Getting Started: Renovation and Remodeling

Are you thinking about doing something new in your old space? Are you ready to start making your home the perfect place for you and your family? Read on to find out how to get started.

What's the Difference Between Renovating and Remodeling?

You'll hear these two words being thrown around so much you start to think they mean the same thing. But before you start hiring contractors or finding DIY videos on YouTube, you're going to want to know the difference. A renovation refers to something that is being restored to its original state. So, if you have a 10x10 deck with railings that's rotting and after you fix it, it's still a 10x10 deck with railings (and no wood rot) then you did a renovation. But if you have a 10x10 deck with railings and you hire someone to come expand it to a 20x20 deck with stairs and planter boxes, then you did a remodel. 

How can you pay for your renovations?

Cash works, of course, but there are other good options to explore. Talk to your bank to explore possible loan options. If you have a significant amount of equity in your home already, you may be able to pay for the renovations with a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Will your renovations add value to your home?

It’s important to find out what renovations do and don’t add value to your home, and that information is specific to the area where you live. There are calculators online to estimate value added, but your best bet is to ask a real estate agent or appraiser in your area what they think. Regardless of how your renovation increases the market value of your home, if it increases your happiness, it might be worth it to you.

What about basement remodeling and renovations?

Basements are a great place to focus your remodeling and renovation projects. In many homes, the basement is unfinished, so your remodel or renovation is going to be adding significant square footage to your home. Before you start, make sure you think about how you're going to be using this space. Will it be a teen hangout spot that doesn't need a lot of frills beyond a TV and a couch? Or will it be an adult space that you'll use all the time? 

The answer to these questions will play a big factor into how much you want to spend and how much of the project you can DIY. 

How much will your project really cost?

Before you start, sit down with your contractor (or a pen and a piece of paper, if you’re doing it yourself), and tally the costs of all labor and materials. You should also account for any fees for permits or disposal, and any money you might have to spend while the renovation is underway. If you’re redoing the kitchen, for example, you may need to budget for restaurant meals until it’s finished.

How can you find a contractor?

Often, the best way to find someone for the job is by word of mouth. Read online reviews, but ask neighbors, friends, and co-workers who they’ve hired and how their renovation went. Make sure your contractor is licensed because you want to follow the rules.

What if you want to DIY?

Before you DIY, make sure you can do the work yourself, and that you can afford to hire qualified professionals to do the things you can’t. You’ll also want to make sure all of your work is up to local code.

Ready to get started? Check out our renovation and remodeling blog to explore other related topics.

Have more questions? Ask us directly on social media!