Successfully completing a home renovation project requires research, preparation, and meticulous planning. Before meeting with a contractor and receiving an estimate, you want to fully establish your expectations. Not taking the steps necessary to lay out careful plans for your project could result in spending way more than you imagined. Or, you could find yourself with end results that you are unhappy with and of a lesser quality than you wanted. In order to make sure you get the upgrades you want at the expected quality, you need to plan accordingly.
Plan your budget
The first step to take when embarking on a home renovation project is establishing your budget. You need to understand the scope of the upgrades you want and what it will cost to get quality work done on your home. Determine how much you can reasonably DIY and then make a list of the work required by a contractor. Once you know what you need to outsource, get contractor recommendations from friends, neighbors and your real estate agent. Be sure to do your research on what the type of renovation you want should cost so that you will have a baseline reference when shopping around for estimates from contractors.
Know how you want to finance your project
Once you have determined how much you will be spending, the next step is to decide how to finance your project. Many contractors offer financing or partner with a platform that enables them to offer affordable financing. Some of the common ways homeowners choose to pay for a home renovation are taking out a home equity line of credit or a home equity loan, using their savings (cash), credit cards, or applying for personal loans. Preparing for how much you will be adding to your monthly expenses if you choose to finance your project is a good way to manage expectations.
Know what your ROI will be
Now it is time to think about your return on investment. Not the most glamorous or exciting part of your home renovation adventure, but sometimes we need to consider what is practical. There are certain renovations that are considered solid returns on investment. You don’t necessarily have to pick a project with a high ROI, but you should consider how your home renovation will raise the value of your home. It’s always good to balance what your ROI will be against the personal enjoyment or satisfaction you will get from your project.
Know what permits and certifications you will need
You will need to know if your home renovation requires any specific permits or certifications. Not only do you need to know this in order to factor these costs into your budget, but you will also want to take into consideration how long it will take to obtain the appropriate permits. Most contractors can help you sort this out, but it is good to research these things independently as well. The costs and permit requirements will vary by state and locality.
Protect your investment
Finally, you want to be sure your investment is protected. Verify that the contractors you are considering are licensed and insured. If they work with subcontractors, know if their insurance coverage extends to those third parties as well. Also, look into your own homeowner’s insurance and see if you should extend your liabilities and since the value of your home may go up, you want to be certain you are fully covered in the future.