It seems like congratulations are in order. Buying a home is a huge step for anyone and while it can be an overwhelming and expensive decision, the satisfaction it brings when you see your family happily settling in is priceless. Having reached that stage in your life when you are the proud new owner of your home means that you crossed one major milestone into adulthood. If you haven’t purchased a home in the city of Nashville, TN, now time to get your hands dirty and have some fun because even though you just bought a house, you still have to make it your own.
Unless you buy a house that was built based on your direct specifications, chances are that at least some basic renovations will be necessary. The size of the upcoming renovation project depends on what your home needs. No two homes are identical, and the level of repairs required varies even more. You might only need a new coat of paint, or a complete kitchen remodel. The following do’s and don’ts can be applied in any renovation project and, to limit your expenses and mishaps, take note of this guideline. It might save you thousands of dollars and reduce the possibility of stress that might occur during renovations.
Do Make a Plan
While many unpredictable things can throw your renovation plan off track, not having a plan to begin with is not an option. The first thing you should do before you even start reaching out to contractors is create a plan. Plan your budget, plan your projects, plan as much as you can. Think about what you want from this renovation. Prioritize tasks based on necessity and always have your budget in mind. The budget is meant to cover everything you intend to work on, plus an additional 20 to 30%, so if you can’t fit it in your budget, don’t start it. Either postpone it or take a loan for your renovation. In regards to time, set up a timeline but anticipate that the renovation might take longer than expected.
Depending on what you want to renovate in your home, you can generally apply the following order. If one of the things on the list isn’t part of your plan, just skip it.
- Any major structural changes: knocking down walls, building new walls, modifying room layouts or any other structural work like dealing with dampness, termites, and so on
- Windows and doors
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Putting in tile
- Painting and decorating the interior of the house
- Touching up plumbing and electrical systems
- Wood flooring
Don’t Do Everything Yourself
I like DIY projects just as much as the next guy, but don’t sign up for more than you can handle. While painting walls or fixing a leak might be approachable for inexperienced individuals, installing a new bathroom or redoing the plumbing isn’t only dangerous but can also be illegal. Major renovations may require certified professionals, and doing them yourself could make the house impossible to sell when the time comes. If you want to do as much as possible yourself, take classes, get certified, and start with smaller projects.
Do Hire a Contractor
With a plan on hand, you can start interviewing contractors, asking for referrals from friends and family, or looking online for available contractors near you. Once you managed to narrow down your selection based on quotes, interview at least three contractors and discuss your plans with them. If possible, look at some of their recently finished projects and also visit their current job sites. If you want to live in your home during renovations, the cleanliness and organization level of the crew will make that possible or not. Do not change your plan based on a contractor’s level of experience and skill level. Find the contractor that can take your dream and make it a reality.
Don’t Over Improve
We all have our dream homes, but real life requires a reality check every now and then. If you have a creative mind, you probably saw your home through rose-tinted glasses when you first visited it, but now it’s time to execute your vision. Unless you have an unlimited budget, it’s best to restrain yourself and think of the value those improvements will bring to your home on its resale price. Be reasonable and don’t improve things that don’t need improvement. If the roof is in good shape, there’s no need to replace it, and if you don’t like long baths, don’t add a bathtub. And always ask yourself if a project or another is a viable asset in the neighborhood. Always look at comparables before you overinvest.
Do Pay Attention to Details
When dealing with a large-scale renovation, there are an infinite amount of decisions that you’ll need to make. From structural work, materials used, insulation, and so on, you will need to make fast decisions based on the information you have on hand. While those are significant decisions, do not think that more minor choices are less critical. Small details like light fixtures, cabinet knobs, and faucets, for example, can make or break an interior design and, if combined correctly, will make the best first impression of any kitchen or bathroom renovation.
Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Home
We already discussed how you should make sure that everything fits in your budget, that you should prioritize the projects that you need to have done urgently, and don’t over-improve your home through elements that will not add to its value. You rarely see renovation professionals on HGTV go over budget during their projects, and that is because they plan. So if you plan to renovate both the kitchen and bathroom, make sure you have enough time, money, and energy for both. The last thing you want is to spend too much of your budget on a luxurious bathroom and be left with worn-out and outdated kitchen cabinets. Keep everything in perspective and your plan on hand.
Do Think Green
While the color green can work nicely as an accent piece, I’m not referring to that. An environmentally friendly home isn’t only better for the environment but for your health as well. Keep that in mind if anything in your home is covered in lead-based paint. Passive homes have impressive benefits, and eco-friendly homes that include sustainable materials throughout will only grow in popularity which can only positively impact your resale price.
Depending on what your new Nashville home might need, the whole renovation process may seem overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t had to deal with a renovation before. This is why we made up this list of do’s and don’ts to follow during your first Nashville renovation. Nothing is impossible, and if you follow this carefully organized guideline, your first Nashville renovation will run smoothly and … well, we can’t say effortlessly, but with as few obstacles as possible.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below and tell us all about your first Nashville renovation experience or your plans for it. Share this article with your friends and family to let them know that you might need some referrals for your upcoming project.
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!