Want to Make Improvements to Your Older Home? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions First
Owning a home means you have the freedom to make all the decisions when it comes to changes and improvements. If you want to throw a coat of bright red paint on the walls, you can do so. If you want to do a full-on remodel of your master bathroom, you can do that too.
Owning a home also means you have the responsibility of paying for the changes you make. And when your home is older, those costs can add up. However, by using a little strategy, you can fix up your home the way you want to while saving yourself both money and stress. Here are four questions to ask yourself when making decisions to improve an older home.
Should I Do This Project Myself?
One great thing about owning your home is that you have the opportunity to make it your own, and a DIY project is a quintessential way to do that. Not only can doing certain projects yourself save you a lot of money, but it can also be a fun learning experience — and the end result can be thoroughly rewarding. However, not all projects are created equally. To determine whether it’s worth doing DIY, you need to see what all is involved. Do you know how to do the work? If not, how long will it take to research and learn the skills needed? How much will the materials cost?
Who Should I Hire?
If you realize a project is going to take too much time to figure out, or if the cost of materials is especially high, you should probably hire a professional to come in and do the job right. It’s essential that you find a qualified contractor, however, or you can end up with a much bigger problem on your hands than you started with. It’s a good idea to ask around for recommendations, and you may need to interview a few different candidates. Also, be sure to check the licensing of any contractor you’re interested in.
Which Projects Make Sense?
When you’re trying to make the best home improvement decisions, it’s important to consider a few factors. First, your home might need improvements to function properly. For instance, if the previous owners did shoddy work on the bathroom and the plumbing doesn’t conform to code, it’s worth budgeting to fix it. Second, the project might be worth it if it will save you money in the long run, such as putting in new windows and/or doors to cut energy costs. Third, consider doing the project if it will add to the home’s value, especially if you plan on selling the home in the future (e.g., updating the kitchen, replacing the roof).
Will It Cost More?
The base price of any remodel will typically cost the same — whether your home was built in the 1930s or in the 2000s. However, there are a number of issues that contractors can run into once they start a demolition. For instance, they could uncover a mold problem, electrical or plumbing inadequacies, structural concerns, and countless other issues. Unfortunately, these unexpected problems can quickly add up. And if you’re remodeling multiple rooms in your home, you may need to consider tearing it down and rebuilding (this is especially the case if you discover severe damage to the foundation or walls).
Asking yourself good questions and coming up with a plan can help you make the right home improvement decisions. Remember to evaluate each project to determine if you should do it yourself. If you need to hire a professional, make sure you find one you can trust. Finally, decide if each project is worth doing, and be aware that there are often unforeseen problems with older homes. If you consider these topics and think about what you really want in a home, you’ll be on the right path to making the best decisions.
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