As properties age, homes go out of style and sometimes need to be updated for other reasons, like replacement of certain fixtures, roofs, re-landscaping, interior repairs, etc. For a city like Houston, where over 3 million people reside, there are waves of homes that go through this process every year. Yet, when looking into renovating a home, there are a few things to consider before beginning that can help make your life much easier.
Create a Plan
Before you commit to a renovation, create a plan on what are some of the things you want to fix or completely replace, and if they are for personalization purposes or raising the value. When making renovations to increase value, you will want weigh the opportunity cost based on how much the value will actually increase. If you’re updating new kitchen cabinets but the old ones were just fine, you might not raise the value too much compared to if the old cabinets had broken/missing doors, holes, or other issues. A simple recoating of the paint and protection layer would suffice, and it may even match so much better with the rest of the kitchen that it looks new. In cases where the cabinet doors are using old-styled patterns, you can even just replace the doors but maintain the casing. You’ll also want to make sure that you have your home insurance coverage up to date. You never know what might happen during the renovation, and blame can get pointed in every direction. It’s best to just have some backup coverage.
Finding The Contractor
The first thing to keep in mind when finding hired help is that you’re probably better off working with a local company. National name brand companies tend to charge significantly more, and local individual workers charge very little and do poor jobs. In many cases, they might just take your money and bail at the first sign of trouble. Go with a local company that has a solid positive reputation. Ask for their references, and contact other homeowners who have used their services and see what they have to say. You may even be able to get them to send you pictures or go view their work. Additionally, make sure they have proper licenses and insurances to cover anything that goes wrong. When all that is covered, then you can ensure that there’s a proper agreement or contract in place to cover both of you from accidents, mistakes, or other issues that may occur.
Protect Your Stuff
A renovation process can take a while and it can also be very messy. If you’re doing work on walls, you really don’t want drywall dust to spread over all of your furniture (and you definitely don’t want to get it into your ventilation system). For just paint and general work, covering your furniture is fine, but for drywall dust, you may want to have it moved or stored elsewhere. Find a trusted local moving company that will either move your furniture for you or even store it temporarily. Many moving companies have their own storage, and you can simply pay them to temporarily store it instead of getting on contract with a storage facility.
Selling or Buying
If you’re renovating with the intention of raising value and selling, definitely begin the process of appraisal once renovation is complete. Then you can get a real estate agent to start taking pictures and listing it on the local MLS or HAR. If you’re looking for a house that will be an opportunity for renovation and personalizing it, then you may want to contact a cash for houses company that can get you a discounted home that is in need of some work. This is great for project houses. Their lists of houses will often include those that were searching for a “sell my house as is” investor to purchase it or find a buyer for them.
Following these pointers may save you from huge headaches and costly mistakes that many people have gone through the first time they did renovations. Going on the cheap side when finding contractors ends up costing more in the long run. You definitely can avoid a lot of these issues by learning from countless others’ mistakes. Enjoy the renovation!