Four Tips for Successful Home Renovations

Four Tips for Successful Home Renovations

Four Tips for Successful Home Renovations

Whether you are hoping to create a more functional living space or enhance the aesthetic beauty of your current home, renovations can be exhilarating and exhausting. Many homeowners take the DIY approach, finding great satisfaction in the remodeling process. Others purchase the materials but hire labor to do the work, and some bring in a professional contractor to oversee and execute the entire project.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, consider the following tips to help get the most bang for your buck and the results you love.

1. Choose Upgrades That Add Value

To help get the highest return on your remodeling investment when it is time to sell, be strategic with your upgrades. Familiarize yourself with what comparable, similarly priced properties in your neighborhood offer. This lets you make improvements that reflect the marketplace without exceeding the existing standard.

A 2022 report on remodeling cites the following projects as having the greatest cost-recovered percentage upon resale:

  • Hardwood floor refinishing: 147%
  • Installing new wood flooring: 118%
  • Upgrading insulation: 100%
  • New roofing: 100%
  • New garage door: 100%

Keep your insurance agent appraised of your renovation plans to ensure your policy reflects any new increase in your home's value.

2. Be Realistic About Your Abilities and Limitations

When it comes to DIY home improvements, personal confidence, and a willingness to learn are great assets. The investment of your own time in the form of "sweat equity" can save you money, especially when it comes to things like seasonal maintenance and cosmetic improvements. Do-it-yourselfers find countless helpful resources in the form of books and online tutorials for every project imaginable.

But be honest about your skill set and comfort level when it comes to projects that involve plumbing, heating and electrical systems or removing walls. Mistakes made in these areas can lead to dangerous outcomes or costly damage. You will need to hire a professional to repair.

3. Apply for the Required Permits

Unless your project is strictly cosmetic or something simple like replacing a door, flooring, or cabinets, you will need to obtain a remodeling permit from your local building department. This ensures you are in compliance with the governing safety codes and that your modifications are properly built. If you have hired a contractor, double check that they will handle this for you.

Bigger projects, such as adding a backyard deck or installing a fireplace or skylight, often require blueprints and periodic review by inspectors. If you start a project without a permit, you might incur a fine or be required to take down your work.

4. Be Proactive With Your Contractor

Before hiring a builder, ask for references you can contact personally, copies of liability insurance, and before and after images of prior work. Also:

  • Set a budget and stick to it. Allocate funds for unexpected expenses, such as eating out or staying in a motel.
  • Establish firm start and stop times for the construction that cause the least amount of disruption to your daily routine.
  • Designate a renovation-free zone stocked with a coffee pot, microwave, and mini fridge where your family can gather and relax.

For more information on home ownership and insurance, reach out to your local independent insurance agent today.