Owning a home is exciting, but it also means you’re responsible for keeping up with improvements and changes to suit your family’s needs. You might decide to repaint, upgrade your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system or build a new deck or addition.
Not many people can afford to tackle every home project at once. By writing your tasks down, you’ll be able to start prioritizing them. How do you decide what to do first? Which one is most important? Here are seven ways to prioritize your family’s home renovation dreams.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable general contractors, we help homeowners prioritize and plan their home remodeling projects – below are seven ways you can effectively prioritize your home renovation dreams.
1. Promoting Safety
Your family’s safety should be your top priority, so the first improvements you take on in your dream renovation should be things that could soon pose a safety risk. You don’t want to risk putting something off that harms you, a family member, or a guest.
You should address any structural, electrical, or water damage immediately. Anchoring furniture, trimming overhanging branches to prevent fire, installing a security system, and adding support to uneven floors or steps are also examples of projects that need to be at the top of your priority list.
Several options exist if you can’t afford to handle an unsafe area soon. If it’s an avoidable area that doesn’t compromise its overall structure, you can probably postpone it until you have the funds. If it can’t wait, you can apply for a home improvement or home equity loan.
When you’re unfamiliar with a potentially unsafe problem, consider getting a professional’s opinion.
2. Getting a Professional’s Help
Some tasks you can do yourself, while others will need a professional touch. Once you’ve identified the most critical projects, you should figure out which ones you want to have a professional handle. Unless you are trained, you need to leave any significant electrical, plumbing, or structural projects to a licensed contractor.
It takes time to research the professionals you want to hire for your home and you want to get on the schedule sooner than later. Plenty of work is a sign of a reputable professional, but it also means you might have to wait some time before the task gets done.
3. Preventing Damage
While you want to correct the damage that’s already happened, you also want to prioritize preventing future injury to your dream renovation. It costs less to fix a potential problem sooner than later, so be sure to correct any cracks or leaks that could end with significant damage.
Some things — like a roof leak — are easily patchable. On the other hand, a broken step might need replacing. Be sure to allot the appropriate amount of time and materials to each preventative project. Just because a problem isn’t major now doesn’t mean it won’t quickly change, so handling them with haste is essential.
4. Increasing Value
You also want to prioritize projects that increase your home’s value. This is especially important if you see yourself selling your home one day.
Remodeling dated rooms is a great way to raise your home’s value, but more straightforward improvements can do a lot. Updating the hardware throughout your home or installing smart devices can get you more money when it’s time to sell.
Choosing items that increase home value can often serve as nice upgrades for you and your family, even if you don’t think selling is in your future. By updating dated designs to modern ones, you’re also helping prevent damage before it happens. Simple changes can significantly affect your home’s style and value.
While some things need to be taken care of immediately, others can wait based on what you have to spend. It could be worth getting a loan for an unsafe or significant task, but others are worth saving your money. For a cosmetic or technological upgrade, consider how much you’re currently able to spend on the project and whether you’re willing to pay for it right now.
Consider making a savings plan to collect the funds you need over time without compromising any bills or necessary expenses. You might choose to save for a pool, new cabinets, or an upgraded entertainment system. An excellent tip for homeowners is to save money for unexpected expenses, so looking at your finances before allocating any money to a new project is essential.
6. Planning Out Materials
Many improvement prices greatly depend on the type of materials you want to use for them. Linoleum floors cost less than hardwood and double-paned windows cost less than triple-paned ones. Knowing the cost of your dream project’s materials will help you determine how you want to prioritize them. Don’t sacrifice on price when you don’t have to, but you might have to compromise if you want something done immediately.
You’ll want to choose products that will last a long time in their intended purpose. You don’t want to put a material vulnerable to water in the bathroom or one prone to heat damage near your oven. Decide what you want for each project and browse different suppliers to compare costs.
7. Addressing Your Life Stage
The projects you prioritize also depend on what’s going on in your life at the time. If you or your partner have medical needs, you’ll want to prioritize renovating to accommodate those needs. Expecting a baby? You’re on a time limit to transform that spare room into the perfect nursery. If you’re getting a new dog or cat, now is the time to swap your carpet for a pet-proof option.
Everyone has different needs throughout the stages of their lives. Don’t feel guilty prioritizing your family’s needs at the moment.
Prioritize Your Renovation Dreams
Looking at your list of home improvements can be overwhelming, but prioritizing them for your family’s safety and desires can help you decide which ones to handle and in what order. Each project gets you one step closer to achieving your renovation dreams.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.
Submit your project to be connected with several fully vetted, trustworthy contractors who are experienced with all sorts of home remodeling projects. For more info, visit www.GreatBuildz.com or call 818.317.3567 today.
Rose Morrison is a home & construction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s the managing editor of Renovated, a web magazine for the real estate industry. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors