Sometimes, the most difficult aspect of a home improvement project is choosing a remodeling contractor. In order to ensure you’re on the path to a fantastic home upgrade, we’ve put together a few steps for you to take during the selection process. So, here are six things to consider when choosing a contractor for your next home remodel project.
Know What You Want
The first step in choosing the right remodeling contractor is all about you and your home. Have a plan. Decide what and how you want to remodel. Not only does having a plan make it easier to get an accurate estimate, you’ll also be able to compare estimates more easily.
If contractors aren’t willing to stick to your vision during the conversation, you know it’s time to take your business elsewhere.
Ask Your Friends and Family
Good home remodeling contractors generate a lot of positive recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbors and other acquaintances if they have ever worked with a contractor that they liked. Asking not only helps you narrow down your list, but also who to avoid. Knowing who does, and doesn’t, do a good job is an important part of how to choose a contractor for your home remodel.
Look for Online Reviews
Online reviews can be very helpful. Look for places where reviews are harder to fake, such as Angie’s List and Yelp, as well as social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get to see a broad range of experiences customers have had with the contractors you’re researching.
Look for how the contractor handles a complaint. If they’re cordial and work to resolve an issue online, you can expect similar treatment during your project.
Speak With Multiple Contractors
After you’ve gotten recommendations and checked online, it’s time to call a few contractors.
Always get multiple bids on your project. Even if you absolutely love the first plan you get, stopping there means you’ll never know if the quote you received offers a good value. Home remodeling contractors may charge different rates because they may have different specialties, so getting multiple bids is a good idea.
Phone interviews are a good idea during the initial stages of choosing a remodeling contractor. Be sure to ask if they work on projects of your size, and what their availability is for interior and exterior projects.
You should also learn what licenses are required where you live. This will allow you to determine if your contractor is properly certified. Getting this information from multiple contractors may also reveal someone who is not being honest about what permits need to be obtained before work can begin.
Check References and BBB Ratings
When you speak with contractors, get the official name of their registered business.
References, such as current customers and subcontractors, can help you learn about the quality of the work. Current customers can share personal experiences and subcontractors can provide red flags, such as not paying on time or cutting corners by using less than stellar materials.
The official name of the contractor’s business will help you properly search the Better Business Bureau for complaints and other problems the contractor has experienced in the past. The BBB can help you see how well problems were resolved too.
Knowing their official name will also help you check their licenses, and it will help you verify what professional organizations they’re a part of in your area.
Seek Well Defined Bids
When you’ve found a few contractors you like, it’s time to get bids from them. Have a conversation with each potential home remodeling contractor and define your plans. Show them any blueprints you have. Tell them what you’re willing to spend and ask for a full quote.
To best compare your bids, ask each contractor to provide details about the costs for labor, materials and other expenses. This Old House says materials should represent about 40% of your total cost, another 40% should be allocated to labor and other expenses, and up to 20% should be used for the profit margin.
Once you have a bid you like, start the negotiation process. Make sure the contract is detailed and that you’re comfortable with it before the project starts. Once work begins, communication is the key to a happy and successful home remodel.
You love your house, but maybe it’s starting to show its age. Perhaps the kids are growing and you need some extra play space, or maybe it’s finally time for that master suite you’ve been dreaming of! Whatever you can dream of, our experienced home improvement contractors can build.
Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels
These are the two rooms that can increase the value of your house the most when you renovate. And let’s face it, you spend a lot of time in them, so why not make them more organized, efficient, and attractive?
For example, you can expand the footprint of your bathroom to add a vanity with two sinks or open up a wall between the kitchen and dining room for a more modern “Great Room” feel. The options for kitchen renovations and bathroom makeovers are almost endless. That’s why it’s best to work with a professional remodeler who can listen to your needs, offer options based on your budget, and give you the results that meet the highest standards in the industry.
Create a Home Office
Whether you work from home, run a business, or just need a dedicated space to pay bills, a home office can be a great productivity booster. Our remodeling contractors can help you convert an unused room or even create a new room by adding or removing walls.
Add a Utility Room or Mudroom
An all-purpose room can be added to your house or “borrowed” from part of the garage or basement. An attractive mudroom is ideal for taking off muddy shoes (or drying off a wet dog), and depositing school or office stuff. It can include a bench to sit on while you pull off your boots, hooks to hang raincoats and sports gear, and even a compact washer and dryer so dirty sports uniforms can go right into the laundry.
