Let’s talk home renovations…
There are a number of strategies when buying real estate, the old faithful is buying a fixer-upper that you can put your finishing touches on. This is traditionally a great way to see a good return on investment, specifically when you plan to put in a bunch of sweat equity yourself. Remember that the cost of building/renovating has increased drastically so taking on some manageable tasks yourself is a great way to cut down on the costs.
Currently, I am right in the midst of the a full-blown kitchen renovation. When I say full-blown I mean, floors – gone, ceiling – gone, lighting – gone, cabinets – gone, sink – gone, countertops – gone, dividing wall – gone, oven – gone. It’s all GOING, GOING, GONE!
I am here to tell you that IT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS OR SEEMS.
Now, this large renovation was always the plan when we were buying the home, so it’s not a surprise by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that renovations are ALWAYS more work (and more money) than you expected. Thankfully, we have the best crew that we are working with who are making this renovation as seamless as humanly possible. I also have a handyman husband who has been able to assist / do some of the work himself, which not only helps to keep costs down, it also speeds up the process somewhat.
I often get asked if its beneficial to buy a renovated home or a home that requires renovations. There is no one correct answer here. It really depends on your individual situation.
BUYING AN ALREADY RENOVATED HOME IS FOR YOU IF:
– You lead a very busy life
– You do not have a handy bone in your body
– You are able to afford a previously renovated home
– You have not set aside some funds for a renovation
– You simply do not want to have to put up with the inconvenience of a home renovation
– You don’t want to pay the markup costs for a renovated home
– You do not want increased tension in the household
BUYING A HOME AND DOING THE RENOVATION YOURSELF IS FOR YOU IF:
– You have time on your hands
– You have a tradesperson in your immediate family or good friends who are looking to help out
– You want to build your dream home
– You have a smaller budget available when you are looking to buy a home and just want to enter the market
– You are happy to chip away at tasks as you go
– You are perfectly ok to live off takeout food for a while
– You don’t really care about the inconvenience that renovations inevitably have on your home/life.
– You have a strong relationship with your significant other (haha renovations can be difficult on relationships)
This makes it sound like I want to strangle my husband, but that’s actually not the case (thankfully) but it’s not uncommon.
Things you absolutely must have when renovating a kitchen/house:
– A skilled contractor
– An awesome electrician
– A great plumber
– A tiler – because tiling is a true skill
– A killer countertop installer (this is the most expensive part of your kitchen renovation)
Things you may be able to work around -> flooring – we were able to do this ourselves as my husband used to install floors for a living (although he also recruited a very good friend/floor installer to help out), demolition – you can absolutely dissemble countertops and cabinetry yourself. If you are planning to reuse any of the materials, you may want to seek help from an expert, because you can very easily damage these items. Interior designer – you can absolutely go this on your own, especially if you are just changing out existing cabinets/finishes and know exactly what you want aesthetically. Once you start changing the actual design and functionality of the kitchen itself, its highly recommended that you seek expert help. It will be worth the extra expense to save you from a huge mistake (that will inevitably cost you more to fix).
Be sure to check back to this blog to find out how the rest of the renovation goes. I will be sure to post before, during and after pictures once its finished. In the meantime, I will be here working in my office (that has become a makeshift kitchen/storage facility) eating takeout food, as we do not have any means of actually making food for the next few weeks. The joys of home renovation…