Homeownership: Renovating Your Home
What are the steps in renovating a house?
When renovating your home, you don’t want to jump right in without a plan. Knowing which projects are a priority, your budget, and how much time you need for each project will guide the process and make it more manageable and organized.
Make a Plan: Create a list of all the renovations needed and put them in the order of their priority. Stick to the biggest projects first since they’ll be the most impactful on your house’s value.
Establish a Budget and Schedule: Do the calculations and determine how much each renovation will cost. You don’t want to run out of money halfway through a kitchen revamp and be left with half seafoam green, half navy blue walls. Similarly, create a schedule of time you plan to set aside to get any smaller DIY projects done. Make sure you mark down any deadlines to ensure everything will be finished on time.
Contact Your Insurance Company before renovating to ensure you have enough coverage to fit your needs.
Hire a Contractor: Make sure you do your research to find a contractor that has great reviews, proper insurance, and the best prices for your budget. It’s important to make sure your contract defines the scopes of work upfront to make the overall renovation process clear to both you and the contractor.
Be Aware of Required Permits in your municipality to avoid issues or pitfalls. Ensure that your contractor is knowledgeable of the latest regulations.
Order Material: With so many shortages worldwide, make sure you order material ahead of time to prepare for possible delays.
Begin Renovations: At this point, demolition begins for any framing and installing new windows and doors. You’ll be patching, hanging drywall, taping, and sanding surfaces. Renovating requires working behind the scenes inside the walling, under flooring, and above the ceiling of your home.
The best time to begin painting depends on who you ask. Some people think that flooring comes first and then prime and paint, while others say painting before flooring to avoid drips on the next surface. Sometimes contractors already have a set order for how to do these things.
Install cabinets after the walls and floors are finished.
The finishing touches to your home are like the icing on the cake. They’re the final details and decor, such as touch-up paint, floor sealing, light fixtures, backdrops, and hardware.
Is renovating a house worth it?
Yes! House renovations are a great way to add value to your home. They give it a fresh appearance that’s in with the current market. Before you go all-out, make sure to budget for home improvements to avoid losing more than you invest.
What should you do first when renovating a house?
Figure out what renovations you want and research to see what adds value to houses in the current market. Once you have a good idea of what you wish to do and how much it will roughly cost, consider your available budget and any insurance coverage you may have to make sure your return investment will be beneficial.
Is it better to buy a new house or remodel an existing one?
Buying a new house versus a fixer-upper depends on your circumstances and preferences.
Choosing to remodel an existing house means a quicker move-in time and a less expensive upfront price. You need to have the time, energy, and money to renovate. If you’re planning on buying the home, fixing it up, and selling it for more, then be mindful of which renovations will increase the house’s equity and whether you have the financial budget for it. The cost of renovations will differ depending on whether you choose to do them yourself or have a professional contractor.
Remember that you’ll be paying quite a bit more for buying a new house but won’t need to invest as much in renovations. Even new homes come with their quirks, so it’s always important to have money set aside for maintenance issues. You also need to have a stable place to live while your place is being built, with flexibility for delay time. A plus to buying a new home is that you’ll be the first to live there and know its full history.
How to save money on home renovations?
Costs for home renovations can add up quickly but knowing the best money-saving methods can keep you from making a huge dent in your savings without compromising quality.
Consider ways to make use of space before breaking down a wall. For example, adding kitchen benches with built-in compartments can provide more storage without making room for another row of cabinets. The cost of expanding the kitchen by 200-square-feet can add up to a hefty $48,000-$95,000, while using custom-designed bench storage can be as little as $500 to install.
Do your research when looking at remodeling costs. Request bids from multiple contractors so you know the average costs and can find the best one.
DIY or Contractor? Some projects are best left up to the professionals but before you spend hundreds of dollars hiring an expert, consider whether you can get the job done yourself.
Some renovations that homeowners can generally do themselves include:
- Repainting (front door, walls, cabinets, etc.)
- Hanging wall art
- Applying a backsplash
- Cleaning vinyl siding
- Updating exterior accents
- Applying removable wallpaper
- Replacing shower doors, doorknobs and handles, and fixtures
- Re-sanding and finishing flooring
How do I remodel my kitchen?
Before you begin remodeling, remember to take safety precautions. Especially for internal renovations, make sure to turn off the water and power and wear protective gear like gloves, heavy-duty footwear, and goggles or glasses. Also, be aware of code requirements in your municipality and always consult with professionals for projects above your skillset.
Put a Plan Together
Write, type, or at the very least visualize what you plan to renovate, whether that be replacing or painting cabinets, sanding flooring, adding light fixtures, etc. Have everything in order before you begin so you know the direction you’re taking. This also prepares you to inform your contractor of the plans and orders you had in mind.
Prep Your Kitchen
Before the real renovations begin, you can prep your kitchen by taking care of the initial steps such as removing knobs for painting, taking down a backsplash to make way for the new, and removing cabinets.
Electrical and Plumbing
Any changes or additional electrical and plumbing are best to deal with when old cabinets have been removed and exposed to the inner walling. You can install pipes or connect wires. This helps you avoid the tedious tasks of drilling or cutting holes into drywall.
