- Your Budget
Write down everything that you dream about doing for your home renovation. Then, make another list of all the things that must be renovated or updated. Consider how much more a month you could put toward a home improvement loan or how much money you have saved for the project. Pick up the phone and call architects and contractors to get an estimate of how much your renovation will cost. Compare the cost estimate with your preliminary budget, and decide what you can reasonably afford to do. Plan to pad your budget 20% or so to account for unexpected cost overruns.
- Your Timeframe
Does your home renovation need to be completed by a certain time or event? Are you planning to move out of town or are you having a baby and need the extra room? Renovations can take longer than expected, so only plan to tackle what can be accomplished within your timeframe.
- Your Skills
Can any projects on your list become do-it-yourself projects? Do you have the skills - much less the time - to tackle such a project? Most people think they can easily retile a bathroom, install new hardwood flooring or build a new room addition only to find these projects still remain half-finished years later. Be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish.
Today, bathrooms are considered more like spas than simply places where you can take a quick shower. A bathroom renovation can make a significant difference in the comfort of your life - and in the value of your home. The increase in value depends on a number of different factors, including the extent of the remodeling, as well as the fixtures and materials chosen. In 2007, Remodeling Online estimated that the average bathroom remodel project returned approximately 78% resale value.
If you're handy and just looking for a cosmetic update, installing new flooring, cabinetry and painting are time-consuming but relatively simple tasks. If you're looking to completely remodel your bathroom, working with a certified kitchen and bath designer, along with a qualified contractor will save you time, money and headaches. Designers who specialize in bathrooms and contractors have the experience, skills and resources to work with you to create the room of your dreams - on time and on budget.
Where to Begin
Look through home design magazines, visit showcase houses, research renovations online and review potential designer and contractor portfolios for ideas. From there you will know what you want and you can budget it out as well.
A good place to get started is to make a list of everything you want to do to renovate your bathroom. If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do? With this exercise, you've narrowed down the style, the colors and the types of materials. Next you can begin to narrow your priorities down to determine what you can afford to do. Preparation will make it easy for your contractor to develop a plan that takes into account all your needs and that stays within your budget.
Financing Your Dream Bathroom
One of the most common ways homeowners pay for a bathroom remodel is by financing the project. Whether you tap into your home's equity, take out a home improvement loan from a bank or credit union, or take advantage of the financing available from retailers such as Home Depot or Lowes, you should be able to afford the bathroom remodeling project of your dreams.
Creating Realistic Expectations
It's important to remember that remodeling can often take several weeks - months if you're creating a master suite and bath or a whole house remodel. Of course there will be some noise, mess, and inconvenience during the process. But the final product - a beautiful new bathroom - is worth the wait.
Kitchen remodeling is a great investment in your home. By remodeling your kitchen you can add value to your home, and at the same time save money with energy efficient kitchen appliances, The increase in value depends on a number of different factors, including the extent of the remodeling, as well as the fixtures and materials chosen. In 2007, Remodeling Online estimated that the average kitchen remodel project returned approximately 78% resale value.
The areas to consider include:
- Appliances - Ovens, stoves, cook tops, refrigerators, dishwashers, range, microwaves, hoods and exhaust fans.
- Cabinets - Wood cabinets in oak, maple, cherry, hickory, pine, birch, metal and plastic, cabinet refacing and islands.
- Countertops - Stone, marble, quartz, granite, solid surface, wood, metal, and Formica countertops.
- Flooring - Hardwood, cork, bamboo, laminate or linoleum. Installation, repair and refinishing your floors.
- Lighting - Light controls, chandeliers, fixtures, lamps, fluorescent lights, recessed and spot lighting.
- Sinks and Fixtures - Faucets, stainless steel, brass, plastic and glass handles.
- Windows - Skylights, double hung and single hung, casement and garden windows for growing herbs and plants.
Choosing a Designer and Contractor
If you're handy and looking for a cosmetic update, installing new flooring, tile or granite, cabinetry and painting are time-consuming but do-able tasks for someone comfortable with home construction projects. However, if you're looking to completely remodel your kitchen, working with a certified kitchen and bath designer, along with a qualified contractor will save you time, money and headaches. Designers who specialize in kitchens and contractors have the experience, skills and resources to work with you to create the room of your dreams - on time and on budget.
Where to Begin
Look through home design magazines, visit showcase houses, and review potential designer and contractor portfolios for ideas. From there you will know what you want - a warm French Country or a sleek modern style; granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances; dark walnut or eco-friendly bamboo cabinets. The choices are only limited by your imagination.
A good place to get started is to make a list of how you use your kitchen and what you'd like to change. If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do? Are you a gourmet chef who lives in the kitchen? Do you entertain frequently? Or, do you rely on take-out several times a week? Next you can begin to narrow your priorities down to determine what you can afford to do. This preparation will make it easy for your contractor to develop a plan that takes into account all your needs and that stays within your budget.
- Check List
- Home Energy Checklist
- Standard of Practice
- American Society of Home Inspectors
- California Real Estate Inspection Association
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