Whole-Home Remodels and Additions
A total renovation of your home is a big step. But if well done, it can mean incredible satisfaction for the homeowner and a huge jump in value for the house. This often involves adding several new rooms. A whole-house renovation can even extend into the existing space to reconfigure rooms and improve storage and accessibility. It can give your old house a new look and feel that is consistent and reflective of your personal style.
The final price of a home renovation varies depending on the scope of the project, the current state of the house, materials used, and other factors.
How to Choose a Renovation Contractor
The process of finding a contractor can be lengthy but it’s well worth the effort. Ultimately, you want to choose a company or individual that you’ll have a long relationship with. Since you probably don’t have an unlimited budget, you’ll need someone willing to explain the differences in materials, so you can make informed decisions based on your priorities. And someone who will be creative in giving you options within your price range. Obviously, you want a residential remodeling contractor with a proven track record.
Breyer Construction and Landscape is dedicated to this approach and to giving you results that meet your, and our industry’s, standards. As one of only three remodelers in Pennsylvania to earn a spot on a nationwide Best in Customer Satisfaction list published by Quality Remodeler magazine (July 2017 and July 2020), a 12-year GuildQuality participant, and a Remodeling Big 50 winner, we believe in constantly checking with the client to assure we’re meeting their needs.
We’ve completed home renovation projects throughout Southeastern PA, including Berks, Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh, Lancaster, and Lebanon Counties. Contact us to ask questions about your plans for a home remodel. Once you have all the right information, you will be able to make your decision with confidence.
Do you like taking on projects with your own two hands and a plan? If so, starting a home renovation business is a winning move in practically any market. There is no shortage of home improvement business opportunities, since homeowners are either improving their homes for long-term enjoyment, or sprucing them up to increase their market value for resale. Unlike many of today’s desk jobs, remodeling is a great opportunity to work with your mind and body. The start-up costs are relatively low, making it a great career choice for any independent contractor. Wondering what’s the most profitable home improvement business? Read on.
How to Start a Home Renovation Business
In the home improvement business, location is key. Once you’ve decided where you will be based as home remodeling contractors, get to know your state building regulations. Staying up-to-date on local codes will help you determine what you can offer your customers. Depending on your state and city, you may need a general small business license-look this up at your local Chamber of Commerce. You may also need to be licensed through your State’s agency as a home contractor. Check out NARI to learn more about your industry’s requirements and get connected to other home renovation professionals which will help you understand how to start a renovation business.
In a hands-on, location-based field like home repair, you’ll want to start off on the right foot with solid general contractor insurance. You will most often be working physically on-site, in the customer’s home. This means you’ll want coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
Find Your Niche
As a home remodeling contractor, you can successfully grow your home remodeling business through focusing on the needs of your customers. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, your business can be tailored to your target market. Your location can help you choose your niche-do the oceanfront properties need better deck solutions? Do local apartment buildings need more natural light? There are many profitable markets under the umbrella of ‘home remodeling’, so be prepared to explore your options. One example is ‘green’ remodeling. Incorporating non-toxic building materials, recycled objects, and energy-efficient spaces can differentiate you from the average home renovation contractor. Another category to consider is guest suites within pre-existing homes. Hosting platforms like Airbnb have created a demand for separated spaces inside private homes with maximal privacy for minimal investment.
Moving Into Maintenance – A Key for Winning Long-Term Customers
Here is a great example of how one independent contractor created a steady, growing income through his home renovation business: Jack T. specializes in indoor stone water fountains. He started out his home repair business creating stone fountains to ‘last forever’ but quickly discovered that the pumps operating the fountains would require biannual checkups. Customers who own one of Jack T.’s custom stone fountains now have the option to subscribe to his monthly low-cost maintenance plan, which includes twice-per-year pump checkups and on-call advice from Jack in the event of a malfunction. He has become the undisputed authority in indoor stone fountains in his state, and 95% of his fountain customers sign up for his monthly maintenance plan.
When starting a house renovation business, customers need to trust you. Your goal is to build a brand with a solid reputation that will have your customers raving about your work to their friends and neighbors. You will need hands-on technical skills to do home renovation, and these can be learned through internships on job sites as well as online courses in home remodeling. But while you build these skills, always remember that remodeling homes is all about working with the people who live in them. Trust and reputation are critical, and we recommend approaching the business from a ‘people-first’ perspective.
