You’ve decided to renovate your house but don’t know where to begin. If you’re renovating so you can stay in your home for a longer period of time without systems breaking down, your approach is different than if you’re renovating to get a higher price when you eventually sell. Analyze your reasons, needs and how much money you have for the renovations before you put your plan into effect. In most markets a complete renovation only increases your value slightly, according to a report issued by the National Association of Homebuilders.
Assess Your House
Hire a licensed home inspector to check your house from top to bottom. He’ll climb into the attic to check for dampness, scour the basement looking for leaks, test the heating and air conditioning systems, examine the roof, the plumbing and electrical panels. Evaluate the results before deciding on a plan of action. Whole-house remodeling is down from its peak in the mid-2000s, according to the NAHB, while repairs increased.
If your heating and air conditioning unit is problematic, decide whether a full replacement or a temporary fix is in order, depending on your goals. Providing a comfortable environment is paramount to your enjoyment of your home. A faulty air conditioner promotes mold which is unhealthy for you and your family, and is expensive to remediate.
If you’re going to upgrade your bathrooms, be sure your plumbing can tolerate increasing pressure and usage. Repairing leaky fixtures, damaged flooring and improper ventilation results in lower water bills. If they’re not repaired and you’re selling the house, the problems will be pointed out by the buyer’s inspector. In a survey by the NAHB, bathroom remodeling jobs were the most common upgrades purchased in 2011.
Homeowners are guided by energy efficiency. The importance of downsizing and using energy efficient appliances is reflected in the Energy Star ratings attached to appliances today. Renovating a kitchen with granite, stainless steel, new cabinetry and flooring is the second most requested renovation project, the NAHB says. A new kitchen increases your home’s value, and installing energy-efficient appliances attracts a buyer’s eye.
A home renovation project that includes installing new windows and doors leads to less cost in running the house. Double glazed windows and solid doors are an expensive renovation but yield benefits, both for the homeowner and a potential buyer.
While consumers like “new,” renovating with small projects is effective. Paint the house, inside and out, to give it a fresh feeling. Replace the flooring, using wood if you can, to add value. Re-landscape the front and back lawns for curb appeal. Install new bathroom and kitchen hardware if a total renovation is out of your budget.