Home renovation projects can be overwhelming, especially given how often things go wrong and the sheer pace at which a dream undertaking can devolve into a nightmare.
We’ve all heard stories of disastrous remodeling, and it often goes beyond just poor workmanship, or budget overruns, to even leaky ceilings, and weak load bearings that can pretty much bring down the entire ceiling itself, among other things.
If you’re about to embark on a major home renovation project, here are a few questions to ask yourself to better articulate your own end vision and come to terms with the various risks and challenges involved.
1. Why Do I Want to Renovate?
This is the logical starting point for any project, and while it might seem needless, putting your “Why’s” down on paper helps you realize the true reasons and intent behind a project.
Is it merely to “Wow” your guests? Or is it to make functional improvements to your quality of life?
Whatever it is, make sure to be clear and put things in writing, to help you better articulate your own thoughts and desires.
It is crucial to put some thought into this and have a clear answer on hand with as much detail as possible, as this is what will guide your project plan, budget, and execution going forward.
2. What Are the Challenges Involved?
Once you have a plan in place, the next step is to analyze the challenges involved, and this goes beyond the structural issues, and approaches to the renovation itself, which a contractor or designer might be better equipped to answer.
Most renovation projects essentially involve challenges for people staying in the house, and this could also mean making alternative residential arrangements for the duration of the renovation.
If you decide to stay in your house, the challenges tend to compound, as you have to decide where, when, and how you will cook?
Where will you go to the bathroom?
When will the hammering stop?
Among other things.
3. Will I Be Eligible for A 203K Loan to Help?
Renovations hit an all-time high last year, spurred by record low interest rates, rising home valuations, and trillions in new home equity disbursals.
This, however, no longer holds true, and unless you’ve come into a small fortune recently, your best bet would be a government-backed 203(K) loan, aimed particularly at constructions, repairs, and rehabilitation of existing homes.
203K loans, sponsored by the Federal Housing Administration come in many shapes and sizes, but since it is predominantly aimed at lower-income households, anything extravagant, or luxurious is unlikely to be covered.
Moreover, there are certain other requirements to qualify, such as the home in question has to be the borrower’s primary residence, and the renovations have to be done by a contractor, and not the borrowers themselves.
4. How Does the Weather & Climatic Conditions Factor In?
There are certain elements and additions in home renovations that are just not suitable for the broader climate of the region, or the immediate weather conditions during the work is being done.
For example, wooden decks might be aesthetically pleasing and elegant, but are just not suitable for the high humidity, and moisture ridden air surrounding a beachfront home.
Similarly, wind, rain, and temperature factor extensively during renovations, and could result in time or budget overruns if not planned accordingly.
There is nothing more fulfilling than undertaking a home improvement project, seeing it through to its end, and then reaping the rewards of your hard work.
With the right planning and execution, home renovations can significantly enhance quality of life, and property values, but the same can turn disastrous, and nightmarish for those who fail to do so.