A home renovation always costs MONEY. It can also disrupt your life temporarily as construction is ongoing. It is, therefore, important to prepare yourself by getting as much information as possible and taking the right steps to plan your project.
Below are relevant and frequently asked questions about home renovations that you need to know.
What is the best time of the year to do a home renovation?
Spring and summer are popular seasons for home renovations. Lower temperatures are ideal for working on exterior projects such as roofing repairs, exterior painting, fence, French drain, siding, etc. But contractors tend to be fully booked around this time so make sure to book a contractor 4 to 5 months ahead of time. For interior renovations like bathrooms and kitchens, any time during the year could work. You may even get a lower quote from contractors for a project in winter or fall.
Can I save money by buying materials and doing the project DIY?
Many people think they can save with a DIY home renovation. It may seem so at first because you eliminate labor costs. But unless you are skilled and experienced, you are bound to make mistakes.
You might need to call in a professional later on to finish what you started. He may need to re-do the work and use more materials to fix the problem. When you DIY a complex project, you may still need to hire a licensed tradesman like a plumber or electrician. In the end, the savings you make may not be much considering the time and effort you spent on your DIY project.
What home renovations increase home value?
Realtors would often say that kitchen and bathroom renovations add the most value when you are renovating prior to a home sale. Improvements that boost energy efficiency are also good investments. If you have an older HVAC system, upgrading it will increase property value and even help you save on energy bills.
Improvements that also enhance curb appeal such as siding replacement or adding a porch can also increase home value. But most importantly, improvements to correct issues such as roofing, attic insulation, caulking, etc. also protect the value of your property.
Do I move out during a home renovation?
If you doing an extensive renovation, it may be better to move out during construction. Expect the house to be dusty, noisy, with people going in and out all day. You can avoid being inconvenienced by staying somewhere for the meantime. If you are remodeling only one specific area such as the kitchen or bathroom and you have an alternative space to use, it is possible to stay home. The best thing to do is to consult your contractor during the planning phase.
What warranties are offered by contractors for the project?
Reputable contractors offer a warranty for their work (typically 2 to 5 years) while materials supplied would have varying warranties from manufacturers.
What parts of the home should be checked regularly for repairs?
Spring is when most homeowners check the home to see what needs to be fixed. Check for accumulated water due to melted snow, check that the foundation is not sinking, and if your French drain is working well. Also, check the condition of the roof by asking for a roofer to do a visual inspection.
Questions about bathroom renovations
How much is the average price of a bathroom renovation?
There are a lot of factors to take into account when estimating the cost of a bathroom renovation. The size and scope of the project and the materials you want to use will dictate the cost. An average bathroom renovation costs from $10,000 to $15,000. Many homeowners spend less when updating only essentials but for significant changes such as flooring, new vanity, new bath tub or walk-in shower, the costs can go as high as $20,000.
What is the best flooring material for bathrooms?
The floor should have a non-skid surface for safety and convenience. Designers recommend ceramic tiles as they are durable and easy to install.
What is the best way to save on bathroom renovations on a tight budget?
If you have a small budget, you can consider refinishing existing fixtures than replacing all. Prioritize upgrades – flooring, tiles, hardware, fixtures – based on your needs.
What is the average down-payment for a bathroom renovation?
A reputable contractor will not ask for a huge down-payment. It is common to give a 10% down-payment before the start of the project. The contract will indicate the schedule of your subsequent payments until completion.
What will a contractor do first for a bathroom renovation?
When you contact a contractor, he will do an on-site inspection to check the condition of the bathroom, take measurements, and ask what your design preferences are. From there, he will calculate the project’s cost and submit his proposal.
Is a shower or tub better for a bathroom renovation?
Families with children or seniors want a tub for safety reasons. Singles and young couples prefer a modern walk-in shower.
How long does a bathroom remodel typically take?
