Home Improvement Tips – How to Keep Your Projects on Track and Under Budget
Home improvement has a way of awakening the inner Bob Vila in every homeowner. But while renovations rarely go exactly as planned, a well-thought-out plan can help keep projects on track and under budget. Start by identifying the non-negotiable aspects of your project, like the look and function you want to achieve and how long it will take to complete. It’s also a good idea to create a model or design tool, like Floorplanner, to see how your vision will come together and estimate how much the project will cost. Finally, add a 10-15% buffer to your initial budget estimates to account for inevitable surprises.
Home improvements that increase resale value are usually the most popular (added bathrooms, kitchen remodels, garage conversions, etc). However, buyer preferences vary by region, so it’s important to know what’s hot in your area before you invest. If you’re unsure, ask a real estate agent about local trends.
When hiring a contractor, it’s a good idea to get referrals from friends and family, then check their credentials online or by phone. You should also ensure they’re licensed in the county where you live (and licensed contractors are required to carry liability insurance). If you’re using a home equity line of credit, make sure to review all terms and conditions carefully. Generally, you can only borrow against the amount of equity in your home that you actually own, and interest rates may be higher than unsecured debt.