Some factors to consider in renovation costs

There are two questions that must be asked about any renovating project. But we like to just talk about the first one which is what will the result of the renovating work look like and how great it will be. But the question of what it will cost is even more critical to making your dream home a reality and it is one that needs to be asked in considerable detail, so you don’t find yourself halfway through the renovating with everything tore up and the money running out.

If you are looking at your current home and what you want to see in it just isn’t there, the costs of renovating your current structure will be less than selling your home and buying one that is closer to your dream home. This is especially true in the current housing market where just getting those two sales and getting the financing to make that happen can take months or longer. Plus, when you buy a new home, you buy new problems. So instead of dreaming of another home, why not look at the home you have which you know well and plan renovations to make it that dream come true.

The costs of renovating will take in a lot of factors. Before you even start to investigate contractor costs or even costs of renovating materials, you need a detailed plan that spells out exactly what you want done at a milestone level and the specifics of how that might come about at a detail level. Without a firm definition of your vision for your remodelled home, you won’t be able to do a cost evaluation to determine if what you want is even feasible within the constraints of the funds you have available for the project.

Even before you begin to put figures to the various aspects of the project, your work to define the project in broad goals and specific steps will reveal to you conflicts in the project and possibly areas of your renovating dream that should be postponed in the interest of being able to execute a realistic renovating project. From there, it is a matter of getting a good idea for what each step of the project will cost so you can as precisely as possible narrow down the renovating budget in a way that will keep you from seeing cost overruns as the project takes place.

Part of that evaluation is deciding who will do the work. If you are skilled in certain aspects of renovating, you can save money by putting yourself in as contractor for those steps. But you may need to schedule time with plumbers, electricians, bricklayers and other skilled workman to perform the larger steps of the plan. These labour costs combined with the cost of materials, which you can research using online hardware outlets will give you what you need to estimate the costs of your renovating project. With that realistic estimate in mind, you have what you need to move forward confidently knowing you have both the skills, the materials availability and the money to get the job done right.

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Bathroom renovations things to consider

There is a well-known phrase that say, “He bit off more than he can chew”. Well when it comes to renovating projects, that is easy for all of us to do. If you have done some home maintenance projects like repainted a room or put up wallpaper, it is easy to think that you are the DIY home renovation master and then set about to take on a home renovating project that may be over your head.

This is not an indictment of you specifically but an observation that we all do that. We are an ambitious and confident people but sometimes our confidence can get the best of us. So, it might be wise to do a realistic estimate of what your home renovating skills are before you take on a task such as renovating your bathroom. Before you go into the bathroom to replace the sink, tear up and relay the tile and install a modern new toilet, be sure you know you can actually do that so you are not “making it up as you go along” and then suddenly discover you bit off more than you can chew.

Doing inventories is always a big part of any renovating project. You do an inventory of what you want to see changed. You do an inventory of the materials you will need and then a costs inventory of what those materials will cost so you know you can afford the bathroom renovation you have in mind. But there is one more inventory that is just as important as any of those we have mentioned. That is a skills inventory.

Take the checklists and project plans you have already done and go down each segment of the project and identify the specialized knowledge that will have to be on site to get that part of the renovation of your bathroom done right. To put in a new sink or toilet, some plumbing skills may be needed. Tiling skills to lay a new floor and construction skills if you are going to knock out a wall to make the bathroom bigger. It is likely you may need electrician skills if you are putting in new lighting to make the room have more light or just to make the bathroom emit that special atmosphere you are looking for.

Now it is time to be brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself, “How many of these skills do I have?” You should hold yourself to the same standard you might for someone applying to the job to do that portion of your bathroom renovation for you. What experience have you had with that skills set? What examples do you have from successful projects in the past can convince you to give yourself the job?

