Remodeling Your Dream Home

 

You’ve got the vision. You can see it in your mind’s eye. The sleek, stainless steel and granite countertops, the brand-new entertainment area, the plush cinema-themed home theatre, and the insanely luxurious rain shower in the master bedroom. Your fingers itch to make the calls, buy the supplies and hire the contractors. You want to press the go button, bringing your vision into existence. But you’ve also heard the horror stories: the skyscraper budgets, the month-long delays, the unreliable contractors. In this article we take a step back and evaluate the prospect of this potentially enormous task of remodeling your dream home.

Where to start with your remodel

Many factors contribute to making home renovations an attractive prospect. Firstly, it is an investment that has stood the test of time. Property is one of the few assets that appreciate with time as long as they are adequately maintained. They also allow for rental income if you are not living in them. Buying an older, more neglected home to renovate also means that you can enjoy massive interest savings due to a lower housing loan. Secondly, you have the opportunity to create a home that works for you. One that will be both functional and complementary to your lifestyle and needs. Of course, the best part is that you get to indulge in the joy of creation. There is little else that offers the same level of satisfaction as bringing your vision to life. After all, there is a reason that before and after photos are such a hit. We love to see new life injected into something that was previously stark. It can be deeply satisfying to see something reach its potential and even more rewarding, knowing that you were part of the process.

However, home remodeling is monumental work, and it is vital to remain calm and tread with caution at all times. Some of the challenges to prepare for upfront include needing capital and having a flexible budget, difficulty securing reliable contractors, and accounting for unforeseen delays. Live-in renovations can be incredibly stressful and inconvenient, creating a new conflict source for many couples and families.

That said, there are some ways to ease these potential burdens, and having the foresight into prospective issues will allow you to plan accordingly. It is crucial to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation and to evaluate if you are in the position to shoulder unforeseen expenses. Invest wisely, keeping in mind the general price of houses in your area and how your prospective renovations will increase the property’s value. This will help you to decide if the financial and time investment will be worth the profit that can potentially be made should you sell the property. Consider avoiding major structural renovations in the rainy months and plan to make your purchases during the high sale seasons to save costs. Ensure that your project schedule gives you enough time to scout for the best deals before putting any cash down, especially with expensive materials such as tiles and bathroom fixtures. 

Should you hire a contractor?

Renovation contractors, unfortunately, have a reputation of being costly or unreliable, and you can be easily blindsided if you are not all that familiar with a bandsaw and drill press. You may also want to invest in some tools for home maintenance from brands such as Laguna tools if you are able to do some DIY yourself.  If you are not hands on, you may also want to read some articles to get an idea of what goes into delivering a finished construction product. However, there are some reliable businesses working to make an honest living and offering great customer service. You can protect yourself from vulnerability by making sure that you compare quotes from multiple service providers, view recommendations and completed work, and speak to previous clients where possible. The staggering cost of renovations makes going with the lowest quote all too tempting, but more often than not, it can cost far more to fix a job than paying a little more to have it done correctly in the first place. 

If you have significant renovations planned, consider first working with your contractor on a smaller project to gauge their work and your compatibility. Maintaining good relationships should also flow into your personal life. It is important to self-regulate your emotions and calmly communicate with those you live with during the remodeling. Remember, it will be an extremely stressful time for everyone, and accepting that there will be challenges, can help you cope better.  Evaluate how these renovations will fit your long-term financial and living plans and if the benefits outweigh the potential costs . If you plan to see this through, be ready to handle a lot of stress as well as some mess. Remember that the payoff will certainly be worth it. 

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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