Remodeling your home can be a serious morale booster. Whether it’s the joy of finally getting rid of those seventies-style plastic kitchen countertops, the freedom of more square footage, or the fresh start feeling of a new coat of paint, changing the environment around you can have wonderful benefits on the way you feel. At the end of the day, though, a remodel is also a significant investment — one that can boost the value of your home.
There’s an age-old adage about investments : it takes money to make money. And while that’s true in the case of home renovations, there are steps you can take to maximize your return without spending any extra cash. Let’s break it down.
Three words: do the research.
The basis for a successful remodeling process is to set your budget and then research where it might need modification. Can you pick through and earmark the aspects that might be more costly than you’d originally planned for? For example, do you need to add a buffer in case the plumbing is in worse shape than you’d previously thought? Or, will you ultimately thank yourself for updating the lighting system during this remodel if you’re going to be opening up the walls in the kitchen anyway?
If you’re not going the DIY route, research is a critical part of hiring the right general contractor, too. Take the time to ask friends, neighbors, or family members if they’ve worked with a contractor they’d recommend. And while word of mouth recommendations are important, it’s still good practice to shop around. It never hurts to call and ask for a quote to get an idea of the price range offered by contractors in your area. Knowledge of a competitor’s lower pricing can also be an important bargaining tool.
Finally, take the time to research the materials you’d like to work with. Another example: maybe you know you’re ripping up linoleum flooring and you’d like to put in hardwood. That’s a good goal to set, but an ambiguous one in terms of budget. Maple and Oak hardwood floors are significantly cheaper than, say, Mahogany; today there are hardwood alternatives that might mirror the look of true wood and cost you less. It’s all about what you know your budget will let you work with.
Do it yourself — whatever ‘it is.
Unless you have a background in construction or renovation work, can’t say it’s a smart idea to try and DIY every step of your remodel. Your time is valuable, too, and there’s no guarantee that hours spent watching ‘how to’ videos on YouTube or reading through every chapter of Home Remodels for Dummies will result in a pain-free remodel. There’s a reason 70 percent of homeowners agree that hiring a contractor to help orchestrate a home remodel is worth the cost.
But no one says you can’t work with what you’ve got. Can you take care of some of the demolition work? Can you take it upon yourself to do the repainting? Whatever the ‘it’ in DIY means to you, taking the time to do it could save you some serious spending.
Use Punch List.
You can do the research and DIY work all you want, but ensuring you make the most of your home remodel depends heavily on your ability to stay organized during the process.
Punch List is the budget-minded homeowner’s survival guide. Simply download the app and have your general contractor do the same; once you’ve uploaded your project plan, you can break down your remodel phase by phase, allowing you to keep an eye on both budget and timeline.
Got a question for your contractor, or want to be sure you’re communicating effectively? The in-app chat function ensures you’ve got a consistent way to instantly touch base with your general contractor. Contractors can also send homeowners photos of completed work, so you can be up-to-date on progress even from afar.
Perhaps most importantly, the app will generate automatic, digital invoices — but only for work you’ve approved. No more paying for unfinished or insufficient work; Punch List ensures you’re investing in your home remodel on your own terms. Best of all — it’s completely free for homeowners.
No matter what your motivation for remodeling your home, the right update can completely rework the value of your property. Making the initial investment can be daunting, as can sticking to your budget. But there are ways to invest in your project without spiking your spending — you’ll want to set yourself up for success by doing your research, and DIY-ing any portion of the project that you can.
Ultimately, though, what’s most important is that the remodel goes smoothly. Set yourself up for success — and then help yourself cross the remodeling finish line with Punch List. Ensure your project makes the best use of the research and the work you’ve done yourself by sticking to budget and timeframe. Plus, rest easy knowing you’ll only be paying for work that actually meets your expectations.
That’s bang for your remodeling buck.