Have you been living in your home for long? Has your family expanded? Do you feel the need to alter your living space to accommodate your new needs? Are you bored with your existing home but don’t necessarily want to move? Do you feel the need to make a change, but don’t know how?

If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you might want to consider home remodeling. No matter what your reasons are for wanting to renovate your house, the following checklist will help you decide how and when doing it.

Signs to look for

Time-related decay

Like everything else in life, your home will begin to show signs of aging as the years go by. Home remodeling can be a necessity if your home exhibits clear signs of deterioration. Structural issues might occur with time such as a leaking roof, detached bathroom tiles, cracked countertops, chips in the paint or rotting floorboards on the porch.

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Such problems shouldn’t be neglected, as they can lead to bigger, more expensive problems down the road and will probably also impact your comfort and satisfaction and possibly your ability to resell it if you wanted to. Big cracks and foundation issues make renovation mandatory, when left untreated, the damage they cause can be irreparable.

Outdated design

One of the biggest reasons to do a home renovation is to catch up with the present. Whether it’s to eliminate the shame of those lavender 1980’s countertops, the decades old brass fixtures in the bathroom, or a fresh layer of paint that isn’t as boring, it’s time to make some remodeling changes. Renovating your home for a more modern, upgraded aesthetic that reflects your current taste will not only make you feel more comfortable with your surrounding environment, but it will also help you retain, and may even increase, your residence’s value.

Family and lifestyle change

Over time, your family and your lifestyle can be susceptible to change; maybe your family has grown since you first moved into your home, or maybe your kids have become old enough to move out, such changes can make the space around you feel too crowded or too spacious.

Just because you’ve added some new family members or cleared out some rooms, doesn’t mean you have to move to a different home! Whether you have insufficient or too much space, you can hire an interior designer or an architect to help you either plan for a layout remodel like opening up walls to create larger living spaces, or make a home addition if you have sufficient space on your property to do so.

The space isn’t functioning properly

If your space isn’t fulfilling your requirements or complementing your everyday needs, maybe it’s time to contact a construction company that can help align your home with your lifestyle. Whether you get frustrated with the lack of counter space in your kitchen whenever you cook a meal, or you feel like you are overwhelmed with clutter and don’t have sufficient storage room, renovated space can improve the functionality of your everyday life.

You can increase your kitchen space by opening up the space between your dining room and kitchen. This will provide a more connected and entertaining experience with the members of the household and whomever is cooking. If you are tired of your basement being a cluttered storage unit, you can convert it into a media room, a man-cave, or a reading nook.

Alternatively, you can construct a closet and a window and turn it into a guest room or an extra bedroom. This can greatly increase the value of your home by adding more functional square footage and maximize the utilization of your space.

Termite infestation

The infestation of insects and pests can indicate that the materials inside your home are of low  quality or wearing out. This is a big red flag that alerts you to your home’s desperate need for renovation.

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Enough funds

Home remodeling requires a financial investment. Budget is a key element to any home renovation, especially if you are planning for a drastic change such as an entire kitchen renovation, or floor remodeling. Turning your home into the most convenient, functional living space it could be, will be worth the remodeling costs if you have a strong emotional attachment to your home location.

You spend too much money on utilities

‘Green remodeling’ is becoming a common approach nowadays as a result of the continuously increasing cost of living. If you are currently paying too much for your utilities, it may be a sign to modify your home for more energy efficient options. Many old appliances in your home such as your old fridge, shower heads and clothes dryer might be using too much electricity and water. If you think that you are consuming more utilities than necessary, it is advised to replace any outdated devices with energy and water efficient ones. This can save you hundreds of dollars a month.

Overall, some of the previously mentioned signs can be dismissed for being seen as too normal to evoke serious concern or action; however, once your home shows these kinds of signs, it means that it’s time for home remodeling already. If you feel like you are ready to embark on your renovation journey, you should keep the following tips in mind.

Planning tips

Renovation by reorganization

Have you ever come home to your house and felt that something is not right? Do you feel like you have too much unused space? Or, do you sometimes feel like everything is packed in one place and there’s not enough room for you be comfortable? Before deciding to take major renovation action, note that when you feel that way, it might indicate that your house merely needs reviving. In that case, you can actually remodel your home by simply reorganizing your belongings and repositioning your furniture around your home.