This doesn’t mean you won’t pass the interview with flying colours. If by the end of the skills inventory, you find that you are well equipped to do many of the jobs needed to remodel the bathroom, then that is a wonderful thing to recognize because you just saved a ton of money. But if you recognize that some skills you will have to be brought in, you saved a ton of money too from not doing it wrong and having to go back and do it again. And that is just as smart a move as doing it yourself was because in the end, you have that beautiful bathroom without any major disasters to either the timing of the project and the budget. That is something to be proud of.

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Renovating old houses

If you buy an old house with the intention of fixing it up to either sell it at a big profit or to return it to its glory for your own use, it is a project worth counting the costs before you make that kind of plunge. We all have heard of people who “flip houses” for a living and make a lot of money at that task. So if that is your ambition, be aware that those people who are very good at taking old houses and fixing them up to sell for big profits either learned the craft from experts or they lost their shirts a few times before they figured out what they were doing. The main advantage you have by buying a house directly from the seller on No Agent is the discounted price due to the fact that you are not having to pay estate agents commission. Although the seller pays the commission to the estate agent during a normal (not for sale by owner) property transaction, you as the buyer are essentially paying that additional amount of money.

The key to buying an old house that you will do well with a renovation is developing the skill of evaluating the extent of repairs and renovating the house will require. It is one thing to come in to a rundown house that just needs a good paint job, new doors and fresh counter tops to be good as new. But if you buy a very old structure, there may be hidden damage and problems with that house that are not on the surface. You could unearth a host of problems like cracks in the foundation, dry rot in the walls or other foundation problems that would cost you more to fix than you can ever recoup in profit even if you sold the house for full market value if it was new.

The ability to pick the right houses to improve and flip is the heart of what separates a successful real estate speculator from one who consistently gets in over his head. The other core skill you should have is a basic ability to do much of the work yourself. If you consistency use high priced union contractors to tear down and replace walls, to do the wring and the plumbing, to lay the cement for a new driveway or to build a brick wall to reinforce the basement, your costs for each home renovating project are going to skyrocket.

Most people who are in the business of buying homes to fix up and sell get into it because they love to work on old houses. More than that, they are good at working on old houses. So if you have to invest two months in totally gutting and rebuilding an old house to turn it into a mansion for big profit, you should at least have the skills to do the majority of that work yourself and you should enjoy it.

Finally, you must have both the budget and the temperament to take your time and invest weeks or months into any given home renovating project. Old houses don’t become new houses over night. If you are going to do the work yourself, you might go a month with no income.

So to be successful at refurbishing houses for resale, a strong budget to carry you until the next sale is a must. More than that, you should be able to envision that beautiful finished house and stay with the project until you can sell that house that you have improved so much, it is almost unrecognizable. When you can do that, you will get a real sense of fulfillment from turning old houses into palaces. And the profits will be generous as well.

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Some more renovation ideas

Perhaps you have looked around your house as you thought about the future and realized that you need to do some renovating. It’s a good idea to give your home a good face lifts every ten years or so to bring it up to date and make it look snappy and new. It’s fun to do as a family project and when the renovation is done, you will be proud to bring in family and friends to entertain because your home will look wonderful again.

But before you begin to lay out what you want to do with your renovating budget, it’s a good idea to spend some time on getting ideas for what can be done and what is commonly being done in other homes in your community. This is especially important if you are going to do the renovating of your home to prepare it to go on the market for sale. It is worth spending a few thousand dollars fixing up your place, so it conforms to contemporary design and décor ideas so that when people come to look at your house with an eye for buying a new home, they will see a contemporary residence ready to be moved into.

So where do you go to get those up to date ideas for what to include in your renovating program? We already touched on one great source of ideas and that is what has been done in other homes in your community. By discussing with your spouse, the need to gather ideas for your upcoming renovating, both spouses can be mindful as you visit other people’s homes of how your contemporaries and neighbours have decorated their homes. This is not to say you want to copy them. But if you like how their bathrooms look or there are aspects of their kitchen décor that appeal to you, it is worth noting those design ideas and keeping them in your mind or you “ideas for renovating” notebook to incorporate their ideas into your new renovation plans.

