5 "Outside the Box" Questions to Ask Yourself Before Remodeling


A home renovation can be a costly, daunting process. It involves setting aside money to completely overhaul some important aspects of your home, and that can be kind of scary! Naturally, you as a homeowner might find yourself under a fair amount of pressure to get it right.

That’s why you do your research to find the right design and renovation company, and you get to work putting your vision into action. But still, questions remain.

No matter what kind of remodel you are considering, be it something you interact with daily, like renovating your kitchen, or something you rarely think about that just needs to get done, like repairing chimney damage, there are a lot of things to consider first. How much will it really cost? How much value will it add to your home? Is it necessary?

But there are also some questions that are a bit “outside of the box” that can help ensure you make the right decisions. Here are five of those questions that might surprise you.

Question #1

"What does my realtor think of this?"

You might not be thinking about selling your home now or any time soon, but whenever you decide to, you’ll find you face many unexpected questions that you hadn’t considered before putting your home on the market.

Anything you can do to answer those questions well in advance will cause less stress and worry for you in the future. Which is why you need to consider what your realtor would think of your renovation before you go ahead and launch into a big project.

Your realtor knows more than anyone else how changes can affect the value of your home and can give you an idea of which changes can help and which can hurt. A real estate pro can also help you spot areas where you might be best forgoing the more “luxury” option to save yourself money now.

For example, kitchen remodeling is among the most common and popular projects homeowners take on. And while a renovated kitchen can do wonders for your home’s look and feel, many “premium” options, like high-grade appliances or high-end countertops, actually cost twice as much to install versus the value they add to your home.

Now, don't get me wrong: If you plan to stay in your home for a while and want to enjoy some luxurious touches, it makes a lot of sense to invest a little extra for the upgrades. However, just know that some renovations hold their value more than others when it comes time to sell your home.

A realtor works with both buying and selling homes, meaning that they know what buyers want, and what they're not willing to pay extra for. So before you start your big project, run it by a realtor. It could save you tens of thousands of dollars.

See also: The Cost to Remodel in Seattle

Question #2

“What am I going to do while the work is being done?”

When you start a renovation or remodeling project, it’s easy to get excited thinking about all the improvements and enhancements being made to your living space. In fact, you can get so excited about the eventual end result, you might overlook a pretty important question.

What are you going to do while the work is being done?

You have to ask yourself, will I need to make adjustments while the project is being done? If you remodel your bathroom, will it be accessible? If not, do you have enough other bathrooms for everyone living at your home?

If your kitchen is being remodeled, how long will you be unable to use it for preparing meals?

Of course, there are many ways you can prepare for anything coming your way. If you will lose the use of your kitchen for a long period of time, you can set up a fridge and electronic range in a garage, use a grill, or order out more. For a whole-house remodeling project, you can stay in a hotel or motel while the most intense work is being done.

No matter what you do, it’s important to think about how the renovation will impact your life, instead of simply imagining the end result.

See also: Can I Stay in My Home During a Remodel?

Question #3

"Would I actually prefer less light?"

Everyone wants their home to be filled with warm, natural light. In fact, there are remodeling projects solely intended to increase the amount of light coming into homes during the day. So you might be surprised to see a suggestion about reducing the amount of natural light in your interior.

But it’s still a question worth asking. If you already have a lot of natural light, you might want to make sure your remodeling project doesn’t actually tip you over the edge into having too much.

If you already get more light than you prefer, you might want to consider ways to dim your rooms ever so slightly.

That’s because there is such a thing as too much natural light—even in the Pacific Northwest! When too much sunlight comes into your home, it can actually drain the warmth from a room. And you don’t want that.

See also: A Practical Guide to Window Placement

Question #4

"When do I have to start thinking about accessibility concerns?"

If you’re very lucky, you’ve already found the house that you’ll never want to leave. A true home. That’s wonderful! It also means you have to consider more than just the next few years when thinking about remodeling.

As we age in our homes, we have to consider accessibility. Are there stairs that might become difficult to navigate down the line? How easy is it to enter the house and the most important rooms?

While you don’t have to remodel around accessibility concerns until you actually make renovations that address accessibility, it’s always good to keep them in the back of your mind. Make sure your remodeling project won’t pose an accessibility headache down the road.

Your home renovation experts should be able to help you know what could affect accessibility in the future and what changes can be made that you can enjoy both now and well into the future.

See also: Mom Moving In? 5 Aging in Place Design Tips

Question #5

“Wait, do I need permits for this?”

Finally, you should do your due diligence and determine if you’re actually allowed to remodel the way you want. If you live in a condo, you should make sure your HOA will allow you to make changes, and that you aren’t trying to alter anything that might be considered “common elements.”

If you’re making a big change to your home, there are other considerations. For all but the most minor projects, you will need permits from the city. Even if you are doing the work yourself, most renovation and remodeling projects, ranging from wall demolition to electrical installation, require permits to move forward. Pleasing ignorance does not let you off the hook.

Hopefully, your remodeling partners will let you know what work needs permits. These can be obtained from your local municipality and help ensure that all improvements to your home are as safe and up-to-code as they are beautiful.

See also: What Happens if You Get Caught Remodeling without a Permit?

In conclusion

Ultimately, remodeling your home is a big decision, and there are many questions that have to be considered in order to make sure you have a truly smooth and successful experience. If you keep these questions in mind and work with remodeling professionals you can trust, you will find yourself with a home you can truly love.

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