At the Beginning
Doing jobs for low-cost at the beginning is an excellent way to sharpen your skills as you ramp up. There is a huge marketing opportunity here, too-you can start building up your customer reviews and feedback to display on your website and social media long before ‘opening day’. Genuine reviews about your service from past customers is the best marketing strategy for dominating today’s home improvement industry. Remember to take (and post) pictures before, during, and after your home renovation work, always with your customer’s permission. For your potential customers, seeing is believing.
Marketing and Networking Ideas
Today, there are many easy and affordable marketing options to reach the customers who will be searching for your services online. For low-cost advertising, check out Google and Facebook ads- both companies have been ramping up their efforts to serve local businesses. Networking with other industry professionals, like wood, metal, glass, and paint suppliers, could be a great source of early referrals for your home renovation business. Make sure to invest in those relationships as you would with customers-they are key players to have on your team. Starting a home improvement business is a big responsibility. Expectations are high, and you may have some competition at the beginning. But with a positive attitude and a professional approach, you can make a career out of doing what you love. Enjoy using your creative skills to improve the space that matters most to your customers-their homes!
Becoming a home improvement contractor is a profitable endeavor. No matter the climate of the housing market, whether it’s in an upward or downward trend, people who are into this type of business will do well. When homes are in demand, sellers will shell out money to make their homes more attractive to buyers, and buyers also make improvements to their new properties. On the other hand, when it’s not a good season for home sales, homeowners also tend to upgrade or customize their homes. If a home improvement business sounds like an excellent business idea to you, you should know how to make a good start in this endeavor. Here are some tips for that purpose.
Ensure You Have the Right Motivation
Having knowledge of the basics of the business and crafting the right business plan are two essential aspects to make this endeavor a success. Aside from the two, you should also have the right motivation, especially when you’re just starting. Motivation creates the will needed to get things done. It’s also the thing that makes you enjoy your work and be hands-on with your business. That’s why you should ask yourself if this kind of business is the thing that you want to do.
Have a Reasonable Financial Outlook
You should make sure that you have enough financial savings set aside to cover the expenses of starting your business. Also, you should keep in mind to avoid overspending. If you don’t have a reasonable financial outlook, this business may not be for you. Being a contractor of home improvement services needs you to tighten your belt for several months or even a year in order to drive in profits and become successful.
Determine the Services You’re Going to Offer
It’s essential that your business offer services that you enjoy doing and give you the best profit as possible. For sure, you already have things in mind. Some contractors offer all-around home remodeling services. While others focus on a particular room like the dining area, kitchen, living room, and bedroom improvement.
Get a License and Insurance for Your Business
Having a license and insurance is crucial before you start your business. For instance, you should obtain a contractor’s license and other vital certifications. Aside from the contractor’s license, getting a business license in the city where your business is located is also a must. You also need to get general liability insurance to cover such expenses in case of accidents in the job site or home damages done by your employee. Commercial and cyber breach insurance is also essential for this kind of business.
Be Friends with Suppliers and Subcontractors
When doing business, it’s crucial that you start a business relationship with home material suppliers. In this way, you can obtain discounts and reduce your business expenses. You can also get your work done on time because your supplier will prioritize you when it comes to the delivery of materials.
Market Your Services
Your business will need excellent marketing so that people will know and avail of the services you offer. Marketing is among the things that you should do in the first few months of your business. You can hand out flyers, put up billboards, or use the internet to make your business known. The best way to market today is putting your brand on Craigslist. Using online marketing will get you more leads and boost your profits.
A home improvement business is an excellent endeavor. Not only that it’s in demand, but you can also get more money out of it. However, it’s crucial that you know how to start this business right. You can get ideas from the list above for that purpose.
Tip 1: Plan your project and get bids well in advance
Have you ever tried to find a contractor in March to start the new three-season porch that you want to be completed by Mother’s Day? It’ll cost more than if you’d found a contractor in January. Most contractors plan out months ahead and don’t want to disrupt their schedules. They’ll shoot you a high bid because they really don’t want to fit you in … unless you pay a high rate.