It isn’t hard to find ideas by turning to the media. A few years ago, there was a TV show that took us into the homes of the Rich and Famous. And we have seen shows come and go that let us see the “cribs” of famous musicians or entertainers. While you probably don’t want the same bathroom that Julia Roberts has, and you won’t be copying Bono’s interior decorating ideas, these shows are good places to pick up general design ideas to put in your notebook for when you put together your own renovating plans.

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Home renovating ideas

Where do I start. It is easy to get a vision for the finished product and see that beautiful new look that will be the result of all the renovating work that you want to do to your home. But it is another thing to understand the path that you will need to go through to take your home from where it is to that finished state. So, getting a plan for how to proceed is always the first step before you spend a dime on actual renovating work.

When you get that vision for the finished product of your renovating effort, you are mostly seeing the final decorating that makes your home look new and stylish. But before that can happen, you must take an inventory of what must be done at a structural level to both repair any problems with the house that have developed over the years and to make the structural changes you will need done before you see your new renovating plan begin to take shape.

You will probably need some help from the design phase all the way through to the finished product of your beautiful new home. If you plan to alter the structure of the home, you will need an architect and someone who can give you an estimate of what needs to be done.

Above all, you must get a total renovating plan in place before you start making changes. Then you will begin at the structural level and proceed step by step until you get to the ornamental level of painting, new tile and new carpet. But you must understand the extent of the work that must be done before you get that far before you start the project. To put a pretty layer of paint or carpet over a house that needs structural work can result in a disaster.

On top of knowing all the details of the scope of the project you have in mind; this exercise will tell you what you need to know about the costs of the project. Most renovating projects run into snags toward the end because the “bosses” of the project did not get a good cost evaluation in the beginning. Then when the costs keep going up and up and up, they panic because the money can run out before the work is done.

By doing the research before any work is done, you can get a cost evaluation of each phase of the project. Then if you have a limited budget, (and everybody does), you can break the renovating project down into stages and accomplish one clean step with this year’s budget. In this way, you are getting your renovating work done in an orderly fashion with no surprises. That is an approach that will leave you feeling good about the renovating you are doing to your home.

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Renovation ideas to help sell your property

Real estate professionals tell us that spending money renovating your home can pay back big time when you go to sell your home. So, if the time is coming up that you want to put your house on the market to sell it, all you can do to create a lovely look and feel so that buyers who come to walk through the house are impressed will pay off when you get that offer.

When you are trying to sell a house, it is pretty discouraging when people come and go to look at the house or wander through during the open house only to leave with no further inquiries and no offers. So, to start to take control over this problem, put yourself in the shoes of a person who is shopping for a new home. If you walk through your home as though you were the one looking at it with a thought of buying it, what jumps out at you both negatively and positively?

They say that one of the most powerful selling points of any house is this thing called “curb appeal” which is what the house looks like from the street. It is true that when you put that “for sale” sign in the yard, people will make a snap decision whether to come in and look at the house based on what they can see from the car. This means that part of your home renovating to sell the house will include some landscaping and work on the front of the house to make it look inviting. Make sure your exterior lights are in good shape and that you leave them on to shine on the positive aspects of the home exterior.

As a couple begins to walk through the house, the man will be looking for different things than the lady in the couple. There are two levels of renovating you should address before you open the house for sale. The first is restoration. This means you should launch a full-scale project to fix up the paint jobs, to repair any flaws in the house and to patch any holes that may have developed over the years. If you raised or are raising children in the home, their rooms may need some attention, as kids are hard on walls and doors. So, put some time and money into fixing what will jump out at a prospective house buyer during that walk through.

From that point, forward, the rest of your renovations will be to dress up the house to make it look beautiful. New counter tops, tiling and renovations to the bathrooms to make them look shiny and new are all improvements that are not just restorations, they are renovations to bring the house up to date with modern styles of interior decorating. These remodelling steps will take some time and money. But if you put some weeks into making the house look good and that restoration costs several thousands of dollars, you will see that money come back in a good bid on your house from an excited new family that wants to make your house their home.

