Home renovation

Postponing a home renovation? Here are 4 tips to get you started

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Here’s how to start a home improvement project.

During the pandemic, many people have started spending more time at home, especially those whose offices have been closed for the past 18 months. It’s no surprise, then, that many homeowners are renovating their properties, whether adding square footage or reconfiguring their existing layouts.

If you’re thinking about renovating your home, you may have encountered obstacles along the way. The cost could be one, as could the logistics. It’s not easy to build your house when you’re stuck there all the time.

Still, renovating your home could be a smart move. Not only could this make your living space more comfortable, but it could also increase the value of your property. And if you’re not sure where to start your renovations, Bobbi Rebell, CFP® and personal finance expert at debt management app Tally, has some advice.

1. Do your research

Unforeseen costs could derail your home improvement budget. This is why it is important to research and plan well before diving. As Rebell explains, “The more time and energy you invest before starting your home improvement project, the less likely you are to incur unforeseen expenses that were missed.”

2. Look for discounts

The cost of many common building and renovation materials has skyrocketed in recent months due to supply chain issues. That is why you should not hesitate to look for discounts. Rebell advises looking for discounts that may be tied to your employer. And if you’re making a large purchase from just one store, be sure to ask if they can give you a wholesale discount.

3. Determine your renovation goal

Some people renovate to increase the value of their property. Others do it not for financial gain, but for personal enjoyment. But Rebell suggests you consider the value of your home as a whole before setting a renovation budget. If a project is likely to increase the value of your property, it might be worth spending more on materials. On the other hand, if your goal is simply to spruce up your living space for your own personal enjoyment, you might want to take a more frugal approach.

4. Shop around for the workforce

You may not be able to handle home renovations on your own. If so, be sure to talk to a number of contractors before choosing someone for the job.

As Rebell explains, “Labor pricing can vary by region, season, and availability. It’s important to get multiple estimates, review ratings and reviews, and talk to a handful of entrepreneurs before committing.” On top of that, you’ll want to make sure any contractor you hire is properly bonded and insured. And it wouldn’t hurt to talk to homeowners who’ve used this contractor to see what their experience entailed.

Are you ready to start the renovations?

If you’re eager to start your home renovations, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to pay for them. You may decide to take out a renovation loan and use the proceeds for your upcoming project. Or, you can decide to borrow against the equity in your home. Either way, make sure you have a solid game plan to cover your costs so you don’t have to pull out a credit card in a heartbeat.

Home renovations can be very rewarding, and it’s not uncommon to incur some type of debt while pursuing them. But it’s important to keep your interest charges to a minimum, which largely means avoiding credit cards and focusing on more affordable borrowing options instead.

A Historic Opportunity to Save Potentially Thousands of Dollars on Your Mortgage

Chances are interest rates won’t stay at multi-decade lows much longer. That’s why it’s crucial to act today, whether you want to refinance and lower your mortgage payments or are ready to pull the trigger on buying a new home.

Ascent’s in-house mortgage expert recommends this company find a low rate – and in fact, he’s used them himself to refi (twice!). Click here to learn more and see your rate. While this does not influence our product opinions, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We are by your side, always. See The Ascent’s full announcer disclosure here.