Most building trades have busy seasons and slow seasons. Plan ahead, and you’ll get more competitive bids during the slow seasons. Best times to schedule:
roofing—cold or rainy months
indoor renovations—winter or during rainy months
heating—late summer, before fall
air conditioning—late winter or early spring
chimney cleaning— anytime except fall!
project design (architects)—fall and winter
Tip 2: Pay extra for energy-saving features
With energy prices rising, many contractors are offering energy efficiency upgrades (at an additional price). These might include higher-efficiency windows; guaranteed air sealing; extra-thick insulation; and higher-efficiency heating, cooling, or other appliances. If they don’t offer this, you can ask what additional measures they (or you) can take to improve your home’s energy performance. Then compare the estimated energy savings with the cost of each upgrade. A payback period of seven to 10 years is good. (Simple payback is the time it takes for the savings to equal the original cost.) Keep in mind that upgrades were done during the remodeling process always cost less than upgrades added later.
Tip 3: Hire an architect or designer for at least an initial sketch
The most expensive mistake you can make is to build an addition or remodel a room that you don’t like when it’s finished. Professional design help during the planning stage helps you tailor the space to fit. Sometimes it takes only one or two key details to make that room special. Most architects and designers will walk you through the initial planning for a modest fee. Gather lots of visual material to illustrate your ideas. And be sure you’re on the same page as your spouse! Be prepared to do some legwork after going through these home improvement tips.
Tip 4: Pitch in and do parts of the project yourself
Doing the entire project yourself is by far the best way to save. But if you don’t have the time or skills, your part-time sweat equity can reduce costs. Consider taking on such labor-intensive jobs as demolition, moving materials, digging, cleaning up the job site after work, sanding trim, or painting. Coordinate the jobs with the contractor in advance and agree on their value. Beware! Once you commit yourself, make sure to complete the work in a timely way. Tardiness can throw off the construction schedule and cost you more in the long run!
Tip 5: Plan for future upgrades if you can’t afford them now
You don’t have to wait until you can build your dream addition all at once. You can get started now and gradually add as your finances allow. But work from a master plan so you don’t have to go back and tear out or upgrade what you’ve already done.
For example, consider:
an electrical service with capacity for the future addition, workshop or hot tub
in-the-wall wiring for electronics in every room or a future home theater
rough plumbing for a future half bath or hot tub
wiring for future lighting fixtures
rough framing for future doors or windows
French doors that open to a future deck.
Tip 6: Compare the price of remodeling with the cost of buying new
Your house is your most important investment as well as the place you call home. Although you may love your house and neighborhood, check how much your addition would add to the value of your home. Creating a luxury home in a modest neighborhood may not make financial sense. A real estate agent or home appraiser can make a close estimate. If you can’t recoup at least 75 percent of the cost when you sell, at least consider the advantages of buying another house with the space or features you need. It may well be a better investment to move rather than to add on.
Tip 7: Shop for materials yourself
You won’t save much by trying to stockpile lumber, drywall, electrical wiring, or other basic building materials. But when it comes to the finish materials—carpeting, appliances, faucets, countertops, light fixtures—your own footwork will pay off. Not only do you get exactly what you want, but you also can find bargains, especially if you start collecting these items well in advance. You can even plan to reuse a stylish old stove, distressed hardwood flooring, or other items that add a creative touch to a room. But clear your decisions with your contractor; installation costs might be higher for unusual requests.
Tip 8: Don’t overdo windows and skylights
Big windows and skylights can have a spectacular effect on a new addition, making it feel bright and cheery and offering great views. But more is not always better. Not only are windows and skylights expensive, but even energy-efficient ones will sharply increase your heating and cooling bills. Large skylights can make a room feel like a furnace in the summer! You may have to replace your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace with a larger one. Or perhaps add units to keep the room comfortable.
Tip 9: Avoid moving the plumbing or changing the foundation
You can’t always avoid it, but any alteration to these two systems typically adds thousands to a remodeling project. Neither is simple. New plumbing often requires breaking into walls and floors; resizing lines to meet newer plumbing codes; and replacing old, out-of-date pipes. New foundations usually require excavation, concrete, and other heavy, expensive work. The price jumps whenever you add these two items, so ask yourself if you really need to move the kitchen sink during a kitchen remodel, or if you really need the extra space in a bathroom bump-out.
Remodeling can help increase the value of a home while also providing a newer, more pleasant aesthetic to an aging home. This makes it more appealing to continue living in an older home.
In an attempt to save money, here are nine creative home renovation tips for a tight budget.
