How to Prioritize Your Home Renovation
Your home is a lot more than a roof over your head. It is also likely to be the number one investment you’ll make over your lifetime. It gives you a chance to build equity, benefit from tax write offs, and yield a profit when you sell. But only if you maintain it. Whether you are ready to renovate an old home, or buying one that needs some TLC, the choices you make during your home renovation project are critical. Choose wisely and you’ll reap benefits for years to come. Make the wrong choice and you could waste time and money. Here’s how to prioritize what you do and when you do it during home renovations:
Get Organized Before Your Home Renovation
Before you fantasize about that new kitchen or backyard pool, get serious about getting organized. Top to bottom, clean your house and figure out what you need and what you don’t. The declutter effort will give you a cleaner slate and might also reveal some issues you didn’t know you had. For example, tossing old boxes from a basement might show you signs of mold. Clearing brush away from clapboards might reveal rotting wood or termite infestation. You can’t set your priorities about what gets done if you don’t have the full picture.
Evaluate What You Need in Your Home
Need and want. You know the difference. But sometimes when you really, really want something, it’s difficult to be objective. You need to be.
Take a good look at your cleaned out home and make a list of what could use some fixing up. Divide your list into two columns: Need and Want. You may want a brand-new master bathroom, but the leaking water heater takes precedence. If you aren’t sure where to place a renovation, consider:
- Safety: The mold in the basement is about the safety of your family. Same goes for teetering trees and branches that might fall at the whisper of a wind. Any item on your list that could jeopardize the safety of you or your family needs to be your top priority.
- Protection: The best way to protect your investment is to consider where damage might come from and prevent it from happening. For example, that roof patch to a small leak might have worked as a temporary fix, but how small was that leak? Could your patch be hiding a bigger issue that could lead to continued leaking and structural damage? You may need a new roof.
- Investment: The return on any investment you make through renovation depends on how long you intend to live in your home. There are also two kinds of returns: the kind you measure in dollars and cents and the kind that is about the pleasure you get from the changes you make to your personal space. For an idea of what financial ROI you might get, check out the annual Cost vs Value report.
Consider Your Home Renovation Budget
Wouldn’t we all love a completely remodeled kitchen, stylish and energy-saving windows that are worth the investment, and siding that makes an old house look like new? But the reality is that you don’t have an unlimited budget. Using the Safety, Protection, Investment model, decide what you can actually afford. Then spend based on your priorities. That doesn’t mean you can’t slap a coat of paint on your bathroom walls or buy an accent lamp for your living room. But if you’re about to truly invest in the real estate you own, do so wisely.
If you’re one of the more than 80 million people in the U.S. who own their own homes, take care of it. Let the experts at NOW Remodeling help with your next project.