In Life at Home, Tips & Advice

A home remodel could make the difference between selling your current home, or staying in the home you love. Remodels typically serve one or a combination of the following purposes: to improve functionality of the home, to update the look to the latest styles and design trends, to increase sale value, improve structural integrity or to improve energy efficiency.

Whatever the purpose of your home remodel, it’s important to set clear goals and guidelines as things can easily get out of hand if you don’t have a clear strategy in place. Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals and stay within budget.

Establish a budget before you begin. Knowing your budget range is a key step not only for you, but for any designers and contractors who will be working on your project. Ask friends who have completed similar projects, do your research so you know the general cost for your remodel plans and set a budget you can afford. When you are transparent with your budget, those on your remodel team will be able to help you get the most value for your dollar.

Set aside a contingency fund. Once your budget is set, reserve 20% for contingency to cover any unexpected surprises or problems that arise along the way. It can be difficult for contractors to provide an exact quote on work because cost of materials change frequently and unforeseen circumstances almost certainly arise along the way during a remodel project.

Know why you want to remodel. What is your overall objective? To increase resale value of your home? To improve functionality? When the why of your remodel is abundantly clear, it can help you make reasonable, rational decisions and stay within your budget and goals.

Know how long you plan to stay in your home. The answer to this question can help determine some of the products and finishes you select for your remodel. If you’re planning to sell in the next few years, stick to basic appliances and clean lines. If this is your forever home, then what you choose for your remodel is all about you and your preferences.

Forget brand names. It’s less about the label and more about how the product or appliance fits in your space and best suits your lifestyle. Getting too caught up in the brand name could cost you hundreds (or thousands) more. Find what fits in your budget and helps you achieve your vision for the space.

Shop flea markets and resale. Who said you have to buy new? Fixtures, lighting, decor and furniture can often be purchased in excellent condition from a flea market, garage sale or resale shop. Buying used could save you as much as half the cost of buying new, if not more.

Prioritize wants and needs. During the initial planning phases make a priority list of your must-haves. Discuss your list with family and friends for insight and input to help you whittle down the most important pieces on the list. Take time to document how you do life — how you cook, how you entertain, how and where the kids play. This exercise can help identify areas of frustration with your home and places of concentration for your home remodel. Your priorities list will also help you keep a clear head when the dust of the project settles in.

Avoid spur-of-the-moment decisions Although it may not be entirely possible, take time to step back and look at the big picture, rather than making decisions in the heat of the moment. Refer to your priorities list and evaluate how each change to your initial plan will help you achieve your goals.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed or distracted during a home remodel project. Establishing a clear plan and specific budget (with room for contingency) are the first steps to completing your project and achieving your overall goals. Staying on task and within budget sometimes means taking a step back to view the project from all angles and make decisions that fit within budget parameters and design goals.

Are you preparing to embark on a home improvement or renovation project? Whether your home needs a facelift or major structural repairs, PrimeLending can help you finance your home renovation project. Contact a home loan expert near you today to learn about the different types of renovation loans available.


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