Home Remodeling Raising the Value of your Home

Home remodeling is thriving. Maybe it’s because old houses are starting to need the tender love and care that owners have been conveniently harboring for other matters, maybe it’s because the baby boomers are finally starting to settle down and make comfortable and livable niches for themselves, maybe it’s because peer pressure and shiny ads have finally gotten to everyone, all at once. No one is sure – all we know is that home remodeling is hot.

Home remodeling has the obvious advantages of transforming your space into your space, customizing and designing it according to your individual needs and wants. It also updates outdated and outmoded appliances, structures and designs and can add usable space in your house. The comfort and pleasure you get from your newly renovated space is an obvious plus.

But remodeling has another, equally important advantage – it increases the value of your home. Whether you plan to move out soon or stay put for a good long time, it’s worthwhile to consider what influence the remodeling job you are planning will have on the value of your home.

Certain remodeling projects are more likely to recoup your costs for you when you sell your home. For example, both a minor kitchen remodel and siding replacement recoup a national average of 93% upon sale. A mid range bathroom remodel recoups 90% and a mid range bathroom addition recoups 86%. A basement remodel recoups about 79%.

The above numbers are very loose suggestions for what you will gain back upon the sale of your house and there are many factors that contribute to how your particular remodeling project will account in the sale of your home.

For example, the national average does not reflect local economies and house markets. A stagnant local economy has led to homeowners recovering an average of 65% of money spent on remodeling projects while in some economically active areas homeowners recoup an average of 109%. People tend to make more of their money back if they wait longer to sell after the remodel job. By the same token, don’t wait too long as the remodeling job will wear out and have to be redone.

If you are remodeling in order to increase the comfort and usability of your home then you are probably going to pick areas that need attention, which may or may not be the areas that tend to be most profitable in the house market. However, the following are some suggestions that may help you recoup the maximum possible when you remodel your home.

First, if you are still deciding what project to do, think about the fact the some projects consistently recoup more money, kitchens and bathrooms topping the list without fail. On the other hand, pools and decks tend to make back least. There are some geographical variations – decks built in areas down south will recoup more than those built in the northeast, for example.

Second, low priced projects usually have a higher cost recovery than more expensive, more upscale remodeling jobs. People are willing to pay for something that increases the quality of the space in their potential new house, but they do not want to pay for lavish renovations that you splurged on, especially if they wouldn’t have done it themselves. A mere facelift in a kitchen will probably pay back more than a complete redesign. This tends to vary by neighborhood and can depend on the prices of the homes in the neighborhood.

Either way, if you want to make your money back upon sale, do not remodel to make your house the most expensive in the neighborhood. Although this will certainly attract people to the house, not many will be willing to pay the price. If someone is willing to pay more than what the majority of the houses in the neighborhood are worth, chances are they will just look for a home in a different, more expensive area.

And lastly (this is always the most sensitive point), be wise with your designs. If you know that you are planning to sell, try to stick to neutral, sellable designs. Neutral designs are easier to market and people tend to prefer them because they are easier to modify to personal style. When people buy a home they want to make it theirs without, for example, a rhinestone fireplace or intricate designs making them feel like strangers in someone else’s quarters. If you feel like neutral designs would really stifle your style and make you feel like a stranger in someone else’s abode while you live there, try decorating using techniques that are easily altered, like wall colors that you can quickly repaint when you begin the process of selling.

Be wise with the remodeling choices you make and research them before you jump into demolition or buy matching grout for seven rooms. Each area is different and this could work out either well or poorly for you. With some quick investigating you can decide which remodeling project is most appropriate and how to go about it in the best way.

And remember, there’s a good amount of value in your enjoying your renovations as well. This can’t be measured in dollar amounts, but isn’t that true for all of the most valuable things?

What Are the Initial Steps in a Home Remodeling Project?

So you’re thinking about remodeling… sure, who wouldn’t want an updated, upgraded and overall better living space? Whether it’s adding some new fancy amenities or reconfiguring a whole new floor plan, it takes a bit of planning and thinking ahead. But where do you actually start?

Here are some pointers to help get you on the right track for your next big remodeling project.

1st – Determine what is wanted vs. needed – List out all the things that you would like to see changed or improved in your remodel. Then list all the things that absolutely need to get done. This is important when trying to budget your finances. If you are going over budget on a project, this list will help weed out the all things that are not imperative. Having a jetted tub is nice in a bathroom remodel, but is it essential?

2nd – Establish your budget & stick to it – Figure out how much you are looking to spend and how much you have saved. Will you need to put your next kitchen remodel on some or all on a credit card? Possibly consider seeking out other sources of finance such as home equity loan, home-improvement loan, second mortgage, etc.

The 2nd part is trying to maintain the magic number. Once you’ve determined how much you can afford, try to plan on spending about 80% of it. Save the extra 20% for any of the “unforeseens”. Anything not in the original contract will be additional cost. For example, on a roof remodel, a roofer can find that the roof decking is not acceptable for roofing shingles, you’re talking anywhere from $500 to $4000, determined by size of roof, local plywood and labor cost. Depending on what the circumstances are, it could be hundreds or possibly thousands in change orders. Better to be prepared than stuck in a hole.

