Budgeting for Your Home Renovation Project

 

Each home is has to room for improvement, some have more room than others. No matter if you simply need more space, grown tired of outdated fixtures and features, or want to invest in your home to bump up the resale value, financial planning of the project is as important as your design and decorating ideas.

 

Continue reading for great tips on budgeting for your upcoming improvement project to ensure that is a success and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

 

Invest Wisely

 

Any and all improvements that you decide to make to your home should pitch in on its overall value. Home improvements are just as much of an investment as your home purchase. Before you start, ensure that your plans well add real value, and that you avoid “over improving”, or putting more money into your home than you will recoup.

 

Budget Realistically

 

Determine just how much money you really have for your project. For money that you have borrowed, make sure that you add your repayment into your monthly budgeting. The last thing you want to do is overextend your finances.

 

Talk to a Professional

 

If you plan on working with a general contractor or a designer, talk with them to get a better idea of what your project might cost, and any additional advice or ideas. Be sure to add a contingency of at least 10% for unforeseen or unexpected expenses. If you are interviewing several contractors, remember that the right fit is often better than the lowest price.

 

Use Your Skills

 

It is very possible to reduce the cost of a home renovation project by handling some of the work yourself. If you’re handy in any area, you will have more time to put into other decorating ideas!

 

Home Security: In and Around My Windows

 

window glass

There is absolutely nothing more terrifying than a break in to your home where you are your family sleep. According to the FBI data home burglary and break-ins reports are over 2 million every year.

The most popular point of entry for a home break in is your windows. Because of this, home security is of upmost importance. Here are couple things you can do to ensure that you and your family are protected to the best of your abilities.

Security Glass Options

The glass that your window holds could be difference between a safe home and being a victim of a burglary. Installing shatterproof glass can also prevent unnecessary injuries to your loved ones and children.

Reinforced Glass

Reinforced glass is a glass especially designed with a focus on home security. There are several different types of reinforced glass options such as tempered glass, which is four to five times stronger than a traditional window. Laminate glass is even stronger than tempered glass. Laminate glass involves the bonding of at least two pieces of glass in a durable plastic, creating impact resistance.

Laminate glass is preferred for:

  • Forced-entry protection.
  • Hurricanes
  • Extreme sounds
  • Earthquakes
  • Bombs and explosions (used for governmental buildings)

 Plexiglas Security

Plexiglas doesn’t fall under the category of reinforced glass, but rather its own classification. Plexiglas has the same thickness of a traditional type of window, but it is 10 times stronger. Plexiglas does not shatter, it will cleanly crack under enough force and it can be tinted for privacy.

Other window security options could include security systems, window locks, well-lit lighting, burglar discouraging landscape (avoiding bushes around the windows), window security bars, and window security film. Window security is an extremely important part of protecting your home. Overlooking window security can be dangerous to you and your family and lead to expensive repairs down the road.

Is my general contractor the project manager too?

 

General ContractorHave you ever wondered what the difference was between your general contractor and project manager? What about a general contractor acting as a project manager?

You are not alone! In order to help clear any confusion, we’ve broken down the roles as well as responsibilities that each plays in your construction project.

Both a general contractor and a project manager are viewed as lead contractors on the job and it can be difficult to recognize the difference. Their operation is similar, and it’s common for a general contractor to operate a project or construction manager at times.

Beyond their similarity, general contractors and project managers are fundamentally different.

General Contractor

When examining each person’s organizational structure, it can be easiest to view a general contractor as a business entity. A general contractor usually has its set of employees with skilled trades.

A general contractor will also have an access to a variety of subcontractors they have worked with on other construction projects. This serves as an advantage because everyone is already familiar with working together and operational procedures; there is a certain level of cooperation and loyalty among the familiar parties.

Project Manager

A project manager sometimes referred to as the construction manager, could be an individual or a group of people. The key difference is that staff that actually performs the work are not employees.

If you happen to have both on your project, it is common to have a general contractor handle the structure changes and overall project responsibility, hiring and scheduling vendors, etc. while the project manager handles the day-to-day operations, such as meeting with your sub-contractors and handling the non-structural projects in-between.

General Contractor Acting as Project Manager

It is not uncommon for a general contractor to also act as the project or construction manager. This is more about trust and relationship to the owner. In some instances, the owner may request the general contractor also handle the project’s management.

 

How important is a new kitchen to add value to your home?

If you ask any expert in real estate, the Number 1 home improvement upgrade is with the greatest return, they will always reference the kitchen.
For most households, the kitchen is the center of the home’s hub of activity. Remodelling your kitchen can be a major undertaking, but experts say that remodeling your kitchen is completely worth it when striving to add value to your home.
In the fastest growing housing markets, capering for a new kitchen is a sure-fire investment and often returns more than 100% of the cost. Kitchens are an area in a house where you can tell if money has been well spent. They’re the most expensive construction areas of a home, but it’s where people spend the most time.
An average minor kitchen remodels can cost anywhere from $15,000 -$18,000. In areas like Miami, New Orleans, and San Diego, kitchen investments have netted up to $27,000 on the resale.
So how do you know that it may be time for you to upgrade?
Value – For those wanting to increase the value of your home, this is the single best investment you can make. An attractive kitchen is appealing to prospective homebuyers.
Deterioration – If you notice peeling countertops, cracked tiles and cabinet doors, or out-dated appliances, your kitchen has simply outlived its usefulness and needs a remodel.
Energy Savings – Creating efficiency in your kitchen might motivate you to upgrade. Things like energy-efficient appliances, skylights, and solar water heaters cut utility bills and reduce stress on the environment.
Out-dated – Your kitchen might have a great use of space, but its just a bit out-dated. If you notice your kitchen is looking a little retro, it may be time for a transformation into the 21st century.
Lifestyle – Your kitchen’s layout may have worked for the previous homeowner, but just doesn’t work for you. If a lack of updated appliances or lack of a breakfast bar has you dreaming of a remodel, it may be a time to upgrade.
The decision for a remodel is a combination of various wants and needs. Some homeowners simply want a chance, or the decision may be backed by financial incentives. Whatever your desires may be, there’s no denying the home kitchen remodel is an important aspect of adding appeal and value to your home.

