Cynthia, Queen Bee
5 Things To Consider As You Plan Your Home Renovation
Embarking on a home renovation can be a daunting and confusing process. There are so many questions you need to ask before you begin! Most people don’t know where to start.
We have now worked with over 30 families that have carried out major home renovations. And since our mission is to help you get the home of your dreams without the hassle, here are 5 things to think about while getting ready to take the plunge:
1. Are you renovating for you? Or is it for resale or rental? Whether you are in your “forever home” or would like something bigger (or smaller) in the next few years, you need to think now about what the best return on investment will be based on when you may be selling or renting. If you plan on staying put, then do it up as you wish. But for resale, your mindset needs to be “what will make others want to live here?”
2. Will your needs change in the next 5 years?
If this is your long-term home, this is a critical question. Do you expect your family to grow? Will your kids be going off to college in a few years? Will they need to come back home? Will you need to care for an aging parent? These things can have a huge impact on whether you will want to convert that 3rd bedroom into an office, or if you should replace that tub with a curb less shower.
So you’re committed to renovating. Now think about this:
3. Clearly define your objectives and priorities.
We all have big dreams. But most of the time, the wish list exceeds what you can afford or can physically do in a property. There will always be trade-offs, so choose wisely. Case in point: if you are renovating a kitchen and want to make it “open” to a living or dining area, you will likely sacrifice cabinet space as a result.
4. What restrictions does your community or condo association impose?
If you live in a condo, pour through your condo docs. They will tell you what is allowed and what is prohibited. Moving plumbing is rarely (if ever) an option – because you share it with the rest of the community. Before you fall in love with that tile for your balcony – find out if the condo allows tiling to begin with. And if you are in a house, there are communities that will even limit your exterior paint color choices and landscaping selections (ask anyone who lives in Coral Gables).
5. How much can you realistically spend?
Define your budget up front. Know that, particularly these days, construction prices are in flux. Have a 10 to 15% contingency for unexpected issues – you never know what lies are behind a wall or under a floorboard until you get in there. Will you need alternate housing (and can you afford it!) while the work is being completed? Living in a home that is being renovated is not for the faint hearted. Renovations are messy and they always take longer than planned. In addition to your design and construction costs, you may also need to plan for the financial burden of finding alternate accommodations. Stuff happens, be prepared.
Some say that renovating a home is like having a baby. There are so many parallels in terms of the dreaming… and in terms of the discomfort, and even the pain at times. But once you’re settled in your new home, when done right and with the right partners, you’ll be so in love that it will have all been worth it.