Renovating a house can be a difficult project to undertake because of the various details that you have to consider. However, it can also be very rewarding for both homeowners and investors. For investors, they can find a house that is in bad shape, make some renovations and then potentially sell it for a substantial profit. For homeowners, they may be able to increase the value of their home.
Let us first take a closer look at the various advantages and disadvantages of renovating a house before you start planning for it.
The Advantages of Renovating a House
The most obvious benefit of renovating a house is the gain in equity or value. Improving the kitchen, adding a bathroom or bedroom, or improving the landscaping could greatly increase the price of your home. You can add to this the fact that this capital gain would be tax-free. This tax break is available even if you do not reinvest your gains into another home or trade it with a higher-priced property.
You can even increase your profits further by helping in the actual work. And after the renovation is done, you can enjoy the fruits of your project if you do not plan to sell the home. For example, you would be able enjoy your new kitchen with its advanced appliances and devices after you have renovated this favorite part of the house. This is not possible with other kinds of investments such as stocks or bonds.
The Downsides of Renovating a House
One disadvantage of renovating a house is that you will be taking some risks. However, risks have always accompanied investments and you are able to minimize them with careful planning. Nevertheless, unexpected things may happen that may not even be your fault, such as the rerouting of traffic or the cancellation of a highway project that could cause a substantial drop in the value of your home.
Another disadvantage is that your usual daily activities will disrupted as a result of the construction work and there will be accompanying inconveniences such as a temporary loss of water or power as they work on the plumbing or the electrical wiring.
Another downside to doing a house renovation is that it would be time consuming for you. You will need to determine what needs to be done and to draw up the plan. You will also need to come up with the specifications and choose the contractor. You will also have to monitor the progress of the work being done and ensure that everything is being done properly and the right materials are being used.
Planning the House Renovation
The first step is to plan and prepare. You will need to familiarize yourself with the building regulations in your city or town and the applicable standards. You will need this information when you are preparing your budget and in selecting the proper contractor.
If you are an investor, it would also be advisable to get the services of a professional inspector to make sure that you know everything that will need to be done. If you are not experienced in inspecting a home that you plan to buy, there is a good chance that you might miss something. For example, you may not even notice that termites have infested the wood structure.
After these preparations, you can now draw up the specifications for your renovation project. You will need to ensure that you have listed everything that needs to be done so that the contractor will be able to properly estimate the total cost of the project. This could be a difficult process because you will need to specify exactly what materials would be used because costs could vary by a wide margin with different materials. You may want to consult a home designer or architect about your specifications and the materials that you plan to use. You will then need to apply for the required permits for the required construction activities.
Choosing a Professional Contractor
Before selecting your contractor, make sure that you have thoroughly checked his references. Try to interview his former clients. You may also need to verify the materials that he plans to use. When searching for your contractor, you may consult the local newspaper or you may drive around your neighborhood and look for homes that have been newly renovated. You can ask the owners regarding their contractors and you can also ask for referrals from the home designer or architect.
Possible Activities When Renovating a House
The first activity is to protect various parts to ensure that they are not weakened or collapse during the renovation work. You may need to strengthen carrying beams, joists and weakened walls. You may also need to replace or repair the roof or the foundation. You will also need to check if there are any damaged windows or siding and if there are, you will have to replace them.
After completing the above, you will have to carefully demolish those parts of the house that will be renovated. If you are living in the house, you will need to plan this carefully to minimize the disruption of your daily activities. Make sure to exercise caution when demolishing older homes that have used lead-based paint. Check on the proper procedure for disposing of the waste, particularly the debris containing hazardous materials like lead.
The sequence of activities will then start with structural carpentry work. This will be followed by works on plumbing, electrical wiring, and the ductwork for the air conditioning and heating systems. After this, you will then need to put in the insulation. And before you close the walls, it would be advisable to call in an inspector to check on the plumbing and wiring.
The next step is to put in the drywall and then the flooring, and then the windows. After this, you can focus on fine carpentry work, such as moldings, baseboards, closets and bookcases. After completing this, you are ready for interior painting, installation of wallpapers, and other finishes. You then install the sidings and gutters. Lastly, you can do the exterior painting and any auxiliary building, such as a swimming pool or sun room.