Thursday, December 5, 2013 / by William Culp
A Renovation Reality Check
With all of the DIY and big-dream renovation reality shows currently airing on TV, it's easy to set your hopes high when it comes to your own renovation project. They make it look so easy on TV, it's all you can do to keep from imagining that update that's both wallet friendly and quick. In reality—the actual reality—home renovations take a lot of work, from project planning to building. And although it's good to be budget-friendly, sometimes it's more important to splurge on lasting material than go with a cheaper version.
Here are a few tips that can help you get your head in the right place before you plan out that brand new master bedroom.
How important is this? If the home may not be where you spend all of your time—say, it's an investment property or you plan to sell in the next five years—then don't go overboard on expensive renovations. This is especially true if your renovation is tailored to your specific taste. While a home theater is important to you, your buyer in five years may not place the same value on this type of space.
Don't overspend on appliances. While top-of-the-line appliances might feel nice, they're a quick way to blow your budget, and those brand names don't always work better than their less expensive counterparts. Be sure to avoid trendy pieces, and over-the-top add-ons like fancy counters and cabinetry. Choose something that is simple and timeless so you still enjoy it 10 years down the line.
Research, research, research. Did a neighbor or coworker recently renovate their home? Ask for their advice, take note of anything they're remorseful of, and learn from their mistakes before you make your own. Also, do your due diligence when it comes to finding your contractor. Make sure to research, get multiple price quotes, and ask for—and check up on—referrals.
Give yourself enough time. Just because projects on TV get done in one episode doesn't mean your project will be fast and smooth. Set aside a realistic time frame, with extra time sandwiched on either end for delays, and try not to push up against tight deadlines—say, relatives arriving in three weeks or a big holiday party you're hosting.
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