 

Powder rooms – which is more important, the aesthetics or storage?

Whether you’re remodeling a small powder room or redesigning a master en suite, your bathrooms functionality should be at the heart of your remodel. Things like usefulness, storage, lighting and drainage improvements should be your focus.
Keep these key things in mind when planning your bathroom remodel.
Plan Around Your Lifestyle
While aesthetics are obviously an important part of your home improvement goals, remember that the best kinds of bathrooms are those that are useful and effective. Think about how you and your family might use the bathroom and plan functionally. Optimizing your bathroom to help you live your lifestyle most effectively will save a lot of stress and regret in the long run.
Use the Space You Have
Large features may seem luxurious and attractive, but bigger is not always better. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, avoid packing large tubs, storage and light fixtures that simply take up to much space. It’s better to work with the space you have, as opposed to fighting against it. The goal is to make the space as comfortable and useful as possible, which will in turn naturally help with the aesthetics.
Storage Over Aesthetics
Your bathroom space’s main purpose is to serve you, your family and guests in your home. Although you want your bathroom to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible, the best kind of bathrooms are the ones that will – get the job done. Storage over fancy décor will pay off in usability in the long run. Fit what you can within the space that you have, so your bathroom can keep serving you the best way possible for years to come.

 

Which is better, laminate or hardwood?

For years wood flooring has been viewed as superior to its faux counterpart – laminate. Wood’s natural warmth and beauty bring an ambiance to a home that is welcoming and timeless. Despite Wood’s historical preference, the laminate is making its way back into the appeal of both first time and seasoned homeowners alike.

Floor

So what is the difference between wood and laminate flooring?

Wood

Wood’s tremendous texture and variation have attracted the appeal of homeowners for centuries. No two pieces of wood look exactly the same, which means that your floor is 100% unique to you and your home. But this individuality comes at a price. Not only does wood cost more than laminate, it is much softer and shows heavier wear over time. This means that your floor requires more maintenance and may need to be periodically replaced.

Laminate

Laminate has traditionally been viewed as second-class, but with advancements in engineering and design, the laminate is looking better and performing better than it did 10 years ago. Laminate is far more affordable than wood and requires very little maintenance. It’s durability and versatility now offers homeowners a wide range of appealing and long-lasting selection. Laminate is not without its downsides though, because of its gridlock installation, it can be much more costly for any necessary repairs.

So which is better?

Before making your flooring decisions, consider this:

  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • What kind of short-term/long-term commitment do you have to your home?
  • Are you investing in your home for resale?
  • How much are you willing to spend on maintenance?

Whether you’re striving to increase the value of your home or searching for a floor that will last a lifetime, both wood and laminate flooring offer a wide variety of options and choice perfect for your home renovation needs.

Five Tips to Sticking to Your Renovation Budget

Anyone who has successfully undertaken a renovation project understands the value and importance of renovation budgeting and planning. You don’t have to break the bank every other time you’re having a renovation. Undertaking a full-scale renovation is not the same as having a small makeover in one of your rooms. The process and task in itself can be positively overwhelming.

If, in any case, your renovation budget goes out of control, you’re most likely to run into trouble. You might have forgot to account for some costs or you didn’t plan well, but one of the key elements to having a successful renovation is coming up with and sticking to your budget. Here are tips that will help you stick to your renovation budget.

When in Doubt, Start by planning it out

As mentioned, the first step to keeping your costs down is coming up with a clear plan. One of the reasons why people break the bank during a renovation project is failure to plan. Create a clear, realistic plan and picture of everything you intend to accomplish to avoid any unexpected expenses. When planning, remember to break down each renovation component and allocate the right percentage.

Set up your project Objectives with the end in mind

You got to be realistic with your renovation. That means you need to come up with objectives that are not only specific and measurable but can also be attained within a given time frame. You must have a projected timing for your renovation project. This is how you’re going to gauge how your cash is flowing. Setting a deadline will help you avoid having a project that never gets finished.

Pick the Right People

If you’re planning to have a renovation project in the near future, remember you must spend money so as to save money. Does it make any sense? The point here is to find contractors who can finish the job the right way. Don’t hire a contractor offering the lowest price for the project yet they cannot finish it as expected. Quality should be number one.

Don’t be in hurry with the Bidding Process

The process of hiring a renovation contractor can be quite overwhelming but this doesn’t mean you should take short cuts. Take your time and you’ll have a smooth time. After getting references from friends or family members, go ahead and collect not less than three bids for your renovation project. You must exercise patients here. Comparing bids will help you find the right contractor who fits within your planned budget.

Hire Reputation, Not a Result

When it comes to home building, construction, and renovation business, the most important thing to look after is reputation. This should be your gold standard. As mentioned, you better hire a contractor charging extra but can deliver quality work.