As a homeowner one of the pieces of advice you’ve almost undoubtedly always heard was, ‘it’s always good to invest back in your property.’ That’s true, but at the same time you also need to invest wisely. Replacing 5-year old windows for units that are barely an upgrade, for example is just a waste of resources.
If you’re in the market for putting some money back into your house, avoiding bad renovation advice is just as important as seeking out good advice. If you have friends, neighbors, or other contractors suggest these types of projects, run away fast and take your checkbook:
Tearing Down Walls is Easy Demo
It can be a kind of cathartic experience to take a sledgehammer to an old wall and converting your home to an open floor plan is one of the best renovations you can make. It might sound like removing a wall is easy DIY prep work that can be done before the construction crews arrive. The truth is though, sometimes these walls are important features. Specifically, if a wall is load bearing you might cause your entire roof to collapse. Beyond that there are electrical and plumbing components that may be running through the studs in the wall. Sometimes it’s better to leave even demolition work to the experts just to be safe.
Homes Need to Be Updated
You might get the opinion that your home is outdated. However what is deemed ‘old and tacky’ could actually be ‘historic.’ You might think that putting money into your old home is an investment that will recoup you money in the long run when actually you might be removing key features (wood especially) that might actually have more value. This doesn’t mean that older homes can’t be renovated and worked on of course, but not all projects are equal.
You Get What You Pay For
A homeowner has a constant struggle with wanting to install quality materials but at the same time keeping their costs low. The common notion that ‘you get what you pay for’ isn’t always true however. You can find some great value on materials and most of the time it’s the quality of work that will determine your return on investment – how you do it instead of just what you do.
Know What You Want
Finally, the best way to avoid bad renovation advice is to know what you want – preferably during the design process. Having a plan is the best way to make sure the plan is accomplished.
9 times out of 10, or better yet 49 times out of 50, your project is probably going to go off without a hitch and you’ll be completely enamored with it. When you start walking that fine line however is when your renovation becomes a financial drain. Remember, it’s not only the up-front costs you’ll be out, your home will have a lower market value. Homes aren’t like cars because they appreciate in value – as long as you’re responsible about it.