With the economy on the upswing, many homeowners are moving forward with home renovations that may not have been affordable before.
According to REALTOR® Magazine, a whopping 73 percent of U.S. homeowners plan to renovate their home in 2019, a 26% increase from this time last year. Meanwhile, the average amount spent is up 32% to an average of $9,000 per project. This includes traditionally discretionary home improvements such as remodeling the kitchen, bath and outdoor space.
And homeowners are thrilled with the results. A 2017 survey by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry found the average homeowner who conducted renovations ranked his satisfaction level at 9.6 on a scale of 10. Seventy-five percent reported a greater desire to be in their homes while 65 percent pointed to increased enjoyment in their homes. Their most common reasons for remodeling? To upgrade worn-out surfaces (35 percent), to add features and improve livability (16 percent), or simply because it was time for a change (13 percent).
If you’re considering a remodeling project, you’ll want to take time to plan out the details without making assumptions about how everything will proceed. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid, so your project turns out as you originally envisioned.
- Create (and stick to) a detailed budget. Remaining clear on what you can spend on materials and labor will help you set priorities as you choose a contractor and shop for supplies.
- Don’t forget workflow and ergonomics. The most beautiful kitchen in the world can still be annoying to work in if it’s challenging to navigate. Will you have enough counter and storage space? Are your cabinets within arm's reach? Are appliances too far apart?
- Coordinate aesthetic elements. During the planning stages, think through how all colors, surfaces, textures, and materials will work together. Be sure to factor in adjacent living spaces. Will your new red contemporary kitchen clash horribly with your adjacent green living room?
- Don’t assume you have to be conventional. Home supply outlets carry a wide variety of materials, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate custom-made elements, vintage pieces or family heirlooms if you choose. If you have a great idea that would make your home unique, try to work it in.
- Don’t leave space underutilized. Often, additional storage can be worked into walls and cabinetry. Combine aesthetic and utility in your remodel to create the most value for yourself.
- Don't overestimate your expertise. Even skilled do-it-yourselfers can often benefit from the advice and expertise of a professional. At a minimum, take advantage of the knowledge of specialists at home supply stores who can advise you (for free) on elements to consider when planning out new spaces such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Don't underestimate the time and impact involved. It's essential to be realistic about when your project will be finished and what elements of your everyday life will be affected in the meantime. If you're going through a bathroom remodel, for instance, you'll need to consider where family members will shower and use facilities in the meantime.
Home renovations can be well worth the time, money and effort as long as you plan carefully for the contingencies.