You’ve owned your home for a couple of years now, and it’s been mostly great. You love being a homeowner, but now that you’re completely settled in, you’re itching to make some renovations to the house. The staircase needs to be recarpeted, or you want to install a garden tub, or maybe you want to take out all of the carpet and replace it with hardwood flooring. But before you take a gigantic list to your home improvement store, make sure you know what you’re getting into from a financial standpoint.
Home renovations have a way of ballooning out of control, so you want to make a budget now and do everything possible to stick to it. Ideally, you have some money set aside in your bank account for one or two projects that are really important to you. If you’re planning to do more than that, it might be time to reconsider. It’s all too easy to overextend both your bank account and your available free time. It’s better to start small and make sure you can finish everything first. If you want to, you can take on another round of renovations down the line.
If you have a big project that really needs to be completed as soon as possible, look into a home equity loan from your local credit union. Credit unions are generally better than banks as far as loans go. They can usually offer you a better deal than what you’d get if you went to a major national bank. Credit unions also have much deeper roots in your community, which is another bonus.
Also, it should go without saying that you and your spouse or partner need to be on the same page when it comes to remodeling the house. The process can be messy and loud, and it’s easy to get annoyed every time you have to take a longer route through the house because one room no longer has a floor. And the more people you have working on something, the quicker it gets finished. You want that help to be offered freely, not grudgingly. If you and your family members all work together, you might even have a little fun with it.
Don’t hesitate to get contractors where you need them. You may be handy, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything all by yourself. Some home renovation tasks are simply more complicated. There’s nothing wrong with bringing in a little outside expertise. You don’t just want a remodeled bathroom; you want a remodeled bathroom that sparkles. You don’t just want vinyl siding; you want seamless vinyl siding. It’s better to pay a little more now than to pay a lot more later.
So that’s it. Once you’ve set a budget and secured the funding needed (regardless of if it’s through your bank account or a home loan), you need to gather all the necessary materials and personnel. Then you’re ready to get started. It’s a big undertaking, but also a pretty darn noble one. It doesn’t matter if you plan to sell the house in a few years or live there until you die; you’re putting sweat equity into your home, and you should take pride in that.