1. Update any room with a fresh coat of paint
One of the most tried and true budget home renovations is a fresh coat of paint. This is an easy way to help to transform the feeling and ambiance of any room in the house without spending a fortune on extra furniture or add-ons. Paint is fairly inexpensive and is simple to apply. This ensures that money isn’t wasted hiring professionals to conduct renovations. A different color
2. Install crown molding
Crown molding isn’t the most intuitive home renovation idea as not many homes utilize this design. Crown molding is essentially angled trim that lines where the ceiling and walls meet. This is a great way to add value to a home and increase the overall aesthetic appeal. The process is relatively simple and only requires some carefully cut angles and the patience of installation. There are also non-wood, crown molding options that are even more affordable.
paint can help change any room without breaking the bank.
3. Refinish kitchen cabinets
The kitchen is a popular area in the house to renovate. However, new cabinets and appliances can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there is another, more affordable remodeling trick. By sanding down the cabinets and applying a new finish, homeowners can achieve the look and feel of a completely new set without the purchase.
4. Install a stair runner
Stairs can be another costly renovation. However, adding a cheap stair runner can help give the space a different feel without a complete remodel. These runners can be purchased in a variety of designs to match any color of paint or atmosphere of the home. Homeowners should be able to find the right size for their homes quite easily.
5. Rearrange your furniture
While furniture contributes a lot to the overall feel of a room, it also tends to cost a lot of money. Most of the time, a tight budget won’t allow for the purchase of a new couch or dresser. For this reason, it is important to utilize the power of rearrangement. A room can feel completely different even with the same furniture when it has been moved around to different spots. You can do this with furniture from other rooms as well. This essentially costs nothing, yet can bring the feel of a complete remodel.
6. Replace cheaper household accessories
When considering a remodel, our attention typically turns towards the bigger ticket items. However, even swapping out smaller household accessories can help to shake things up. For example, pillows are littered throughout most homes on couches, beds, and chairs. Changing the smaller accessories throughout your home is a great way to renovate with a tight budget.
7. Hang up homemade art or photos
Many homeowners scratch their heads when considering what to do with a large area of empty wall. Instead of investing in expensive mirrors or other accessories, consider hanging some of your own work. This could come in the form of a personal painting or photograph. It’s a great way to make your rooms feel more personalized while also saving money in the long run.
8. Add minimalist storage ideas
Storage is an issue in most households. Not only do you have too many things to store, but storing them in a nice way is important as well. This is when investing in some minimalistic storage is a good idea. Small cubby holes and hanging racks are a few great ideas to make storing clothing and other smaller things a breeze. These storage devices can be added to closets and empty spaces throughout the house.
9. Install some new lighting
Lighting is another factor that contributes a lot to the ambiance of a room. Lucky for you, lighting is also a very affordable factor to change. You can opt for a brighter or dimmer setting depending on how you want the room to feel.
Colour is another option when it comes to changing the lighting in a room. Small color accents can help give a room a cooler or warmer feel depending on the shade.
Renovating your home can be a great way to stay satisfied without having to spend money on moving. However, remodeling can cost money that a lot of homeowners simply don’t have. These nine creative home renovation tips will help you accomplish these goals on a budget.
Home renovation is very popular these days. More and more homeowners are choosing to stay in the same place, rather than purchase a new home. To make room for growing families and changing needs, home renovations are occurring at an ever-faster pace. There are five major types of renovations made by homeowners, whether the need is to update the home, add more space or simply make the home better reflect a family’s character and needs.
Renovating the kitchen is the most popular type of major renovation in a home. It’s also the best way to increase a home’s value if it were to be put on the market. Kitchen renovations can be done for numerous reasons – increasing usable space, updating appliances and cabinetry, or they can be done in concert with other renovations.
Bathroom renovations are generally not on the same scale as kitchen renovations, but as they can involve plumbing and render a bathroom unusable during the process, they are major considerations. Bathroom renovations offer the means to increase luxury within a home, and increasingly are done to help a family save water and electricity with green fixtures.
Finishing a basement is one of the best ways to add usable space to a home in North York. Basements can become full bedroom suites, or they might be used as movie rooms, game rooms, in-law suites or full apartments, depending on the needs. These major renovations can involve an immense amount of work and design, as well.
Adding a room (or more than one) is also very popular. Often, families with two or more children and not enough bedrooms choose to add on so each child can have their own bedroom. However, adding on can also be done if you want to leave the majority of the home alone, but want to add an office, family game room, sunroom or something else. These are major considerations, as the home’s internal structure will be altered during construction.
