Top 6 Home Renovation Planning Tips

renovation floor plan with measuring tape, small level , and electric drill.

Home renovations can visually enhance, improve the functionality, and add value to your home. Home renovations are a smart idea whether you are renovating to make your home fit your needs or you are planning to sell it. 

A home renovation can be an exciting and rewarding experience but at the same time challenging and stressful. There are several things to consider when renovating your home to make your renovation as stress-free as possible, and to get the best return on your investment. You should think about your end goal, budget, lifestyle and how much time you are able to allocate to your home renovation. 

Here are some tips to follow for your next home renovation: 

Plan and Prepare for Your Renovation

Starting a home renovation can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t completed one before. Good planning and is always important for a successful home renovation project. Read home improvement magazines, books, and Internet articles to get ideas, pictures, and tips for your renovation. Get advice and ideas from an architect or home designer. If you have multiple renovations in mind, set your priorities and decide which renovation is most important to you and begin with that one first. Be prepared for problems that could occur with your planned renovation project such as material shortages, equipment breakdowns, and delays. Create a detailed drawing to scale of your renovation project on paper. Stay on top of your renovation by creating a step-by-step completion schedule. 

Planning a home renovation on laptop with samples on table.

Do Your Research

Decide how you want to utilize the space you are renovating. Before you decide on a design, consider your lifestyle and what functionality you want to add to the space. It’s always a good idea to discuss your renovation plans with a professional real estate agent if you plan on selling your home. Consider your neighborhood if you are thinking of a big renovation, will you be able to get the return back on your investment? The real estate agent will help you decide which renovations will be most valuable for selling your home. Consult a real estate appraiser to determine how your renovation will affect the value of your home. Contact a structural engineer to insure your renovation does not affect the structural integrity of your home, if your renovation involves the removal of walls. Remember that you are not only renovating your home for yourself, but also for potential homebuyers if you decide to sell your home in the future. Get information from family, friends, or neighbors who have completed renovations of their homes. They can give you priceless advice that will help you accomplish your renovation goals. 

Review Your Budget

Knowing your renovation budget is one of the most essential parts of renovation planning. Setting a budget and sticking to it is key to any renovation project. Review your finances and prepare a budget for your project. Your budget should include the costs for permits, building materials, and labor costs. Get quotes for your renovation project from as many licensed contractors as possible. Include in your budget a cushion of 10%-15% to cover any unexpected costs. Think realistically about how much of a return on investment your renovations will give you especially if you plan on selling your home. Renovate your kitchen, bathroom, patio, or deck first as they are good choices for adding value to your home. Don’t spend more than 5% of your home’s value on a kitchen renovation. Don’t spend more than 3% of your home’s value on a bathroom renovation. Don’t spend more than 2% of your home’s value on landscaping upgrades. 

Will You Need a Home Improvement Loan?

Major home renovations will cost you more and require a higher budget. There are many ways to finance your home renovation project if you don’t have enough money saved to pay for all the costs associated with your renovation. You could use a credit card, or apply for a home equity, home improvement or a personal loan to complete your project. Not all home renovation loans are the same. Each type of loan will vary in the amount you can borrow, interest rates, and time limits to pay back. Even if you have a bad credit history, you may still qualify for a bad credit loan. You will have to do the math and consider the return on investment from your home renovation project compared to the total cost of your loan. Kitchen and bathroom renovation can potentially recoup 75% to 100 % of your investment. 

Obtain the Required Permits

Check with your local municipality to see if your home renovation project will require a building permit. Building permits are essential to guarantee your house renovation meets structural, electrical, fire and other building code requirements. Get all required permits before beginning any renovation project and complete your project according to the requirements of the building code. This will assure that there will be no issues detected by building inspectors during and after the completing of your renovation.  

Man cutting wood with a rotary saw.

Hire a Professional Contractor 

Once you have completed all preparations for your home renovation project, it’s time to hire a reputable professional contractor to complete your renovation. Ask family, friends and neighbors if they have recently used a contractor that they would recommend. Make a list of the contractors you are interested in hiring and check online to see their reliability and workmanship ratings. Ask for references from previous work they have completed when hiring a contractor. Discuss your renovation plans in detail with any contractor you decide to use. Always get a written contract from any contractor you decide to hire. The contract should clearly state the price to be charged and the time required to complete the renovation. Experienced contractors will work with you to explore your needs and recommend a renovation that fits your home, lifestyle, and budget. Confirm the contractor you are hiring is licensed and insured before work starts on your renovation. 

A renovation that is planned well will increase the appeal of your home, improve the comfort level of your home, and increase the value of your home. By following these home renovation planning tips you will be able to plan your home renovation with less stress and keep your renovation on budget and on schedule.



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