How to Prioritize Your Remodeling Projects

So, where do you start? You likely have a basic idea of how you want to proceed, but reaching your goal isn’t as easy as writing a numbered list of renovations down on paper and working through them, one by one. To prioritize your remodeling projects, you have to understand what the process entails.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know, start to finish. As you follow the suggestions below, you’ll manage some of the more significant problems involved in remodeling and address a few of the smaller issues you might not have considered. Follow these three steps.

1. Lay Out Your Budget

Your budget determines the number and scale of remodeling projects you can complete. That figure informs what you can and can’t do, and whether you have $10,000 or $100,000, you need to know exactly what you’re working with before you begin. Set aside some time to crunch the numbers.

It’s important to remember that pricier projects don’t necessarily result in a higher resale value. You don’t need to invest in a large-scale kitchen remodel to get the returns you’re hoping for, and approaching your renovations with a bigger-is-better mentality is often counterintuitive.

For example, of the top six renovations that return the most at resale, the top three all cost under $10,000. Garage door replacements, manufactured stone veneer siding and steel entry doors all deliver better value than conventional renovations, like those to your kitchen or bathroom.

2. Decide What’s Important

It’s better to replace and repair than add or remodel. This is one of the golden rules of renovation, and it holds true, as potential homebuyers are on the lookout for flaws in the properties they’re browsing. You might have a beautiful interior, but if the siding of your home is old and warped, closing a sale might prove difficult.

While garage door replacements, stone veneer siding and other renovations with high ROI are appealing, you have to decide what’s most important to you, in your home. Our suggestions have been objective, and you need to view your property with a subjective understanding of what would work best, and where.

In other words, decide what’s important — not what’s attractive. Your home has to be functional, not just aesthetically pleasing, since most homebuyers will conduct an inspection before purchase for transparency. If they find problems you haven’t fixed, it can compromise a deal.

3. Hire the Right Contractor

You should always consult a professional before moving forward with your project. They have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you in the right direction, around potential pitfalls and toward your goals. You might find issues you weren’t previously aware of, saving time and money down the line.

That said, finding the right contractor isn’t always easy. Even if they appear competent and capable, they might rush your project, cut corners or never finish their work. You need to ensure your contractor has a long history of helping homeowners like yourself, with positive reviews and a background you can trust.

Before choosing a home contractor, you should ask them certain questions concerning the details of their license, the insurance they carry, their references and expected timeline. After you’re confident they’re the best person for the job, you shouldn’t hesitate. They’ll prove invaluable in the planning process.

There’s No Reason to Rush

The limitations of a tight budget and timeline can place pressure on a homeowner who’s unfamiliar with remodeling. If you find yourself in this situation, or a situation like it, you have options. It’s simple to prioritize your remodeling projects, and following the three steps in this article will help you meet your goals.

Moving forward, start with an overview of your budget. Just take your time and seek outside help. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful home with improved resale value — even better than you envisioned.

About Author: Holly Welles is a home improvement writer hailing from Upstate NY. She runs her own blog, The Estate Update, where she shares tips on everything from renting to remodeling. You can find more of her work on publications including Today’s Homeowner and Apartment Guide.