Title Image

5 Things To Consider When Remodeling Your Home

5 Things To Consider When Remodeling Your Home

In Seattle, many older homes are being remodeled everyday.  But what does it take to remodel your house?  Where do you even start?  When you decide to remodel your home, dozens of decisions must be made, and they all must fit together.  Also, home remodels are often more expensive and time consuming than originally anticipated.  Some decisions are easier then others, but, before you even swing a hammer, you should consider these five things.

Plan Ahead

As with any type of project, you need a good game plan.  How long will the project take, what work are you able to do yourself,  and what is your budget are just a few questions that will need to be answered.  You also must determine where you are going to live during construction and for how long.  If your project takes longer than anticipated, you have to pay more money for a rental:  how is that going to impact your budget?  Choosing all the materials and suppliers prior to construction will greatly expedite the construction schedule.  Many suppliers will take several weeks to get their product to you.

Cost vs. Benefit

In some cases, adding a second story or building a major remodel may not make financial sense in terms of resale value.  You need to weigh your desired functionality versus future resale value.  For example, if you build a million dollar home in a neighborhood with $250k homes, you might either not be able to recover your investment or you might have long wait when trying to sell the house.  Or the cost of the project might be too expensive due to large structural reinforcement needed.  For another example, if you add three bedrooms but the house only has one bathroom, you will not recover your costs during resale.  Also, a bigger house also means more expensive construction permits, higher property taxes, and more maintenance.  The point is that you need to make sure that the changes that you are proposing are going to work well for immediate functionality and for future resale value.

Being Realistic

Everyone wants premium materials and fixtures but budget is a major factor.  That will be trade-offs:  you could do some of work yourself to save your budget for higher quality faucet and fixtures.  A roof deck sounds great, but the additional costs of engineering, construction and material for something only gets used a few times each year must be weighed against, say, putting in more windows and a smaller rear deck.  You have to weigh the cost, effort and how that change is going to effect the budget, schedule, etc.  Being realistic will allow you to finish your project efficiently rather than having long delays due to lack of funds.

You will need to compromise

Unless you are building your house without the aid of contractors, an architect, or a spouse, then you are going to have to make decisions with as a group.  Rather that debate every decision, you need to prioritize the things are really important to you, but also you must have good reasons to back it up.  Do not put off contentious issues.  Those tough decisions must be made early.  A solid game plan at the beginning of the project will reduce significantly reduce the number of costly changes.

Nobody comes in under budget

Projects can have with unexpected changes that are out of your control.  Unforeseen costs are more common on remodels than new construction:  while working in an existing house, the contractor may discover dangerous electrical connections, rotted or broken wood framing, soft soils, or deteriorating concrete.  Unusually bad weather, delays in material deliveries, deficiencies in the existing house, or difficulties with scheduling City inspections can all effect your timeline and labor costs.  If your construction crew does not have the materials that they need, they will have to reschedule the work at a time that is convenient for them.  So, having a solid game plan in advance ensures that everyone and everything stays on track.

The bottom line is, whether you are doing the work yourself or just paying someone else to do it, a lot of time, effort and emotion is involved in a remodel project.  The larger that the project is the more complex it will be and the more it will weigh on your stress level.  So, to reduce that stress, and to save money, plan your project as best as possible.