Adding a New Bathroom
For homes that have fewer bathrooms than is ideal, adding one is a very popular choice. This might be done to provide a private bathroom for children, or a guest bathroom that is not used by the entire family. However, because of plumbing considerations (and general construction), these are very major undertakings.
These five types of home renovation are best undertaken with the help of a skilled general contractor to manage and oversee the entire process. A contractor can also offer help and advice during the remodelling process. To find a general contractor, take a look at our directory.
It’s almost unheard of for a renovation to come in on budget. While budget overruns can vary from small cost increases to complete budget blowouts, the impact can be significant – especially if finances are tight. If you’re funding renovations with a loan, you might find that it’s suddenly not enough to cover the costs. This can leave you having to stump up the cost difference from another source or having to live in an unfinished home!
So where are some of the big risks of a budget blowout and how do you minimise them?
The process of renovating can uncover nasty surprises behind walls or under floors that your builder may not have reasonably anticipated when providing their quote. For example, if your builder has assumed the existing structure and services are sound and then discovers you need to underpin foundations or replace ancient plumbing pipes, this can put a real strain on your finances. And if you encounter a few of these unexpected problems, the additional cost can go through the roof! It’s wise to budget a contingency for unexpected work, particularly if you’re renovating an older home (although a newer building is no guarantee of smooth sailing).
Keep an eye on your accumulative spending. Things like ‘up spec-ing’ your finishes can add up very quickly. An additional few hundred dollars here and there may seem manageable, but if you do this across numerous items, the costs will soon stack up. Before you start, understand the level of finish specified in your building contract and make sure you’ll be happy with this when it’s time to choose your finishes. Also, be certain you understand any exclusions in your builder’s or tradie’s contract. Are there any necessary items missing that you’ll have to pay for separately?
A fixed price contract for the total cost of renovations will provide certainty to how much finance you need. However, if you accept an estimate rather than a fixed price contract, double check that it’s realistic. You may wish to engage a professional to check this for you, especially if the cost of the renovations is significant.
Whether you’re renovating to increase the value of your home, to make it more attractive to sell or just to make it more liveable for you and your family, you should consider the feasibility of your plans. If the cost of doing the renovations is more than the value they add to your home, you’ll be overcapitalising.
If you’re renovating for comfort and intending to stay for the long haul, then you may not be too concerned about overcapitalisation. But it’s worth considering if this would still be the case if circumstances change and you have to sell unexpectedly.
To avoid overcapitalising the value of the property following renovation needs to be more than the cost of the renovation. Firstly, establish the current value of your home. If you are not sure, get a valuation.
Then, set a renovation budget. Research property prices in your area and determine the likely future value of the home following renovations. Tailor your budget to what buyers in your area are willing to pay for – and don’t spend more.
When setting your budget you need to include all of the costs involved, not just the cost of the building work. For example, don’t forget about design fees, specialist advice, building application fees, finance fees and rent if you can’t stay in the property while renovations are going on. And if you’re renovating with the intention of selling don’t forget agent’s fees and capital gains tax (if applicable), for example.
If you’re applying for a loan to fund your renovations and find you’re able to borrow more than the budget you’ve set, resist the temptation to borrow more. The risk is you may be tempted to go overboard with renovations that won’t add value. Just because you can borrow more doesn’t mean you should!
3. Devaluing Your Home
The purpose of renovating is to improve your home (and increase its value). But did you know it is possible to devalue your house through renovating?
For example, unattractive additions that don’t fit with the original home can devalue your property and make it harder to sell. Building a huge house but leaving no outdoor space is likely to devalue your property if you’re an area primarily inhabited by families.
Be careful about additions like swimming pools – it may make your home more attractive to some buyers (some families). But if you’re not in a market that wants a swimming pool, or in a market that specifically doesn’t want a swimming pool, it could actually devalue your home.
Make sure you have the proper permits and approvals for your renovation as illegal extensions or building work can significantly impact a property’s value. An inspection report will pick up illegal additions or modifications, which can be expensive and time consuming to fix, and will be a real turn off for buyers.
Keep it clean and simple. Putting too much ‘personalisation’ into your home can also devalue it. Putting too much of your own personality and taste into your home can narrow its appeal and make it harder to sell. To maximise the value of your home, go for a simple, high-quality renovation that has broad appeal.
