Home improvement is a popular pastime. Whether you are watching Fixer Upper or This Old House, the television schedule is filled with shows that encourage you to take on DIY projects around the house.
However, it’s one thing to watch the show and another to tackle a renovation project yourself. It’s important to know how much it will cost and what type of return you can expect on your investment. Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the future or just want to make it more comfortable, there are several factors to consider when choosing a project.
In the middle of the pandemic, many homeowners were motivated to upgrade their homes with renovations due to their increased time spent at home. According to the NAR’s 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, 3 in 5 homeowners reported taking on remodeling projects during the pandemic. The most common upgrades were updating worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials (31%), adding features and improving livability (20%) and wanting a change (16%). These updates not only improved the home’s appearance but also increased satisfaction with their residence.
Some improvements may be necessary for the safety and health of the family, including repairing roof leaks or electrical problems. Others may be a result of normal wear and tear or aging. Regardless of the reason, these types of repairs will likely increase in popularity as the housing market continues to struggle and labor costs rise.
Ultimately, the main reason to renovate is for your own enjoyment and comfort. If you’re making changes to your home simply for resale value, it’s important to talk to a real estate agent to determine what is most wanted by buyers in the current market. Otherwise, you could end up with a renovated home that isn’t a good fit for the neighborhood and won’t appeal to potential buyers.
It’s also important to choose a contractor carefully. Getting a referral from a friend or family member is one way to find a reputable company. In addition, make sure you read and understand the contract before committing to any work. It should include a timeline for completion, payment schedule and a detailed list of all materials and costs. Withholding final payment until all inspections and certificates of occupancy are complete is another good practice. It’s also a good idea to set up a separate savings account specifically for the project. That way, if unexpected expenses arise, you will have money available to cover them. Lastly, make sure the company is insured and bonded. This will protect you in case the contractor fails to meet their obligations or is injured on the job.