When buying a house, thinking about your long-term goals can go a long way. If you plan on having a family or business, your perfect home needs enough rooms for future children or enough storage space for all the products you have for sale. However, not everyone can afford a new home, especially in this pandemic-stricken economy, so they opt for the next best thing: remodeling their current place.

With some suitable materials and a reliable contractor, remodeling can be much less costly than buying new, after all, it doesn’t take much to split a big room into two, or add a small extension. Even though it may not cost as much as a new house, a remodeling project can still be quite an expense. Before jumping headfirst into your remodel, consider the following things:

  • Your Budget

It may seem like a simple thing to point out, but your budget should come first and foremost. The average cost for a total makeover of a 2,500-ft2 house can range between USD$15,000 and USD$200,000, according to HomeAdvisor. On the higher end of the scale, the remodel price is almost the same as a new home; but most remodeling projects can be achieved with a budget somewhere in the middle. These figures, however, don’t take into account COVID’s effect on the economy. Sam Dogen, the founder of Financial Samurai, estimates that remodeling amidst the pandemic will cost 50% more and take 50% longer. If you’re looking to complete a home makeover, try doing it in stages.

Home remodeling entails following the construction law. So, it’s crucial to work with a contractor that carries out insurance and worker’s compensation to avoid being legally responsible if a worker gets injured. Choose a contractor who fully complies with licenses, permits, and other legal obligations. Legitimate contractors who comply with construction law usually have higher fees than those who don’t. But, it’s worth the added expense.

  • Replacement Parts

Whatever room you are remodeling, it’s likely that the project will cause some minor damage to things such as pipes and wires. Even if it’s not part of the project, a contractor will often point out existing issues with the home that may need rectification, especially if your home is over 50 years old. Lead pipes and worn-out wiring will require modern replacements, to avoid costlier problems to deal with in the future. Your budget should account for these replacements, including things like swapping out corroded old pipes for a brand new blue water pipe network. The good thing about these fittings is that they’re adaptable to metal or PVC-based plumbing. 

  • Local Weather Patterns

Erratic weather and rapidly-changing seasons factor into the general design of your home. What good will a new room be if it lacks adequate ventilation and natural lighting when the sun is high? What good will an extension be if the roof above it can’t hold up the weight of snow come winter? You don’t want to cut corners where the weather is involved. While you can’t control the weather not to get too dry or wet, you can use it to your advantage. Some projects feature solar panels and rainwater harvesting to help reduce the house’s overall carbon footprint and save money in the long run. It may take years to recoup the cost, but the long term benefits may be worth it.

  • Lifestyle Factors

The COVID pandemic has forced people to rethink their lifestyles, as they can’t dine or go out with friends as much as they did before. Furthermore, many employees are now working from home. Planning for a remodel has to take these changes into account, as they’ll likely be reflected in peoples’ lifestyles for many years to come. If you work from home, you may need a dedicated office away from things that could distract you, like the TV in the living room. In that regard, the living room itself might need an upgrade to create a relaxing environment and reduce the need to go out.

  • Future Sale Value

Many potential sellers will complete a remodel before selling the house. It’s an effective way of getting more bang for your buck, as homebuyers typically want to move into their new home right away, without completing further renovations. The return on investment varies according to the scale of the remodeling project, but you can generally expect a quick sale and a recoup of around 56% of the project cost. However, the local real estate market is also a factor, in a suburb where the top sale price is USD$150,000, spending over half of that in remodeling is a surefire way to lose money. Ask an agent about house prices in your neighborhood before proceeding with your remodel.

Final Thoughts

Remodeling can be a complex and time-consuming endeavor; therefore, it pays to know what you’re getting yourself into before you begin.

Whether you need a bigger space, or are planning to sell up and move in the near future, thinking about your long-term goals can benefit your savings and, more importantly, your sanity, while completing your home remodel project.

Author: Diane Davis has years of experience in plumbing supplies sales. She also has a background in engineering, sharing her expertise through blogging. Despite her busy schedule, Diane finds time to engage in sports activities such as badminton. She also loves baking and collecting antiques.