Undertaking a home renovation can improve the value of your property, remedy any lingering structural or aesthetic defects, and generally make your home much more comfortable to live in. Everything is fine!
But wait: no matter how good your intentions, a hasty house overhaul may actually end. costing you.
So what are the signs that it’s time to put the brakes on your home improvement plans? We asked a number of construction and real estate experts to draw on their own experiences and share when they would recommend you delay the project or avoid it altogether.
1. You plan to cut corners on the wrong things
There are many ways to reduce the cost of a renovation, from using your own DIY abilities to choosing less expensive materials. But quality work is one of the things you should always invest in.
“Spending on expensive materials but cheap craftsmanship is a big mistake,” says Gianpaolo Manzolillo, licensed real estate salesperson with Citi Habitats in Brooklyn, NY. “You can buy beautiful hardwood floors, but if they’re installed with large uneven spaces, they’re not worth a dime.”
2. It’s the wrong time of year.
Any contractor or neighbor who has had a renovation will tell you that the weather can make or break a construction job. Winter storms can wreak havoc in the East, Midwest and parts of the Northwest. Hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin peaks from mid-August to late October. The inhabitants of these regions must therefore take the weather into account before planning a renovation.
“Running in a snowy or rainy season can mean leaks, lack of proper heating and electrical issues.” said Jody Costelloan expert in home improvement planning and contractor fraud.
3. You have no room for error
Even if bad weather doesn’t come into play, home renovations are rarely completed on time, and you should factor that into your decision.
“Permits can be issued later than expected, inspections can be delayed and contractors can be busy – and all of these factors can impact schedules,” says Dan Meyerco-founder and CEO of Pocketdoor, an app that helps landlords coordinate their real estate projects.
A delay or mistake in a renovation project could keep you away from your home for another week or month. Can’t afford the tax? Then you may have to think twice before starting work.
Watch: Try these sneaky tricks to save money on building your home
4. You need to borrow funds
One of the ways to pay for a renovation is to borrow money or refinance your home. Corn Robert Taylorowner of The Real Estate Solutions Guy in Sacramento, CA, warns against this practice.
“It may seem logical, but you shouldn’t be doing home improvement projects that you have to borrow money for,” he says. Taylor makes two exceptions: when you sell your home within six months, Where if your home poses a serious security risk.
5. You think it’s as easy as TV makes it look
It’s hard not to be blindsided by the glamorous makeovers of home improvement reality shows like “Fixer Upper” or “Property Brothers.” The magic of television can make remodeling a house seem like child’s play. I hate to burst your bubble, but there are many behind-the-scenes costs and considerations that these shows just don’t show.
“We all see the TV shows where they are able to completely renovate a house in what feels like a week and for a very unrealistic budget,” says Marc Luongo, owner and project manager at Luongo Electric in Burnaby, BC. “Often these TV budgets don’t include the cost of labor, materials and finishes (which are usually donated to the show), or the outsourcing and management fees that the network recover.”
So, before embarking on any renovation, it’s important to research all the costs and have an emergency fund on hand, as chances are the process of renovating your home won’t be as smooth as it once was. it is featured on television.
6. You are improving too much for the neighborhood
Even if you have the budget and the time for a renovation, it could hurt you if you ever decide to sell your home.
“Realtors, appraisers and lenders use comparable market values to assess the fair market value of a home,” says Jodi Moody of Smoky Mountain Realty in Lenoir City, TN. “If you have a $275,000 house and want to install a $50,000 kitchen, you’d probably want the new asking price to be at least $325,000,” she adds. “But if the average cost per square foot of your subdivision only supports a sale price of $295,000, your home becomes harder to sell later on.”
In this case, it doesn’t matter how nice the renovation is, what matters is how it compares to other homes in your area. “Your granite kitchen may not be worth the money spent, if the rest of the neighborhood is using upgraded laminate,” Manzolillo says.
7. You try to make your partner happy.
“Renovations can be very stressful on a relationship: they’re expensive, messy, and intrusive on your personal life,” Luongo says. So, make sure you’re both in favor of the home improvement project and that your relationship can handle it.
A makeover is something that should never be rushed or used as a band-aid to make your partner happy. “There’s nothing worse than rushing into a renovation and doing a patch job just to try to make someone happier,” he says.
Here is more information on the cost of renovating a home.