethernet cabling and more power points and perhaps incorporate some smart door locks and lighting, but don’t feel the need to spend a lot on expensive technology.
These devices likely won’t add much resale value. Plus, too many digital bells and whistles can turn off buyers who feel intimated by the idea of learning how to use such tec.
Renovating can add plenty of value to a property, but it needs doing strategically. Think about the above factors as you work on giving your home a facelift.