Double Check your measurements and have the necessary tools before you get started on drywall. Also, be prepared to clean up drywall dust; a shop vacuum is recommended.
An article from Forbes Advisor shares the necessary equipment:
- 48-inch T-square
- Taping knives
- Drywall tape
- Screw gun
- Drywall saw
- Sanding pole
- Mixing paddle
- Dust mask
Painting New Walls
Following the most laborious parts, choose a market-friendly paint color for your kitchen (neutrals, lights) that complements and opens up the space.
Installing Cabinets, Flooring, Countertops, and Backsplash
Remember to order your material ahead of time, so they arrive in time to be installed. Once again, double-check measurements and figure out whether you can DIY the installations or if you need to hire a contractor. Laminate is generally DIY-friendly, but other materials such as granite can be more complicated to install.
What are the best window and door replacements for your home?
When choosing the best window replacement options, consider functionality and attractiveness. How do they add to your home besides being able to look out?
Best Bay Windows have three panels that make an outward three-dimensional curve. They can add attractiveness to the interior and exterior of your home and usually get placed in kitchens and living rooms. It offers extra lighting and can even provide seating.
Double-Hung Windows are some of the most popular window replacement choices because of their higher airflow and easy-to-clean sections.
Casement Windows are argued to be a more efficient choice than double-hung windows because of their ability to keep drafts out through tighter sealing. These are the kinds of windows seen above kitchen sinks and showers.
Hopper Windows open inwards and have great air circulation. These are found in basements and bathrooms and are designed for added security against break-ins.
Picture Windows provide a fuller view of outdoor scenery with a series of small windows and one tall rectangular window in the middle. They can bring in more light and make your room appear larger. Picture windows can be found in multiple places, like the living room, bedroom, or kitchen.
The front door is the opening to your home’s interior. It creates an initial impression and, therefore, should be chosen wisely.
Wood doors are the most commonly chosen material. They come in all shapes, sizes, designs, and colors. Wood doors have good insulation and are great for keeping the temperature in a room regulated.
Fiberglass-composite doors are a maintenance-free and weather-resistant choice. They look like wood with a framework of wooden stiles, rails, and wood edges on the lockset. These doors carry long warranties and cost less than wooden door installations.
Steel doors offer the best security and durability. They’re stronger than wood and fiberglass and can’t crack or warp. Surprisingly, they also tend to cost the least.
How should I plan the interior renovation of my home?
Putting a plan of action together for the interior renovation of your home will organize your projects, ensure you’re budgeting accordingly, and keep you from living in half-finished projects.
Sort Out Your Priorities. Decide on which projects need to be done first. In some circumstances, it’s a matter of functionality, such as painting walls before installing new carpets. Others are based on personal preferences, like choosing one bedroom’s renovations before another.
Figure Out What You’ll Need. Create a list of needed materials, do proper measurements, and decide where to order your material from.
Budget. Before hiring a contractor or ordering supplies, do a run-through of costs to know how much money to put aside for each project. You can also speak with your insurance provider to know what’s covered and what isn’t.
DIY vs. Calling in the Professionals. Research DIY vs. contractor projects to figure out which can be done yourself and which will need an expert.
Prepare for the Renovation Stage. Make sure everyone in the home is prepared to live in a mid-renovation state. This means remembering to wear shoes indoors where nails or unfinished flooring are present and airing out freshly painted rooms by opening windows.
Prep Your Home. You can still get your home ready for renovations even while hiring a contractor. This might look like removing cabinets, unscrewing doorknobs, or clearing space for a backsplash.
Can you remodel your house without using a contractor?
Yes, but that doesn’t always mean you should. Research the needed skill set for each renovation to figure out whether you’ll need a contractor or not. You can save a lot of money by doing the job yourself, but it could hurt your home’s value if it turns out to be low quality. Contractors are a part of long-term investing, so be mindful of which projects you can take on with poise and better left to the professionals.
What are some tips for hiring a renovation contractor?
Look at Reviews and References. Asking around is a great way to find a contractor who does a good job, but even sources like Yelp and other online review sites can help you narrow down the best for the job.
Get Multiple Estimates. Never settle with the first contractor you find. Always shop around to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Consider Local Contractors. Hiring someone who works or lives in the area makes it easier for them to return if an issue arises or you want to use their services again.
Verify that the Contractor is Licensed with the AZ ROC (AZ Registrar of Contractors). You want a contractor that has the proper certifications and licenses.
Check with Insurance and Bonding. Make sure your contractor is properly insured and bonded. You should ask them for a certificate of insurance (COI) which provides their insurance company’s name, policy number, and policy limits that the contractor carries. To be more thorough, you can reach out to the insurance company directly to verify the coverage and ensure the policy is currently in effect.
Have a Clear Contract in Writing. Be sure to have everything that the contractual agreement entails in writing. To confirm everything needed is included, you can always have a lawyer review it.
Never Pay in Full Upfront. Wait until a home project is fully completed before paying the contractor the full amount. Likewise, make your checks payable to a company, not individuals, and never pay in cash. It’s important to be able to retain cashed check receipts.
Become a Homeowner with the Help of Our Experts at Century 21 Northwest
We’re here to help you get the right price for your home and make your move to the next one seamless. Whether buying or selling, contact us today, and we’ll begin the next chapter of your life together.