You pinched into your savings. You purchased your dream house. Now it’s time for a remodel.
Bad news is, you have no idea where to start. Not to mention the difficulty in deciding your budget, style, countertop options, paint colors, lighting fixtures, and the like.
The good news? We’ve done the heavy lifting, done the digging, and prepared this renovation guide for first-time homeowners like yourself. In it, you’ll learn what to expect during a remodel, how to budget for renovations, and mistakes to avoid. Let’s dive in!
Your Renovation Action Plan: What Should Come First?
What order do you renovate a house in? Use our remodeling checklist to make the best choices.
Start With Working Out The Budget
Once you’ve taken possession of the property, have a good look around and properly evaluate the extent of the renovation works. This allows you to get a detailed financial schedule in place.
Consider laying down a specific budget and sticking to it. Work out the costs for each room (that’s if you’re doing a whole-house remodel), factoring in everything from structural work to final touches, then sum it all up to see if you can afford it. If a renovation contractor is helping you with the project, they’ll often give you a precise quote, which will help with your budget.
Ideally, though, the cost of the remodel will depend on what specific renovation your house needs. We’ve broken down the projected cost of a full-house remodel into three categories: low, medium, and high.
Low: $20,000 – $50,000
A low-cost remodel may include the following:
- Basic flooring
- Exterior painting
- Interior painting
Medium: $50,000 – $100,000
Medium cost renovations feature everything included in a low-cost renovation. They also include higher-end flooring and a full remodel of main rooms.
- Full kitchen remodel
- Full bathroom remodel
- Quality countertops, cabinets, and flooring
High: $100,000 – $250,000
A high-cost renovation will include everything from the other two remodels but at a much higher level. You might also pursue some custom projects in this tier and redo your sewer, plumbing, and electrical.
- Professional-quality flooring
- Full kitchen remodel
- Full bathroom remodel
- Full bedroom remodels
- Custom countertops, range hoods, cabinets, or similar projects
- Plumbing, electrical, or sewer lines reconfigured or installed
That said, it’s advisable to stash aside a certain amount of money (say 15-20% of your budget) to cater for unexpected expenses that tend to arise when remodeling older homes. You’ll also need to create a separate budget for furnishing and decorating the home once the structural work is complete.
1. Decide On The Design & Style Of Your New Home
If you’re remodeling the entire house, you’ll probably want each room to match in design and style—at least in the main gathering spaces like the living room, fireplace, and basement.
You might also feel the urge to be a little more creative or expressive with smaller rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. If so, countertops should be the first thing you think of.
Are you aiming for a modern, sleek bathroom? Granite countertops might be just what you need.
Or perhaps you want an elegant trendy look in the kitchen? Marble countertops are made just for that.
Maybe that’s not your style, and you prefer a honed, soft, and functional look? Look no further than quartz.
In terms of the overall house style, you have a ton of choices. Contemporary, farmhouse, Victorian, and craftsman are just a few you could pick from.
When deciding on the design and style of your house, consider consulting with an interior designer. Or, if you don’t have that luxury, at the very least, talk with your loved ones about your entire home renovation. It’s always prudent to get a second opinion before pursuing such an intensive project.
2. Create A Timeline And Stick To It
Want to avoid all the stress that comes with a renovation project? Create a timeline. Without one, your home renovation project could take months, if not years, to complete.
Laying down a timeline doesn’t mean that the first one you make will be the only one you follow. If you encounter bottlenecks, adjust the timeline accordingly.
But no matter what, keep the timeline updated. This way, even with a few setbacks, you’ll still have a roadmap to guide your remodel.
3. Get Started!
Assuming you’ve already selected a contractor, acquired the appropriate permits, and researched builder’s risk insurance (for large projects), it’s now time to get started. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. With the above action plan, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful remodel.
Meanwhile, let’s look at a few renovation mistakes that new homeowners make so that you don’t fall into the same trap.
5 Common Renovation Blunders That New Homeowners Make
1. Underestimating The Budget
Most projects will cost more and take longer than you anticipate, so always add 15-20% to your initial estimate. You’d rather finish the remodel and have money left than run out of money in the middle of the project, right?
2. Not Vetting the Contractor Thoroughly
It’s tempting to hire the first contractor that quotes an affordable price, but not all remodeling contractors have equal skills and expertise. Take your time when vetting a contractor. Preferably, meet several contractors in person before hiring a qualified one for the project.
3. Making Changes Halfway Through
Once a renovation project is up and running, making alterations to the scope will cost time and money. Sticking to the action plan and knowing what you want in advance can help ensure that your project runs smoothly.
4. Not Preparing For Life During The Project
Some renovations can be disruptive. Others tend to take a long time. It’s important to have a plan for maintaining the quality of life in your newly acquired property while the remodel is underway.
This might mean sending pets to live elsewhere for a little while, rearranging sleeping quarters, or using the basement as a temporary living room. In short, work out your plan ahead of time.
5. Purchasing Low-Quality Countertops
Low-quality countertops like laminate don’t last very long and really don’t add any value to your property.
While it may seem sensible to invest in low-quality, low-cost countertop materials when planning your renovation, it’s better to buy high-quality, longer-lasting countertops that will stand up to regular wear and tear, resist scratches, and elevate the general appearance of your space. The best part? Some of these quality countertops might actually be cheaper than you think. You just have to know where to look.
Contact Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. For Your Countertop Needs.
If you’re looking for a reliable countertop supplier in or around St. Louis, MO and surrounding Southern Illinois areas, Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. has got you covered. We’re your one-stop shop for granite, marble, quartz, and soapstone countertops, and we take pride in helping homeowners realize their renovation dreams.