Homeowners typically want to minimize their cost and the disruption to their lives, so they often let sleeping dogs lie.
However, that can be a faulty line of thinking. There are a lot of functional elements of the home that should get serious consideration during a renovation, and there are some very good reasons for that.
To begin with, you’ve already gotten access to those systems, which means you have a golden opportunity to make upgrades, expansions, repairs, and so forth without having to tear out walls or cut into floors later on.
If you like the new paint you’ve chosen, you’ll have a better chance of leaving it alone if you upgrade what’s behind it while the old walls are out.
A renovation is also a great time to replace a service panel. As the experts at Mr. Electric would point out, many homes have outdated and undersized breaker boxes that cannot handle the electrical demands of modern homes, or that are dangerous because of their age or condition. While you’re doing lots of other work, think about upgrading here too.
Another important point is that it can allow you to add functional things that you might not have considered before. Most homes today were built long before anybody had an automatic backup generator, yet their popularity grows every day. While you’re putting in new track lighting and a newer range, it’s a great idea to make sure you’ll have the power to operate them when Mother Nature interrupts.
Just because something works doesn’t mean it’s energy-efficient. Outdated water heaters, furnaces, and lights can put a big strain on your utility budget–without you even knowing. The only way to make the savings happen is to upgrade, and you just might find that a new HVAC system can lower your power bills enough to help pay for itself.
Most older buildings have been "grandfathered in" on at least a few city building codes. That is, the rules were applied only to new construction. However, in some cities, a renovation can trigger an end to that free pass, forcing the owner to conduct certain upgrades in order to remain in compliance.
As you plan a renovation, talk with the local municipal code enforcement office to see what you may be required to do.
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What happens if, as you dig into the ground to build a new deck, you find an area of very wet soil? You could ignore it, but that choice could come back to haunt you. Whenever you encounter issues like settling soil, drainage problems, or anything pertaining to the soundness of the site, it is vital that you take steps to correct it before completing the renovation.
Because a renovation is such a big undertaking, many owners prefer to do only what is necessary to get the outcome they desire. They don’t concern themselves with what’s going on inside the walls or around the foundation.
When they do this, they miss a great opportunity to lower their future costs of ownership, to make the home more practical and comfortable, and to avoid potentially large and disruptive repair expenditures later on. Although it’s frustrating to see increases in the cost and time to completion of a renovation, there is no question that updates like those we’ve discussed can end up paying very big dividends.
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