Home remodeling takes time, money, a vision, and perseverance to pull off successfully. So before you embark on what could become an epic journey through the trials and tribulations of homeownership and remodeling, ask yourself these five questions first.
Can I afford it?
This is by far the most important first step when considering a home remodel. Running out of funds can stop a project in its tracks, and being “house poor” is a bad place to be. Sinking money into a remodel removes the liquidity of your funds, meaning you can’t borrow against it if an emergency springs up.
Can I do it myself?
Projects you can tackle on your own can sometimes help you save. But it’s important to know when to do it yourself and when to bring in a professional. With the advent of online instructional videos and classes at your local hardware store, some projects such as tiling or painting can be tackled on your own.
Is it safe?
If you do plan on taking on the project on your own, assess the safety first. Plumbing and electrical are two areas where bringing in the pros pays off in the long run. Roofing and other projects that require you to have special equipment and access to high places are better handled by those with experience as well.
Is it worth it?
Many home improvement projects do not yield a high enough return on the investment. Decide first why you are remodeling. Is it to improve the value of your home, or simply to improve its livability? If it’s to improve value, make sure to focus on key areas that raise home prices, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- See our infographic about the 2014 cost vs. value report here.
Do I trust my contractor?
It’s highly important to make sure you trust your experts. Make sure that you know who you are working with. After all, it is your home and your money they are working with. Make sure you choose the contractor whose numbers are realistic, and whose previous work holds up to scrutiny.
Many home improvement projects require more expertise than even the most skilled DIY-er should handle. It can also protect you for insurance purposes to show that you did your due diligence in handling issues with expert, licensed contractors. Whatever the remodeling project, having a proper plan and asking a few extra questions can go a long way to ensuring that your home remodeling project goes off without a hitch.