Usually, home renovation isn’t something people dive into on a whim. There might be smaller projects that don’t require much planning, and can be done impulsively – but for the most part, renovating your home is something that takes careful thought and planning. Budgets for a major project often surpass the $10,000 mark, so the results of the renovation can have real financial effects.
This means that prioritizing your home renovations is key. Homeowners tend to have several ideas for home renovation, and they might do them all at once if not for budget constraints. But how do you know which projects deserve higher priority, and which ones you should leave on the backburner?
Obviously, these answers are highly individual, and will be different for each unique situation. But there are a few basic guidelines that might help you.
1. Vital renovations come first
What do we mean by “vital” renovations? Basically, anything that has to be done in order to maintain the basic structural integrity of your home. If you basement has been flooded and needs waterproofing, this is a vital renovation. Other examples include siding, windows, roofing, HVAC appliances, and so forth.
2. Focus on quality
If you’ve got several projects in the works, and you’re thinking about stretching your budget to cover them all, proceed with caution. This strategy often leads to corners being cut, and compromises being made on the quality of materials used. It’s always better to achieve one renovation of high quality than to come away with multiple projects of lower quality.
3. Look at functional and lifestyle improvements
Some renovations look great, but can’t really be said to serve a practical purpose. Custom trim might be an example. Other renovations are badly needed, and would provide significant lifestyle and practical benefits. A poorly designed and outdated kitchen is a great example. Renovation a bedroom may not be as compelling as renovating a common area of the home, but a refreshed bedroom can really change your daily experience at home. All of these considerations are worthwhile.
4. Ask why you’re renovating
The two main reasons people renovate their homes are 1) to improve their lifestyle at home, and 2) to increase the market value or buyer appeal of the home. In many cases, homeowners have a combination of reasons. Either way, it’s worth clarifying what you hope to get out of various home renovation ideas, and focus your efforts on projects that will help you reach those goals.
Get advice from the pros
The most reputable home renovation contractors understand that not every inquiry (whether online, by telephone, or in person at the office) will lead to a contract, but they’re still happy to discuss projects and give advice to homeowners about their home renovation projects and ideas. Look for a highly-rated contractor your area and don’t be afraid to reach for information and advice. If the contractor doesn’t seem to be interested in engaging you, it’s not a company you’d want to work with anyway!