Consider minor remodeling

If your home is convenient enough for you, but you feel that it is slightly short of being perfect, you might need to make some changes. These alterations don’t necessarily have to be time consuming or expensive and you can even do them yourself if you are skilled enough and have access to the right equipment.

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An example of minor remodeling can be replacing space-consuming shelves with pull out drawers where you can store your canned goods. This can help you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility instead of opening up the kitchen walls to gain square footage. You can also try painting your walls or your cabinets a different color to change the feel of the house and eliminate the sense of staleness and boredom.

Have a detailed plan

Proper planning is the key to effective renovation. Before putting your renovation plans in motion, you need to have a clear vision of what your end goal is. Whether you are renovating to raise the market value of your home for reselling, or to stay put for years to come, can greatly affect the efficiency of your plans. Plan for the big picture as well as the smaller parts. Know which renovations are a good return on investment and which will be considered unnecessary or overdone.

Your plan should include design inspirations, an outline of the work that needs to be completed, sketches or blueprints of your expected finish project and a detailed list of steps divided into DIY steps as well as other steps which will require a professional. Depending on your remodeling plans, you might need to have permits for legal and safety precautions. If your project requires a building permit, visit your local government website to acquire information on building codes and permits. Should your project require digging, check for underground utilities before beginning any excavation. Call your local Referral Service for a national directory of utility companies.

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Extensive research

Gaining insight from homeowners who have been in your shoes can be invaluable to your own planning process. Take the time to discuss renovation work with homeowners who have done home remodeling, and ask them about the challenges they have faced during the process.

This research will also come to good use when it comes to setting your budget and hiring help. If you are looking for furniture, specific paint color, or decorations, remember that with the research you are likely to find most of the supplies at an inexpensive price. Take advantage of online shopping, thrift stores and second hand furniture shops and enjoy the endless offers that will save a lot of cash.

Realistic budget

Because you don’t want to break the bank to the account of your home remodeling plans, you need a detailed cost calculation that covers all expenses including materials, equipment and labor cost. You can even request cost estimations from professionals. Depending on how big your renovation plans are, you might need to factor in accommodation expenses in your budget if you will not be able to stay at home during the process. Set aside a backup budget for unexpected costs and remember to add in a contingency fund for future costs. Long-term maintenance, energy-consumption and repair expenses which can add up quickly. Also, make sure you keep them in consideration when you are comparing prices for your budget calculations.

Hire help

If you are planning on hiring professionals, thoroughly research qualified contractors, pick two or three to interview and ask for quotations and project estimates. From there, you can narrow down, which remodeling construction company seems like it best suits your needs and bring it on board.

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There are many factors to contemplate when choosing your contractors other than cost estimates. Take the contractor’s years of experience into consideration; a contractor who’s been doing business for a long time is more likely to execute your remodeling plans safely and efficiently. Make sure your chosen construction company has gone through all the steps needed to obtain any required certifications specific to their line of work. Request to call references to ensure that your contractor isn’t just good on paper.

If you are planning on the DIY approach, whether alone or with the help of nonprofessional acquaintances, go through each task and make sure everyone involved has a solid understanding of how it should be done and how long it should take. When working with multiple people, make sure to delegate specific tasks to each one; nothing slows down a renovation project more than confusion over who should be doing what.

Set a timeline

After setting your budget and picking your team, comes the time to put together your timeline. Set a sensible scope of work and clarify exactly what work can happen and when by sitting down with professionals or homeowners who have done renovations before. Make sure you determine the length of time each step of the project will take and decide which steps of the remodeling needs to be completed first.

Set the desired completion date on your timeline and work backwards from it, considering the time needed for specially ordered items and inspections. You may want to start earlier than you initially intended to have additional time for each step in case of unexpected or unplanned delays. Additionally, make sure that your timeline includes pre and post-remodel cleaning and organizing time, and accounts for any holidays your helpers or contractors may take off. Whether you want to increase the value and comfort of your property or are bored, renovations can improve the functionality of your home, renew your interest and add more market value to your residence.

There are numerous remodeling companies that can help you execute your vision and make you feel more at home. You can choose to roll up your sleeves and do some remodeling work yourself if the job isn’t too complicated. Whatever you decide to do, remember that remodeling doesn’t have to be an overwhelming headache, it can be a very rewarding fun process. However, there is always the possibility of selling to an investor without the need for remodeling. The previously mentioned tips and warning signs can help you foresee unexpected obstacles, avoid stretching your budget, and keep your thrill for renovation alive!