Home improvement can be a costly endeavor. But it can also add a lot of value to your home. The key is to choose the right projects and plan carefully.
Homeowners renovate for all sorts of reasons: to enhance their living space, make their home more energy-efficient or sell it. But it’s important to remember that not all improvements will add value. In fact, some renovations can actually decrease your home’s value.
If you’re planning to do some home improvement this year, here are some tips to help you stay on budget.
1. Create a detailed list of the work that needs to be done. This will be helpful in negotiating with contractors and will help avoid surprises later on. It will also help you weed out unscrupulous contractors who may try to convince you to have work done that you don’t need or want. It’s also a good idea to get estimates from multiple contractors before starting any project.
2. Talk to a real estate agent about what improvements will add value to your house. This will give you a better sense of what renovations are popular in your neighborhood and what to avoid. You can also ask your neighbors what they’ve done to their homes and if those updates turned out well.
3. Consider a home equity loan or line of credit. These FHA-insured loans allow you to combine your current mortgage with the cost of home improvement projects into a new one, so you pay interest on only what you owe and you don’t have to wait to sell your house to get your money back. Plus, you can use a contractor of your choice and the loan typically has a 30 year term.
4. Make sure your home improvement contractors have insurance. This is especially important if you’re hiring someone for a large, expensive project like a kitchen remodel. Licensed contractors should carry worker’s compensation and general liability insurance to protect you in case of an injury or damage to your property.
5. Update your homeowners insurance policy. Many homeowners fail to update their insurance after completing major house improvement projects. This is a mistake that could cost you in the long run, especially if the house you’re remodeling is worth more than your original home.
Whether you’re improving your home for a future sale or just to improve your quality of life, you can turn your house into your dream home with smart planning and the right home improvement contractors. To get started, take a look at some of the most common home improvement projects and how much they cost.