The first question any homeowner should ask him/herself is: Should I remodel? Figuring out the answer can be more difficult than you might expect. You might be dying to update your house, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense in terms of your family’s lifestyle or budget. And many other considerations come into play. Below are five questions to ask yourself to help you figure out if you need to embark on a remodeling project.
- Does Your Home Meet Your Needs? If you’re frustrated with your house, it’s important to consider why. Maybe you want to entertain, but the house doesn’t have good spaces for people to gather. Or maybe you really need a home office. Or perhaps adding a bathroom will add harmony to your family life. Maybe it’s a combination of outdated features: a too small kitchen, a too pink bathroom, and inadequate storage options. Perhaps you simply might need to bring an older house in line with the needs of a contemporary family. If there are many different ways in which the house doesn’t meet your needs, then a remodeling project might be the way to address the problems.
- What are Your Remodeling Objectives? Make a list of everything you would like to change, from the size of the kitchen to the color of the walls and the style of the light fixtures. Then prioritize the list. Which things are must-haves and which things can you do without? Before you embark on any planning, you need to have clear goals in mind. Whether you need a more up-to-date kitchen, bigger closets, or a more attractive entryway, you should have specific ideas of what you want to accomplish. If you’re not sure what you want, you’re more likely to end up with a result that’s less than satisfactory.
- Have You Experienced Any Life Changes? The answer to this question influences your remodeling decisions in a couple different ways. You might have a new addition to the family—a baby, adult child, or elderly relative. Or you might be anticipating such an addition and need to plan with that contingency in mind. Multi-generational homes are more and more common, making homes more crowded, but remodeling can give everyone more breathing room. Similarly, if you’re retired or planning to retire in this home, you should consider remodeling with the principles of universal design in mind. Universal design can make your home safer and more accessible if you ever experience limited mobility.
- What’s the Return on Investment? This is a particularly important question if you’re planning to sell the house in the next five years. You don’t want to invest a lot of money on remodeling projects that don’t increase the value of your house. Do some research to understand the average return for the kind of remodeling project you’re considering. Some projects recoup 75-100% of their costs, depending on the area, while others have a lower return on investment. But don’t get fooled by the size of the project; sometimes small projects can pay off handsomely. Cost vs. value considerations can also impact the choices you make as you plan your remodeling project. You might love the idea of making your home theater hot pink or adding cherry red counters to the kitchen but consider whether those choices might make the house harder to sell.
- What is Your Budget? This is a delicate subject. Nobody likes to talk about money but figuring out a budget is an essential part of the process. You need to know what you can realistically afford and what can be achieved on that budget. Research your options—from hardware to appliances to flooring—so you know what you can expect to spend on each item and which things you can afford to splurge on. Remember that a lot of remodeling projects run over budget, so don’t stretch it the max when signing the contract; you’ll probably need a contingency fund. And, when devising a budget, don’t forget the costs of dislocating your family. If you will need to move out of the house, take rent into consideration. If you will lose access to your kitchen for a month or more, remember that it will have an impact on your food budget.
Considering a remodeling project? Let the experts at Case Design/Remodeling help!