Your home may need many different kinds of renovations. But how do you prioritize remodeling projects? Here are some tips on what to put first and second.
When you look around your house, you probably picture all the things you want to change or remodel. The kitchen is hard to work in. The bathroom is outdated. The family room is too dark. But you don’t want the disruption that comes from doing all these projects at once. How do you prioritize? Which remodeling projects should you tackle first? And how do you decide?
Before you call any contractors, carefully assess your situation. You may feel like everything in the house needs to be replaced right away, but some things can probably be addressed with a coat of paint or removing some wallpaper. That allows you to focus on the projects that will consume more resources. You should also be honest with yourself about who will do the work and when. If your job takes all your time or the thought of home repairs exhausts you, then you shouldn’t be thinking about doing anything yourself.
After you’ve done a careful assessment, make a list based on your priorities:
- Necessity First
Your first priority needs to be safety. Any project that involves outdated electrical systems, water damage, or leaking plumbing obviously gets top billing. You also need to protect the huge investment you have in your house. If you need to replace the roof or siding, that should be your first step. If windows or doors are giving you trouble, it presents the opportunity to make cosmetic improvements along with functional ones. Renovations that involve windows and insulation can also reduce your home’s energy costs—a consideration that might bump them up the list.
- Consider Your Stage of Life
If you’re in a starter home that you will only live in for a few years, then you might want to focus on updating the house’s appearance: new carpeting, new appliances, and more up-to-date bathrooms. If you have a growing family, you’ll probably want to concentrate on the kitchen and family room areas—as well as storage for all the kids’ gear.
Empty nesters have the opportunity to indulge themselves with dedicated spaces for hobbies, gazebos, hot tubs, or home theaters. If they’re considering retiring at home they might think about remodeling with accessibility in mind. Whatever your stage of life, remember that remodeling is stressful, so plan it for a time in your life when you won’t be having other major challenges. For example, don’t begin a large renovation project right before you bring a new baby home.
Obviously the amount of money you have to devote to a project is a huge factor when you prioritize home improvement projects. If your budget is at the low end, you might only be able to remodel a bathroom. If you’re at the higher end, you might be able to put on an addition or do a renovation with high end materials. Of course, it can be hard for homeowners to know the costs for projects and arrive at a budget. Your best bet is to consult a designer or architect who can give you reasonable estimates based on your needs and ideas.
- Return on Investment
Kitchen and bathroom remodels often provide the best return on investment (ROI) in terms of increasing your home’s resale value.
Boosts to curb appeal and additions also tend to return handsomely on the investment. But every renovation will help in some way. If you’re deciding among various renovation options, you might want to tackle the ones with the biggest ROI in case you don’t get to the others down the road. ROI should be your top concern if you’re doing renovations with the idea that you will soon be selling the house; consult with a real estate agent about where your money is best spent.
Need help prioritizing your home remodeling projects? Consult with the home experts at Case Indianapolis.