4. Getting The Wrong Finance For You
Make sure you get the right type of finance for your renovations – and make sure you consider your options and the pros and cons of each. Getting the right finance for your own circumstances can save you money and time on your home loan. Here are some of the options you may wish to consider:
Use the equity in your home
If you have the ability to redraw built up equity in your home, you can use this to finance renovations. Equity is the difference between the value of your house and the amount you owe on your home loan. To avoid mortgage insurance, you can usually borrow up to 80% of the equity you have.
The amount of the equity your lender will allow you to borrow also depends on your ability to pay back the debt. Your repayments will go up to cover the additional finance so make sure you can afford the extra repayment amount. And, as mentioned above, make sure you don’t overcapitalise.
Refinancing is basically getting a new home loan. You can go to your existing lender or a new one. This option gives you the opportunity to check out various finance products on the market, which may have changed quite a bit since you took out your home loan, and choose the best one for you. You may also wish to consider the opportunity to consolidate other debts into your new loan (if you have sufficient equity).
There are costs to set up a new loan and it’s not guaranteed you’ll get a better deal than you already have (e.g. you have a fixed rate below what’s currently being offered).
A good mortgage broker will be able to assist you not only select the right home loan for you, but also figure out the right way to refinance your existing loan(s).
Line of credit
A line of credit allows you to borrow up to a set amount, by drawing down funds as you need them. This can be useful by having funds available and ready to go to pay builders or tradies invoices as they come in.
Interest is charged only on the balance owing and not the total loan amount.
This can be a flexible way to finance your renovations, however the interest rate tends to be higher than other home mortgage products.
Building / construction loan
With a construction loan, your lender will look at the value of the finished home to determine how much equity you have. Funds are drawn down incrementally as work progresses meaning you only start paying interest on the renovation costs once a particular piece of building work has been completed (or at agreed milestones).
Your lender provides funds as work is completed, so they (and you) have comfort that value has been added to the home at each stage. In other words, the builder can’t run off with all the funds without doing the work!
If you don’t have enough equity in your home and need to borrow a small amount, you might consider financing your renovations with a personal loan. It’s not usually a favourite renovation finance option as the rate is higher, the term is shorter, and the amount that may be borrowed is usually less than a mortgage (though the total interest paid will be less due to the shorter term). But if you just need funds to get something minor done, or finished it could be an option.
5. Insufficient Insurance
Many people aren’t aware that undertaking renovations can have an impact on their insurance cover, which may leave them exposed or with insufficient cover both during and after a renovation.
You’ll need to talk to your insurance company to make sure your home is covered sufficiently during renovations. Also, check whether there is maximum claim limit during renovations.
Depending on the value of the renovations, check that your builder has insurance and that it’s up to date. If you’re project managing the renovations or undertaking them yourself, you may need builders insurance on top of your regular cover. And once your renovation is complete make sure you update your policy to reflect the new value of your home. You don’t want to find out the hard way that you don’t have the cover you need.
There’s always something happening in the real estate market. As one of the major driving forces behind every economy, it offers a wide range of opportunities for different types of businesses. Due to the lively character of this field, it attracts lots of new entrepreneurs. Furthermore it can work well as a part time business because you can purchase and renovate homes at your own pace.
According to data published by the US Census Bureau, about 592,000 new family houses were sold in the US in 2016. That figure represents a 16 percent increase year-over-year, so you can see a promising increase in this field of the economy. From this point of view, it seems that this niche has a lot of potential. Hence, it would be wise to seize the moment and start your own home renovating business.
If you want to explore other business ideas, I suggest you take my quiz below.
Although the workload in the housing market is growing, the beginning will be all but simple. If you want to begin your business successfully, get ready for a multi-step process. First, start out as a regular worker in a home renovating business or a bigger (re)construction company. It will help you make connections in the field and gain some precious experience.
Then, learn the tricks of the trade regarding the financial side. As time goes by, start developing an exit strategy. For instance, start doing some less-challenging home renovation projects on your own as an extra job. If you’re good, you’ll get recommendations from your clients. As your workload keeps growing, hire assistants and increase the number of work hours. Finally, when your side job becomes your main source of income, leave your current position and launch a brand-new home renovation business.
Calculate Your Budget in Advance
As opposed to construction businesses, which are usually huge enterprises, home renovating ventures are managed more easily in financial terms. Nevertheless, don’t think it will be smooth sailing. With many entrepreneurs doing the same thing as you, the most important step is to ensure that you have enough budget to cover your initial expenses.
