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5 Steps to Preparing for Home Renovations

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Maybe you want to add more square footage to your home, or perhaps you’d simply like to update a room or two. You’re probably excited about all of the possibilities that come with renovating your home, but before you jump in, you need to research the process. Here’s how to plan out projects like adding a home office, learn the basics of contractor software, and create a realistic budget.

Save Your Receipts

When making renovations, it’s important to remember that home improvement projects can have more impact on your life than just improving your comfort. Upgrades can influence your property value, and thus be important in terms of both property taxes and insurance value. If you’re making changes so you can work from home or start a home-based business, you will have a future tax deduction as well. For all of these scenarios, save the receipts from your project in an organized fashion. They will come in handy down the road.

Add a Home Office

Many people are working from home these days. Because of this, adding a home office is a popular project. Ideally, you’ll want to set up your home office in an area that receives plenty of natural light - if you can’t do this, you’ll want to invest in overhead lighting. Also, consider family traffic patterns and how distracting your household may be. And if clients will be visiting your home, an exterior door with access to parking will be best. So, a garage conversion or walk-out basement remodel might be at the top of your list.

Familiarize Yourself with Software

To better understand your contractors’ workflows, it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about the software they will likely be using. For example, they will likely use accounting software, as well as 3D modeling software, to prepare for projects. Your contractors may also have access to industry-specific software, which allows them to develop and send estimates, manage their leads, and send invoices. This information can help with properly budgeting both your time and money.

Create Your Budget

It’s all too easy to spend more than you anticipated on renovations if you don’t commit to a strict budget. Your general budget will vary based on your location and your specific project. Bankrate states that replacing a roof can cost over $11,000, redoing your bathroom might hover around $25,000, and remodeling your kitchen may run you around $40,000 on the high end. Look up the average costs for different projects in your area so that you can draft an accurate budget.

Hire the Right Contractors

The contractors you hire will determine the quality of your renovation project. Block off plenty of time to figure out which contractor you want to work with. Start by asking your friends and relatives in the area if they have worked with any contractors they would recommend. Next, check out reviews of different local contractors online. Make sure to find someone whose estimate falls within your budget - you can ask any potential contractors for project estimates before making a hiring decision. Your contractor can also give you a general timeline for your project.

Keep Your Living Space Clean and Livable

If you stay in your home throughout renovations, you’ll have to coordinate with your contractors to ensure that you don’t get in their way while they work. You’ll likely need to deal with more commotion, noise, and dust than usual. Keep a few things handy so you can adjust on the fly. Some headphones can help you focus on your work, a fresh air filter will help clean your home’s air, and healthy cleaning products will allow you to address dirty surfaces.

Look into Rentable Living Spaces

If you won’t be able to live in your own home while it’s being renovated, where should you go? There are a few different options that you can explore. Fosburit states that you may want to stay with a family member or friend, book a hotel or short-term vacation rental house, or look into extended-stay hotels in your area. Another option is to rent an apartment or house nearby. If you’ll need to book a rental of any kind, including this cost in your budget.

If you’re interested in renovating your home, you don’t want to rush the process. By preparing for each step in advance, you’ll be able to plan for a stress-free renovation. With these tips, you can renovate your office or another room, find out more about contractor software, and decide where to live during your renovation.

By Seth Murphy

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