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Creative Home Re-modelling

It’s good to consider the role of creativity in your remodelling plans so you get all you can from the creative side of you but keep your plans reasonable and achievable on the budget you have.

The good of all that creativity you have percolating around that wants to come out in your remodelling plans is that the outcome of your renovations of your home will be unique and all yours. After all, what’s the point of spending thousands of dollars on remodelling your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom or your bathrooms only to end up with a house that looks like every other home on the street? No, you are looking to make a statement about who you are creatively. When someone walks into your home and says “Wow” at your interior decorating, they are saying “Wow” about you too. So, your creativity puts your personal stamp on the design of your home remodelling project.

The creation of a remodelling plan for your house calls on the combined strengths of creativity and interior design. And most homeowners may not have the background in how to design a new living room or kitchen to know what is best. Of course, you can get great ideas from magazines, TV and online. But to really channel all that creative input you have, you would do well to spend some time with a professional interior decorator.

These people are often misrepresented in movies or TV as silly or unrealistic. But a skilled interior decorator knows about fashion, about the “nuts and bolts” of what it takes to make a remodelling become a reality and about how to take your creative ideas and make them a reality. In many cases, you can get an hour of time with such a guide for free from businesses that will seek to provide you with the materials and the labour to do the renovations. It’s a worthwhile hour to take advantage of.

On the other side of the picture, creativity must be mixed with common sense. When you are using remodelling software, you can go wild creating the most absurdly creative rooms imaginable. But you would not want to create a room so extravagantly creative that it was impossible to have a family gathering or a meeting of the PTA in that room. You do need a mixture of taste and caution that takes your creative thoughts and turns them into a statement about who you are that is still a delightful interior design that is one you will be proud to show off to anyone.

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Renovating the master bedroom

It’s a great idea to prioritise the renovation of a bedroom. Its probably the most fun renovation. That is because unlike remodelling the kitchen, the guest or kids’ bedrooms or the rooms where you entertain guests, remodelling the master bedroom is all about mom and dad and what they want. You can indulge yourself in what you plan into your dream bedroom. If you have the space and/or the budget, you can let your dreams go wild in what you include in your bedroom upgrade.

Because the heart of the bedroom is the bed, this is a great starting point. If you have a simple king or double bed, it might be time to give yourself the luxury of a very large and expensive bed with a beautiful headboard and even a canopy if that is part of the dream. Of course, if the room will not accommodate that size of a bed, that might call for annexing another room and doubling the size of the bedroom. This is a wonderful albeit dramatic remodelling step for a couple in those “empty nest” years when you can knock down a wall, turn the kids’ room into part of the bedroom and change your ordinary bedroom into a luxury suite for the king and queen of the household.

Once you are happy with the bed accommodations, perhaps the next stop will be the entertainment centre. That is because while one might think that a bedroom is all about sleeping, we all know it is about more than that. Many couples enjoy lying in bed and enjoying the luxury of a big screen TV to watch a movie on while snuggling down in the sheets. Where you put the cabinetry to hold that TV and perhaps the DVD player and stereo equipment as well is an important decision to make early on as you are planning your new luxury bedroom.

From the entertainment centre, move to the master bathroom. Putting in a Jacuzzi, a beautiful double sink area all designed with the emphasis on quality and beauty can really make your bedroom area begin to take on the feel of a high-quality hotel suite. From there, it just a matter of expanding your vision for the perfect bedroom to accommodate just about any dream you may have had for that special place. A walk-in closet with room to change clothes, sit and try on shoes and take your time with your wardrobe is a luxury you have coming after working so hard all your life. So, let your imagination have a field day in the design stage of your dream bedroom. It might take a while to afford all the luxury you want in that bedroom. And the best part is that it costs nothing to plan and dream.


