Did you move into a new home and now want to make renovations? You may even be thinking about doing the renovations yourself. Who doesn’t want to save money, right? While you are being frugal, you should consider a few things. Not thinking about the renovations beforehand could end up costing you more than it costs to pay someone to do the renovations.
Establish a Budget
Before you even start, create a budget. This helps you keep your renovations realistic. For example, if you have a small budget, a complete kitchen renovation is likely out of the question. But, re-facing the cabinets, painting the kitchen, or replacing an appliance or two might be perfectly fine.
Remember, when you establish this budget, make sure to leave a buffer. We recommend keeping a 20% ‘Emergency Fund.’ This way if something goes wrong, you’ll have the extra funds to take care of it rather than finding yourself in a financial bind.
Set up a Timeline
Just as you should be on target with your budget, you should also be on target with your timeline. Thinking honestly about the free time you have will help you prioritize accordingly. Again, going back to the kitchen, if you know you only have a few hours a week to work on your project, you wouldn’t want to rip up your kitchen. It’s one of the most used areas of the home. You could quickly regret your decision to make renovations if you aren’t honest about your allotted time.
Do the Projects That Have a Small Window of Opportunity
Do you have projects you want to do that depend on the weather? You may want to start with those projects so they are done on time. For example, if you want to paint the exterior of your home and you live in the Midwest, you’ll want to do this project in the spring or summer when the weather is nice. You don’t want it too hot or too cold so that the paint settles on the home just right.
Don’t Skimp on Materials
If you are on a strict budget, only do the renovations that you can do right. In other words, don’t skimp on the materials. This will only set you up for disappointment. It could even cost you more in the long run. If the materials don’t stand up to par, you may find yourself redoing the project sooner rather than later. Suddenly, this project cost you more than you anticipated when you could have bought the right materials from the start.
Don’t Skip Preparation
It can be exciting to just get the project underway, but preparation is the key to success. If you do the project right from the start, you’ll save yourself money, time, and headaches in the future. We know it can seem tedious to prepare the project and it might even seem like you are wasting time, but you’ll thank yourself when it’s done the right way the first time.
Do Your Research
Did you know that not all home renovations provide a good return on the investment? If you are making renovations to help increase your home’s value, use the expertise of professionals in the area. Ask an appraiser or real estate agent about the changes you want to make. They may tell you that the return on investment is very small. You can then decide if it makes sense to do so.
Are you doing the renovations to make the home look the way you want it? Will you live in the home for a long time? If so, then you may not care about the return. If, however, you are in the home for the short-term, or you are trying to gain quick equity in the home, you may want to come up with other ideas.
Making home renovations can be exciting as you make your house look like a home, but it takes careful consideration. Plan ahead of time, making plenty of lists, and do your research. This way you can determine which projects will work as a DIY project and which you may want to wait until you can pay a professional to handle it for you.