We can only say, it depends. If you are reconfiguring and changing the layout, it will take longer. If your type of project needs a permit, it will also require time. You will also need to choose the materials and wait for deliveries. The construction itself may take only 2-3 weeks but the timeline, including planning with a contractor, will take about 2 months, at least.
Questions about kitchen renovations
Kitchen renovations are among the most expensive home improvement projects but they also offer high return on investment. Check the questions and answers below to help you plan your project.
What is the average cost of a kitchen renovation?
Many factors are considered when calculating the cost of a kitchen renovation. On average, homeowners spend from $95 to $325 per square foot. The average price of a mid-range project for a small to medium-sized kitchen is from $20,000 to $40,000. It all depends on the features you want, materials you choose, and whether you replace all or just some of your appliances.
How can I save on kitchen cabinets?
Generally, kitchen cabinets account for 30% of the budget. Yes, they can be very expensive. To save money, you can pass on custom cabinets and go with stock products. You can also choose to refacing your existing cabinets (if possible) and just upgrade the hardware.
What labor is usually required for a kitchen renovation?
You will need the following trades or professionals for a kitchen renovation- general contractor, plumber, electrician, designer, carpenter, painter, and tiler. You may also pay for installation costs for cabinets and countertop.
You can choose to hire a kitchen renovation contractor that offers a turn-key project and he will supply all the labor needed from start to finish.
How much is needed to renovate a 12 x 12 kitchen completely?
A kitchen of this size, if completely renovated, would cost from $25,000 to $50,000 with all the essential upgrades.
What are some popular kitchen cabinets and how much do they cost?
There are various options for kitchen cabinets. Check the table below for materials and costs.
Type of cabinet
Average Price (Materials and Installation)
What is cabinet resurfacing and is it advisable?
Also called refacing, this option is ideal if you don’t want to spend a ton on cabinets but your existing ones have damaged doors, scratches, are faded and discolored. The cabinets will not be new but they will look much better. Although the return on investment is low compared to new cabinets, it is easier to do especially if you have a small budget.
Questions about basement finishing or renovations
Finishing a basement is a popular project among homeowners because it will increase livable space and increase home value. You can use the information below to guide you when planning a basement renovation.
Is it worth finishing or renovating a basement before selling a house?
Finishing a basement if you need more space or want to increase home value is a smart move. You can recover much of the cost when you decide to sell in the future. It has a projected return on investment of 70% to 75% at resale.
If you are finishing a basement just before selling the property, talk to your real estate broker and get advice. Many buyers prefer homes with finished basements but you might want to know how much more you can sell the home for if you finish the basement. Depending on your area, you may still be able to recoup the cost and sell the home faster with a finished basement.
As a guide, appraisers usually place value of a finished basement space between 50% to 60% of the livable space above ground. For this reason, experts advise spending no more than 10% of the property value when renovating the basement.
You should also work with a contractor in planning the design and budget of your basement renovation to get the most out of your investment.
What is the typical cost of a basement renovation?
The price will depend on the design and function of the basement. It depends on the scale of the project and what materials will be used. The national average for basement renovations is from $35 to $55 per square foot, meaning, that if you renovate a basement with 1000 square feet, you could spend about $35,000 or more to renovate it.
How can we prevent basement humidity?
The look and smell of a basement will indicate if humidity is present in the basement. This should not be neglected as it can cause much damage to your property.
Installing a French drain will around your foundation will help to keep water away from your home. If you already have one, make sure to check its condition regularly. You can also apply waterproofing membrane or coating on basement walls. Don’t DIY waterproofing and contact professionals to make sure the work is done well. Do not finish a basement until humidity problems are fixed.
What is the most basic basement renovation package offered by contractors?
Basement contractors offer basic packages that include drywall, flooring, painting, electrical, and insulation. The latter can’t be skipped because of the building code restrictions. When you add rooms, a kitchen, a toilet, or a separate entrance, it gets more expensive.