Daydreaming about starting on that fancy kitchen upgrade? Need to put on a new roof? Looking to update your bathrooms before you put your home on the market?
Homeowners renovate their homes for all kinds of reasons, but there are two questions that are always part of the equation (or should be!).
How much value will my renovation add to my home?
Regarding number one, even if you’re planning on staying in your home for decades, it’s important to consider how much money you’ll be putting into your home, versus the value you’ll get out.
“Value” can be measured in different ways, of course—if you’re planning to sell and want to spruce it up before listing, value will be measured in dollars and cents. If you’re a new grandparent, however, and you’re finishing your basement to turn it into a playroom, the value you’ll gain has much more to do with the joy of having a home that your grand kids will love visiting.
When should you start your home renovation?
When it comes to number two, “When should I start?” that all depends on a couple of factors.
Are you planning on selling your home in the next year?
Many homeowners renovate because they think their home needs work before they put it on the market—and along with that, they believe they’ll recoup their costs or make a profit if they put in the time and money to do those renovations.
That’s not necessarily true, however. In fact, it’s a general rule that the larger your renovation project, the less likely it is that you’ll recoup your costs when you sell.
For example, a major kitchen remodel will cost homeowners an average of around $66,000, but they’ll only recoup around $41,000 in resale value.
On the other hand, smaller projects like seeding your lawn or other outdoor renovations that increase curb appeal are among the home renovation projects that add the most value. With these, you’ll actually recoup more than you put in.
If you are selling your home in the next year, then the smartest thing to do is to get to work as soon as you can, so the work will be completed by the time you list. The last thing you want is to have your contractor team show up to do touch-ups 30 minutes before a scheduled showing.
What kind of renovation are you undertaking?
When you should renovate also depends on the project.
If you’re putting in an addition, fall or winter can be the best time to start. That’s because cold, hard ground is actually easier to dig than soft, muddy ground.
For outdoor projects, starting in the warmer months makes the most sense. For one thing, many outdoor projects require digging by hand, and softer ground makes that much easier. For another, you’ll actually have the chance to enjoy your new deck, patio, or backyard landscape if you undertake the project during spring or summer!
Regardless of the project they’re doing, most homeowners happen to renovate in spring and summer, because the warmer months are when we tend to be the most active and ready for change. It’s also important to be aware that labor costs for contractors and their workers are generally higher during this time of year, simply due to higher demand.
When you renovate depends on a few different factors, but the bottom line? Renovate when you can afford it! That’s especially important if you’re planning on buying a home once you sell. If that means waiting a year or six months—assuming your renovation isn’t an emergency or safety issue—then wait a year or six months. Your bank account will thank you!
Want to learn more about renovating and building houses?
I've written 2 easy to read books 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volumes 1 and 2'. An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses Volume 1 deals with Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home. and Designing your ideal home Volume 2 deals with Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home.
("Great for those that DIY. Very helpful in home renovations!" said a Reader on Amazon.com 5*****)
These books are available from Amazon and other online bookstores in paper and ebook.
I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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and 'An Introduction to Building Houses - Volume 2 Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home'
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