U.S. Markets closed

Now I get it: How to renovate your home

Nicole Goodkind
Nicole Goodkind

Thinking about renovating your home? There’s a lot of information out there, and the process can feel overwhelming to say the least. But fear not, I’ll break it down for you, and in no time you’ll be saying, "Now I Get It!"

Before you do anything, you’ll need to decide if renovating your home is worth it—remember this can be a long and expensive process. Ask yourself how long you plan to live in your current home, how extensive the updates will be, and most importantly, whether you can get some or all of the money you invest back when you sell your home.

Certain renovations are more valuable than others. By insulating your attic, you’ll make a cool $117 for every $100 spent. Exterior replacement projects can also be lucrative; they tend to recoup more than 80% of costs upon resale. So go ahead and replace that vinyl siding. But beware of adding an additional bathroom or home office. They won’t add much value to your house.

By now you’ve probably realized that you likely won’t make back the full cost of your renovations when you sell, so don’t spend more than you can afford and make sure the remodel is for your own enjoyment.

Next you’ll have to set a budget. Be sure to ask a few contractors for quotes while deciding how much you want to spend. A good rule of thumb is to always add 20% to any quote in case of hidden fees or unexpected costs.

Chose your team wisely. Remember contractors are competing to work for you, not the other way around. Interview multiple candidates, and make sure you feel completely comfortable with the renovation team you ultimately pick.

Before construction begins, be sure you have an organized project timeline and that all of the proper paperwork has been completed.

Renovations can be a pain in the neck, but remember, before you know it you’ll be lounging on your new Jacuzzi deck—or you know, in your newly insulated attic.