3rd – Start getting some ideas – It’s a good idea to have a mental image in order to describe your vision to your contractor; a great place to start is the internet, particularly Houzz.com. Houzz.com has hundreds of thousands high quality photos of every home remodel project you can think of and it’s very easy to navigate.

Not computer savvy? Pick up some home magazines in your local book store or check out the library. Probably better off with the something current though to spot the latest home remodeling trends. If it’s an exterior remodel, start driving around your favorite neighborhoods, it’s amazing how much you will all of a sudden notice when you start specifically looking for something! Prime examples, porticos or vinyl shake siding.

4th – Remodel strategically & think ahead – Try to determine how long you actually plan to live in your home. If you plan to sell in a few years, you may want to hold off on certain remodel projects, like adding that new addition to your home. If you go all out, you may wind up putting your particular house beyond the average value of your neighborhood, making it harder to sell. This is just something to consider, by all means, if you enjoy your remodel for however long you spend in your home, I believe it is worth it.

With future buyers in mind, certain remodeling projects can be completed more on the conventional side rather than highly stylized. For example, purple cabinets in a kitchen remodel may only appeal to a certain kind of buyer, making it to harder to sell. You can still enjoy your upgrade, but perhaps done with more subdued style choices. There’s also higher return on investment for certain projects than others. New kitchen remodels and bath remodels are typically the highest while things like a swimming pool are on lowest. Another thing to keep in mind before you go ahead and wall paper the entire house!

Finally, if you’re planning to live in your house forever, be sure to keep comfort and accessibility in mind. There are many options for an “aging in place” remodel. For a bathroom remodel, you can install a chair height toilet or consider a low entry shower with grab bars. Lowering light switches and raising outlets as well as widening up the doorways can apply to any remodeling project.

So before you jump right into your next home remodel, give some of these points a thought. They will help you to get organized resulting in saving time, money and unnecessary aggravation. Happy remodeling!

How to Plan For a Home Remodel – 10 Steps

If you’re in the “we’re only thinking about it” phase of a home remodel, you’ve taken the first step to improving your home to meet your needs. If you’re ready to speak with professionals about your remodeling, find a remodeling company near you now! However, if you’re still planning, here are a few other steps that will help ensure your remodel meets your needs and your budget.

1. Create a design book – Get a notebook, a manila folder, or a 3-ring binder and build your design book. The more you add to it, the better your designer will be able to understand your dreams.

• If you see the perfect cabinetry in a magazine, cut out the picture and add it.
• If a sink, tile choice, or flooring option catches your eye, add notes and pictures.
• Look at design websites and print out pictures of what you like.
• Take photos of friend’s homes.
• Make sketches and pick up countertop color samples.

2. Establish your goals – Think about the goal(s) of your home remodel.

• If the layout of your kitchen works for you, but your design book has a hundred pictures of concrete countertops, then maybe you only need a home facelift.
• If you’ve always wanted a soaking tub and your current bathroom only has a shower, you may need a slightly more ambitious custom remodel.

3. Designate wants and needs – Consider every element of your home remodel and decide if it is a “need” or a “want.”

• Structural problems such as broken tiles or damaged walls are most likely a “need.”
• Outdated colors or styles of tiles may be a “want.”
• Remember that a want today can still be a “have to do someday.”

4. Decide on a budget – Look at your needs list from step 3, look at your finances, and decide how much you can comfortably spend on your remodel.

• If you need to stick to a budget, err on the low side to allow for items such as furniture or decorative items.
• If money is not a primary factor, creating a budget will help you prioritize your wants and needs.

5. Consider the extras – Consider the extras and options.

• If you decide you have to replace your tile, consider not only the style but the price. If you fall in love with a particular style that’s $35/square foot, you may be able to find a similar style at $5/square foot, which can be a $9,000 savings in an average bathroom, leaving more money for other elements.
• A vessel sink may require special installation and fixtures.
• Different countertop materials offer different benefits.

6. Plan for your future – Weigh future plans.

• If you’re planning to sell your home in a few years, you may not want to invest in top quality applicants.
• If you plan to stay in your home through retirement, you may want to consider adding an onsuite bathroom to a ground-floor bedroom instead of a second-floor bedroom.

7. Allow for upcoming events – Make notes of important upcoming dates and events.

• If you have family coming tomorrow, it’s probably not be the best time to pull out the fixtures in the guest bath.
• If you have a wedding or the holidays on the horizon, you need to ensure your remodel is finished well beforehand.

8. Learn from others – Learn from friends and family.

• Your cousin may have worked with the same remodeling company for over a decade, while your brother can tell you the place down the street has a hard time meeting deadlines.
• You may get tips and advice on the things to look out for if you try to do some of the work yourself.

9. Talk with professionals – Gather professional advice.

• Most reputable companies will provide a free consultation. Take them up on it to see if you like the company. Make sure they ask you questions and listen to your answers.
• Don’t feel you have to sign with the remodeling company the first day. A good company will give you the information you need to make a decision without a hard sell.

10. Hire the right company – Work with a professional company that guarantees their work.

• The industry standard is one year. If your remodeling company doesn’t meet or exceed that guarantee, keep looking.
• Even after a guarantee runs out, the best remodeling companies will help to keep you happy with your remodel. They want you to be a client for life.