This budget should include your workers’ wages (direct labor), overhead expenses (the total cost of all the means you use to carry out the work) and direct materials (pretty self-explanatory). When you’ve calculated all those initial expenses, it’s time to see what financing models you can apply for. Make appointments in several banks and check if they can offer you some affordable business loans. Also, do some research on government grants for small businesses. Even if you don’t qualify for one at the moment, it’s good to know what options you can count on in the future.
Avoid Unregistered Work
Future home renovators should never work without proper licenses. When you’ve decided it’s time to pave your own business path, pay a visit to the local Small Business Administration office (e.g. on your way to the bank). Tell them about your business plans and get all the information that might be useful for the initial stage of your professional development.
Here you’ll also have to decide how you’ll to register your business. If you already know you’re going to hire employees soon, registering as a limited liability company (LLC) is the most practical solution. The greatest benefit of this business model is that your personal assets will be treated separately from your business finances.
In addition, you have to check with the authorized local government agency whether you need only to register as a home renovation office or you also need to get a license. The rules are different even from state to state, let alone from country to country.
When you’re at the beginning of your home renovating business adventure, try to narrow down the number of tasks your business performs. If you go too wide, you’ll lose focus, which might lead to issues such as missing deadlines or being late with payments. Wise entrepreneurs in the home renovation industry start from strictly limited work.
For instance, offer only bathroom renovation or only carpentry work at the beginning. Also, make your business visible for your potential clients. You can register on one of those contractor databases and become available through the mobile home remodel search. That way, it’s more likely that new customers will spot your venture and hire you for their remodeling work.
Suppliers and Collaborators
People who supply you with the materials that you need for your home renovating business and your collaborators need to be treated like your family members. Although it’s a business collaboration, it should be based on mutual trust and support.
The most important principle you should always stick to is paying your suppliers and collaborators on time. Your business will depend on them, as much as it will depend on your own skills. For instance, you could use online invoicing to speed up the payment process and accelerate the workflow of your business. In addition to the workflow, those practical tools also ensure easy cash flow, which will result in smooth and fast business cooperation.
The home renovation market can host many new businesses. While it will take a lot of time and sweat to become an established business owner in this field, it offers a lot of space for (both home and professional) improvement. Therefore, take the plunge and launch your very own home renovation business.
Start Streaming the Courses on BusinessTown
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Home renovation can be expensive, complicated, and time-consuming. However, after a period, you will be required to renovate your home to make it look appealing to you and your visitors. The importance of home renovation may differ from one homeowner to the other. This article provides you with the main or key reasons as to why you should consider renovating your home.
Here are the main reasons as to why you need to renovate your home:
To increase the enjoyment and comfortability of your home
The enjoyment and comfort of your home are very essential. Everyone would want to go to work or any place knowing that at the end of the day, they would love to be back in their comfortable and enjoyable home. When your home is still new, the high chances are that the home feels comfortable. When days pass, the comfort starts to decrease since you will start to desire top up other things in your home to improve the comfortability and enjoyment in your home. Satisfaction and comfort at home are essential factors to consider.
To increase home value
If you among the homeowners who plan to sell their homes in future, then there is need to renovate the home to improve its value. Some of the renovation you will be required to do in improving the value of your home will include changing the front door to the new door models, updating the design of your bathroom, kitchen and living room.
To secure a safety issue
Some of the renovation tasks cannot be ignored such as leaks from the roof, electrical problems, or a crack in an undesired place. These safety jobs must not be ignored so that the family can be safe and avoid the home from being destroyed.
To improve the home’s function
With time, you may need to divide the home into more rooms to accommodate the increasing number of family members. Also, you may be required to increase the number of your bathrooms to avoid commotion at the bathroom during the busy mornings. The function of a home keeps on changing; hence, a renovation might be required to meet the changes needed in a home.
To improve the style of the home
An old home might be having an outdated look which makes not appealing to the eye of the buyer. Updating the style of your home is important to keep up with the new home trends in the market today. Most homebuyers prefer to purchase a home with an attractive style. A good home style improves the value of the house.
To improve the home’s efficiency
Installing new heat pumps, new windows as well as topping up some insulation are just some of the renovations that can minimize energy expenses and get to pay for themselves after some time. Most buyers would prefer to purchase a more energy-efficient home since the cost will be minimal to them.
There is the importance of home renovation since it improves the style, comfort, enjoyment, and value of the home. If you own a home, you should never ignore the idea of renovation.