It might sound a bit cliché to say it’s time to “spring into action” but honestly, don’t we all feel a little like launching into spring with a refreshed new attitude and zest for life? Coming out of the long, dark winter, Spring sees more sunshine, more opportunity for us to get outdoors and definitely reminds us that it’s time to put away the dark, fur-trimmed cozy blankets and lighten up our space. With that in mind, it’s time to talk renovations again!
We spoke about renovations in the fall, primarily with a focus on paint, creating warmth and considering things like furniture positioning and creating space. I like to call this “Reno lite.” With the arrival of spring however, it seems appropriate to now talk about those more major renovations you might have been considering (and budgeting for) over this past winter. Spring weather is ideal for larger projects that might involve work that takes place both indoors and outdoors because it is neither too hot nor too cold. In fact, as Goldilocks might say spring is “just right” for renovating!
Interviewing and signing contracts with renovation specialists early on in the season ensures that your home is first in line for spring projects. Renovations that start early mean an entire summer of enjoying your new space instead of listening to blade saws and hammers. Being able to walk about outside unhindered by snow and ice means you and your contractor can really envision and map out all the changes planned for your property. If some of your renovation budget is being allocated toward the outside of your home and creating curb appeal, of course spring is the ideal time to plant, lay down new sod and plan your gardens according to the time of year in which everything will bloom. Ideally, all of this will lead to a summer of bliss in your newly refurbished home.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to talk about what to consider when you consider renovating:
- As we have stated before, from a resale perspective kitchens and baths should always be your top priority.
- Roofing and windows are also high resale renovation considerations so if moving to a new home is in your future these four items (kitchens, baths, roofing and windows) should be dealt with first. Even if you won’t be moving, who wouldn’t want a beautiful new kitchen space to host summer indoor, spilling into outdoor, parties?
- Unlike the fall, in spring you might be looking at larger scale projects that require not only your own elbow grease but that of a contractor too. When looking for contractors be prepared to spend some time interviewing, talking to the referrals you’ve asked them to provide and even connecting with your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to be sure your preferred contractor isn’t on any “No-Go” lists!
- Consider your budget. Perhaps you have been saving and that’s wonderful but maybe it makes more sense to take out a small home improvement loan with a good rate of interest and budget your costs over several months. Talk to your bank manager.
- Spend some time researching whether any of your projects would qualify for local government rebates or even could be claimed against medical expenses. For example, at one time, those with severe allergies were eligible to claim expenses associated with carpet removal and hardwood floor installation. Check your local municipal or provincial and federal tax laws to see if your renovations might qualify. As we mentioned in the fall blog, also make sure to build some wiggle room into your budget for those unexpected expenses that are sure to crop up. I bet we’ve all watched enough home reno shows to know that anything could be lurking behind our walls!
- Timing too is also critical. How long will your project take and what kind of lifestyle adjustments might you need to make while the work is going on? A kitchen reno means less availability for cooking, possibly for an extended period of time so perhaps some meal preplanning and preparation is in order. What can you make ahead that can be frozen and thawed with just a microwave? Don’t let three weeks of eating out add to your already stretched budget. Just like with your cost considerations, factor in at least an extra week or two for the time the renovation might take and allow for that in your meal plans. If a bathroom is going to be renovated and you will now have a family of 4 or 5 using only one bathroom, you might need to make some adjustments to everyone’s schedule to be sure you all get to school and work on time. Again, the more you can plan ahead for both the renovation and the unexpected, the less disruptive it will be.
- Finally, if your project is large and being completed by contractors – perhaps you can save some of your hard earned cash by completing the finishing details yourself. Have the big jobs like roofing, tiling, shower stall installations or kitchen cupboards done by the experts but finish the reno yourself by installing your own trim, painting the walls and putting up light fixtures if you’re able. Doing so might also allow you to take your time and spread out those final finishing expenses over an extra couple of months. (If you have the patience that is!)
Undertaking a renovation project is an enormous task. Sometimes it involves an enormous budget too. Plan for both the expected and unexpected beforehand to minimize the overall impact to your budget and your family. With spring in the air, at least there is more opportunity for everyone to just head outdoors if things get a little heated inside! If it’s time for you to “spring into action” and take advantage of the break in weather, Home Dream Designs works together with several local area, approved and qualified contractors and of course, our team is always happy to help with the fine finishings. We’ll help take your home from “lived in to loving it!” Call today.