While thinking about a remodel can be exciting, the prospect of renovating a kitchen, master bathroom, or a whole house, is not without some pitfalls. Owners should have a plan, of course, and there are some home remodeling budget “do’s and don’ts” that will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that the results are what you had envisioned.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, homeowners spend more than $300 billion dollars a year on residential renovations and repairs. Reasons vary from a need to increase home value to a simple desire for change. Typically, owners were satisfied with the results, although many confirmed that they had concerns before beginning a project. More than three-quarters of the respondents claimed that the finished remodel produced a “major sense of accomplishment.”

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Return on Investment

Even though a remodel may increase homeowner satisfaction, money spent on updates and additions does not typically add an equal dollar amount to the assessed value, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of renovating against moving. It can be valuable to visit comparable homes in your city, particularly in your neighborhood, to get a better idea of what today’s buyers find appealing. Even if you plan to remain in your home, you’ll want to have a home remodeling budget that is appropriate for the style of home and the community.

Establish Your Home Remodeling Budget

Whatever your planned renovation entails seek assistance early in the process to develop a comprehensive budget. If you have no idea what your planned renovation might cost, this is the time to consult with a professional. A design/build firm can be an invaluable resource: Communicate your vision and rely on experienced professionals to explain options and help you develop a realistic budget for your project.

Additional benefits of setting the budget up front include staying “on track” as plans and specifications are developed. You will have the ability to select materials that are within your budget and conform to your vision, and you can adjust for actual costs as the work progresses. The seasoned professional team at Progressive Design Build excels at keeping projects on time and on budget. Unfortunately, without a budget, it’s not unusual for costs to exceed expectations by 30 percent or more.

Have Financing in Place

Unless you plan to pay cash for your home renovations, it’s prudent to research financing options in advance. There are a variety of ways to pay for home improvements. Check with your banker about home improvement loans or a home improvement line of credit. Investigate the option of opening a 0%APR charge account if you have an impeccable credit rating; just be sure to pay it off before the high-interest rate is levied on an unpaid balance. Other options exist, including dipping into retirement accounts. If you’re uncertain, discuss your plans with a banker or financial adviser and know how you’ll pay for the renovations before the work begins.

Cosmetic or Structural Improvements?

There are many reasons to renovate a home, but not all of them will dramatically change a home’s appearance. For example, including a new roof or siding, energy-efficient windows or a more efficient HVAC system, will add value even though a casual visitor might not even notice. Assess your reasons: If you love your home, but it needs new systems to give it increased vitality, they will no doubt add value. On the other hand, if the interior is drab, a revitalized look can make a huge difference in both livability and value.

Consider Smaller Projects

If a significant redo is out of the question, consider smaller remodeling projects that can be accomplished one by one for major impact over time. For example, replacing an entry door is an extremely effective way to improve the look of a home. In the same vein, changing out light fixtures both inside and out boosts a home’s appeal as well as its value. Additional small projects to consider are installing smart technology, adding a small patio or pergola, and making fascia and soffit repairs.

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Look to the Future

Think not only about technology and sustainability but also about how your home needs might evolve in the coming years. As residents age and family needs change, there are unique home improvements that will serve you well today and accommodate future requirements as well. As an example, think about hands-free faucets, non-slip surfaces, grab bars and bathroom mirrors with integrated lighting as a benefit for both children and seniors. Or consider voice and motion-activated lighting, especially in hallways, for both safety and convenience. Universal design makes good sense, and always adds value to a home.

Rely on Professional Home Remodeling Expertise

No matter what your plans, the advice of a professional design-build firm can kick-start your planning and simplify the process of renovating a home. If you’re handy and creative, it might be tempting to launch a DIY project with not so much as a second thought. However, for the best results and the highest value, it pays to consider the benefits of “one-stop-shopping” that a professional design-build firm offers.

By assisting you with design, plans and specifications, permitting concerns, scheduling, selecting and ordering materials, actual construction and supervision, inspections, final clean up, and warranties, choosing home remodeling contractors like Progressive Design Build is not only cost effective but a smart choice for Southwest Florida homeowners. For a better idea of what’s involved, download our ebook.

No matter what your current or future plans are, why not subscribe to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date on all things home remodeling in SWFL. Then, when you’re ready to start on either a major renovation, home addition or a series of minor improvements, contact us to schedule a preliminary consultation with the seasoned professionals at Progressive Design Build in Bonita Springs.