Remodeling projects can be a great way to boost the value of your home. Cleaning, repairing, rebuilding, and generally restoring the appearance of a house can do wonders in improving its value and sellability. Certain renovations, such as sealing up drafts or replacing a furnace, can also make it both comfortable and more affordable to dwell in a home.
However, at a certain point, the price tag that comes with an ambitious renovation or major remodel can begin to outweigh the benefits. The question is: when are renovations the best option and when should you simply move away and start over?
When Home Renovation Is Worth It
Sometimes a home renovation is the best step to take in your journey as a homeowner. Here are a few of the best reasons to go the renovation route.
When Your Home Doesn’t Fit Your Needs
Even if you like the neighborhood, your yard, or the overall structure and layout of your home, there may be certain portions of your dwelling that simply don’t fit your needs. When this is the case, a renovation or minor remodel might solve the issue.
For instance, if you’re a family living in a two-bedroom home and you find yourself in need of an extra bedroom, you may be able to split an existing room into two separate spaces. If someone in your home uses a wheelchair, you may need to conduct a small remodel to widen a doorway, remove an obstruction, or clear a pathway, as well.
If You Can Save Money
Remodeling your home is often much cheaper than purchasing a new house. This is already true for smaller renovations, such as replacing a door or adding a shed in the backyard.
Even for larger remodeling projects, though, at times you can still save some money. For instance, you can focus on making it a green remodel by using sustainable construction materials, as well as looking to reuse or repurpose existing building materials. You can also take on projects that may qualify as a tax write-off, such as getting an energy-efficient furnace or installing solar panels.
Your Home Isn’t Competitive Within the Marketplace
Renovations can help you keep your home at its peak value within the marketplace. As design trends shift over time, a house can quickly take on a dated feel. When that happens, it can sap its value.
Renovations are a great way to keep your home updated with the latest trends, styles, appliances, and so on. It keeps your property’s value up and makes it easier to attract buyers when the time comes to sell.
If You Can DIY
If you can do a renovation yourself, it can often end up being to your benefit. Saving the expense of paying for manual labor can quickly make a renovation project a net positive on your bank account.
However, that doesn’t mean you should try to do every project yourself. Some projects require specific tools to accomplish. Others, such as repairing a roof, sanding floors, and installations under bench dishwashers, should be left to professionals whenever possible. Always stop and consider if a project is or isn’t DIY-friendly before getting started.
If It’s a Safety Hazard
Some home renovation projects aren’t just nice — they’re a necessity. For instance, if you find that your stove has become a fire hazard, you need to replace it. A faulty outlet should be swapped out for a new one as well.
If you find that a part of your home is unsafe, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
When Home Renovation Isn’t Worth It
There are many occasions when a renovation simply isn’t worth the time and investment. Here are a few of the most common ones to keep in mind.
If It Doesn’t Increase Value
Over-improving real estate is a real thing. If you’re not careful, you can pour endless amounts of money into a home.
Before you tackle any renovations or remodels — especially pricey ones — you should always consider whether it increases the value of the home or not. For instance, swapping out paint colors on the wall or hanging a new television in the living room is hardly going to boost the value of your space.
Sometimes a renovation can even hurt your home value, such as installing carpet over a rustic hardwood floor. Always consider the value (or lack thereof) that you can get out of each renovation project.
If It Isn’t a Need
Just because a certain project improved the value of your friend or family member’s home doesn’t mean it’ll do the same for yours.
For instance, if you have a five-year-old furnace, replacing it with an energy-efficient model may not be the best move quite yet. However, it can be tempting to do so if you hear that your neighbor just boosted their home value by replacing their twenty-year-old clunker. Always try to keep perspective between wants and needs when it comes to home renovations — and do your best to avoid house envy, too.
Technically speaking, a remodel is different from a renovation. The latter focuses on improving appearances. The former typically includes more significant structural changes and, at times, even additions to the home itself.
While renovations can often be DIY and come with lower price tags, full-blown remodels can get expensive quickly. If you find that your renovation needs are starting to look more like a complete remodel, there’s a good chance that it’s better to simply look for a new home.
Extremely Old Houses
If you’re trying to remodel an older home there could be several health concerns that could accompany the project. For example, old houses are infamous for containing lead paint, mold, and asbestos.
By taking on a remodel of an older home, you can ultimately put yourself and your loved ones at risk if you aren’t careful.
It isn’t the first rule of real estate for nothing; the location that you live in can often dictate if a remodel is worth it or not.
On the one hand, if you inhabit a home in a low-income or downtrodden area, repairing it may be nice, but you probably won’t get much value out of the deal. If, on the other hand, you find a rundown home in a nice neighborhood, fixing it up may dramatically boost its value.