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Bathroom Remodeling Plans

The master bathroom is a great place to focus your next remodeling plans. The bathroom is a room that you spend a lot of time in. And making that room look and feel nice so it takes good care of your needs while you are in there is an outstanding goal of your renovation. Not only will you benefit directly from creating a luxurious master bathroom for the king and queen of the house, it is an outstanding step that improves the value of your home. Even if you are not planning on moving any time soon, putting in an “up to date” and luxurious bathroom is a good investment in the future.

The best way to begin organizing your bathroom plans is to start from scratch and do some serious dreaming. Its ok to draw up beautiful and elegant plans for that master bathroom based on luxury suites you may have stayed in during trips to big cities or based on beautiful bathrooms you have seen in magazines, on TV or in the homes of friends. By filling up your dream notebook with lots of ideas, you will have plenty of material to work with to plan your dream bathroom.

Once the dreaming has done its job of giving you ideas, then it is time to let reality enter the discussion. Reality will take the big dreams you have made and help you select the ideas that you can actually do. The two factors that will drive the process of bringing your dreams into reality are budget and space. So the next step is to take your “book of dreams” and look with a critical eye at the master bathroom you have now. You can then begin to get a feel for what will fit in the physical space you have for your bathroom area. Or it will help you begin to envision expanding the bathroom space to allow for more of the remodeling ideas you have come up with.

This is not to say that most of the dreams you add to your “master bathroom wish list” won’t come true. But you will have to adapt them to the physical space you have or can create in the bedroom you own. You may still be able to put in a beautiful and modern shower and an up to date toilet to replace that old cracked one. But the Jacuzzi or the spa may have to wait if there is not space for them in the bathroom space right now.

The same kind of evaluation will happen when you estimate the budget you will have for the renovation project. There are two parts of evaluating your budget, which are what you have and what it will cost. The cost evaluation can be done by either spending some time using online remodeling sites that offer software to help you with the process or by getting some help from a remodeling expert at a hardware store you trust. But by getting a good feel for your budget for the renovation project, you can refine your goals until you have a plan for remodeling that is both creative and forward thinking but achievable in the space and budget that you have.

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Bathroom re-modelling ideas

Have you ever walked into someone’s bathroom when you are a guest in someone’s home and just said “Wow”?  Do you think people will get that same “Wow” feeling in your bathroom? If not, you may be able to put some real pizzazz into your bathroom with a few simple changes that can change the nature of the room entirely.

If you think you might be able to take on a major overhaul to the bathroom, there is nothing like coordinating the tile, the shower and the sink area in one striking color combination. You could go with black tile and shower and a black marble look to the counter tops combined with a pure white porcelain sink for offset to really make a guest take notice when they walk into that room. You add some red towels and throw rugs and that bathroom becomes a real visual treat to the eye.

Many times guest bathrooms can look very closed in and small so anything you can do to open up the room is a great step in your remodeling plans. If there is an exterior wall that you can use to add a window to allow sunlight to flood in during the day, that can make that bathroom look twice as big with just one simple improvement. But if you then follow that change with the addition of a sunlight up above, that little bathroom will seem open to all of Mother Nature. That bathroom will have a completely different feel about it with just those two changes.

Another great way to completely change the nature of a bathroom is to transform it from a humdrum bathroom into a spa with a couple remodeling steps that will not only make the bathroom look great but make it lots more luxurious for you and your family. If the bathroom is small but there is some space in an adjoining room you can annex, you can transform that tiny restroom into a place people will want to linger. The things to change include…

. Double or triple the floor space of the bathroom by taking out a wall and expanding the pluming to accommodate the new improvements.

. Take out that tiny bathtub and put in a Jacuzzi sized tub instead.

. Add a hot tub or steam room.

. Add lots of lights, floor space and mirrors so there is plenty of room to have a luxury bath time in that room.

While most of these changes will be used by you and your family, the look of that expanded bathroom will be truly impressive. Don’t be surprised if people disappear into that bathroom and don’t come back for a while. When they are impressed by your bathroom, they may want to soak up the atmosphere themselves.

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