When you’ve decided that a major home renovation is in order, make careful plans. After all, you’ll likely be spending tens of thousands of dollars on your home improvement projects, and you’ll be living with the outcome for years. Planning a home renovation is complex, but here are a few steps that you should include to ensure that it goes more smoothly.
Determine Your Budget and Financing
Realistically, you can’t always get what you want, but if you work within a budget and consider all of your financing options, you can probably get what you need for now. Determining your budget can be somewhat challenging.
First of all, you have to find out how much you qualify for in a loan, but you also need to determine how much you’re willing to pay every month for a loan.
There are three types of loans that are often used to fund home renovations. There’s the cash-out refinance, home-equity loan, and home equity line of credit.
Although some of these options will let you take out a large loan, they might also let you pay only the interest, which can translate into heavy debt over the long-run, so be careful how much you borrow.
If you’d rather not take out a loan and have some time before you need the renovation done or are willing to be patient, start saving now. Cutting costs and aggressively saving for a while can make a huge difference.
Price Shop, Then Interview Contractors
Since you might not be able to afford everything that you want, you need to get hard prices for the various items that you’ll need to purchase. Then, bring these prices to a few of your top choices for contractors. Based on their proposals, you can make a decision on who you’ll work with.
Find a Great Construction Crew
You’re hiring a company that will be in your home on a daily basis for weeks or even months. Take your time to find the crew that you can trust to do the best job—start to finish.
The construction company that you choose can make or break the project, so research several companies thoroughly. Also, make sure that you and the contractor have similar expectations for how long the project will take and how much it will cost.
Ask around about their reputation. Do they show up on time every day? Do they bring out the road brooms and vacuums to get every last speck of dirt when the job is complete? Is their equipment top notch? Does their work stand the test of time?
If your answers are overwhelmingly positive, chances are they’re a great company and deserve your business.
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Determine Your Total Cost, Then Add a Little Extra
Whenever you’re renovating, there’s always a few extra costs that come up. You might find a rotted subfloor or outdated plumbing that you need to bring up to code. So when you’re figuring your total cost, you should add 15 to 20 percent to what the construction company quotes.
If you don’t have the extra money, you should cut back on your renovations. You might buy less expensive materials or put off buying new appliances.
More than likely, you’ll probably only do a few major renovations in your lifetime, so take the time to plan so that unwelcome surprises are reduced and avoided. Make sure that you have spare money so that you have the resources to finish your project even when the inevitable unpleasant situation crops up.
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