Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Home Improvement’s "don’ts"

You’ve gone through all the trouble of making renovations and when it’s finally done, you don’t really feel relieved. You ended up with a ton of bills and the home value hasn’t exactly risen. Your expectations grew along with the expenses. Are we right? It may mean that you, without meaning to, made some common mistakes that are related to starting renovations.
Everybody has gotten to a point where they felt overwhelmed by the possibilities and the whole process, so don’t feel alone! Here are some things to avoid for future projects.

Think practically

Personal choices
If you have a personal and particular taste (velvet walls maybe?) that you may not find in every decoration magazine, think it through. Making changes that represent you, may not (and most likely will not) be appreciated by future buyers. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to make your house just as you like it, it just means that you need to think ahead as well.
Also think of fitting in with the rest of the surroundings. Building a super modern house in a colonial house neighborhood may not be the way to go. Again, it’s up to you, but future owners will browse also according to the neighborhood, so if your property has nothing to do with it, it may be overlooked.

Listen to the weather man
You may have dreamed of having a pool since you were a kid, but if you live in a cold or breezy area, it may not be the best idea. You can do it and fulfill your dreams! However, don’t do it if you are expecting it to add value to the property if it’s something that doesn’t really make any sense in the surroundings.

Getting a big picture
Thinking of a whole remodeling project may be overwhelming and you may think that going a little bit at a time is better to keep control. Wrong! The fact of the matter is, if you do this, the whole thing will seem endless because there’s no real schedule to follow and you’re contractors won’t feel comfortable committing to you. Having a big project, or all at once, will give you better dates and it may even lower the costs.

Pretty inside out
If you are making changes to increase the property’s value, don’t just focus on the inside. Heating floors and brand new carpeting may look great, but add some painting on the outside to make it look like a bigger deal. Improving the landscape is a good way to go as well. Remember, first impressions count!

It all comes down to money, doesn’t it?

Don’t make a make-believe budget!
There’s a bargaining feature to the whole process, it’s true. But if you constantly claim that you have no money, that’s how you’ll be treated. And it doesn’t necessarily means that you’ll get the price lowered, it just means you’ll get lower quality and that’s not good.

Don’t play architect
We know that the architect and designer fees can be tough, however, they are necessary. There’s a reason why we don’t do these things ourselves. For one, it’s not our job; but also, they know about norms and regulations that apply to each case (permits, licenses, etc). That alone can save us tons of problems ahead.

Don’t browse for discount contractors
The relationship with the contractor is very important. You need to trust them. So, if they are offering a price that is too good to believe, it may be hiding some sketchiness. 

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