Your home represents a big investment — perhaps the largest of your lifetime. Safeguard and update your property with careful planning of home remodeling projects to make sure they add value, comfort and safety to your home.
Start With A List Of Needs And Desires
Before you launch into a major remodeling project, walk around your home and property, then sit down and make a list of shortcomings … structural issues, overdue maintenance tasks, safety concerns and inconveniences. Next, make a list of “wish list” projects … remodeling ideas or luxury installations you’ve always wanted for your home.
Look for synergies within each list. Often you’ll find that items on your luxury “wish list” are much less expensive when undertaken as part of a more prudent maintenance upgrade. For example, a Jacuzzi installation in your master bath might not return enough in resale value to make it a solid investment on its own, but if your existing bath tub is cracked and leaking anyway, the difference in price between the Jacuzzi and a conventional tub replacement will make your “luxury” upgrade much more reasonable.
With this strategy in mind, work your lists of needs and desires into a single, prioritized remodeling plan.
Building Codes And Permits
Never undertake a major remodeling project without first researching the building code requirements in your area. Building codes and permitting requirements can vary considerably from one community to another, but as a general rule a building permit is probably required when structural work is involved, or when the basic living area of a residence is to be changed.
The details respecting required permits in your area are readily available from your local township or boro office. A quick web search may save steps and provide you with a printed copy for your planning record. Reputable home improvement business representatives can also help you determine whether or not a home remodeling project will require permits and inspection.
Plan Financing Well In Advance
It’s usually best to save up cash in advance for your home remodeling projects, but if you budget carefully and shop for financing, interest rates can be factored in to other remodeling project expenses and evaluated accordingly. Talk to lenders in advance and make sure you understand all of the terms of a financing agreement before you take the plunge.
Local realtors and online real estate resources can be helpful in determining what value, if any, your remodeling project will add to your home over time. Factor your findings into any financing decisions you’re considering.