Nine years ago many homeowners would do extensive, extravagant remodels, without really knowing exactly how much it would impact their bottom line or their environment. It was more about the grand gesture of more space, fancier finishes and features that weren’t necessarily needed, but had serious cool factor. Wallets were fat, loans were cheap – so why not?!custom bathroom

Now a-days people are spending more time at home, but most are not necessarily interested in doing year long remodels that cost a fortune. Instead, they are opting for smaller, quicker updates, that are easier on the wallet and less obtrusive to their living environment. Whether you choose the extravagant remodel or the quick update, remodeling big or small will always reap big reward if done correctly

I post a lot of remodels here on the blog and many folks always want to know the same things. 1) Is it really worth the cost, especially if you plan to move? 2) If you plan on living in your home awhile what are things that should be considered when doing a remodel?



Key things everyone should consider when remodeling

1) Budget

How much money are you willing to spend? This is a big question. Often homeowners will come to me either unprepared to answer this question, or they will answer incorrectly, fearful that I might use all of it. Unfortunately folks, I will. That’s exactly what a budget is for. If you allocate “x” amount of dollars for a remodel, it’s likely you’ll need 10%-15% more for incidentals.  You never know what you’re getting yourself into. New or Old, I’ve found all sorts of fun things behind walls and under floors of homes. Things that cost money to fix, and you can’t possible know what that will be, but you can at least prepare for it. Otherwise, you are squeezing blood from stones and it is going to show in the results, decreasing the value drastically – not to mention it will destroy the experience and leave you frustrated.

Most homeowners undershoot the budget by thousands. Where they get there info I will never know, but the AVERAGE, soup to nuts bath remodel, is $20K, and the average soup to nuts Kitchen remodel is $30K. Does that mean a remodel isn’t for you if you don’t have that much? Sometimes, but if you are willing to do some serious leg work, small changes can make a big impact to the overall look and resale of your home, which adds value.

Do your homework, determine the items you want most and make a priority list – more times than not, your list far exceeds your budget. If you’re really shy on your budget, wait another 6 months to a year to save more funds. A year may seem like a long time, but the reward of having a beautiful, unique space that’s right the first time, lasts for years.

2) Time, quality or budget, which shall it be?

You know the saying, “You can have two, but not not all three: Time, budget, or quality” Something will have to be sacrificed because most people can’t have all three. That doesn’t mean you are eliminating the potential value of your investment. But be smart with how you spend your dollars. Always remember that remodels are for personal enjoyment first, and then investment value second. Don’t over do your investment by going too high, and don’t shoot your investment in the foot by going too low, and if you don’t know what that is, hire professional help to get a proper assessment. I see this all the time. A million dollar home with garage cabinets in the master bathroom IS NOT a sound investment. If you cannot do everything at once, do it in stages. Every dollar you spend to appropriately update your space will typically have a return value twice what you put into it, not only in actual dollars, but the enjoyment of everyday use.

Take for example the kitchen below. The before kitchen is highly dysfunctional. The oven vent is too low (most people hit their heads on it, the counter and fridge are too close together and the kitchen itself just isn’t functional with it’s poor layout – especially with a family of five living there! In this example we flipped it around, added an island, and doubled the useable space – perfect for a large family. Everyday enjoyment and functionality increases value and quality of life tenfold. So keep that in mind when considering your space and how it will be used, not to mention how often it will be used!

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In todays market, value comes in many different forms. It could be hard cash in your hands when you sell, but it could also mean your house functions better to your lifestyle, and makes your life easier on a daily basis. In short, remodels are always a great investment and people tend to live better in environments that are functional and aesthetically pleasing to their tastes. Remodels are all about giving you and your family a beautiful space that is unique and custom to you and you only. So take your time, do your home work, and be prepared to invest in what really matters most.

Have you done a remodel before? What did you love most about it? What did you hate? Leave comments below.

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