Posted by Manny DeMelo on July 12th, 2017

In 2016, Canadians were projected to spend over $100 billion on home renovations. Whether it’s a fresh accent window or new siding for your whole home, homeowners know that even the smallest project can be a big undertaking. So how do you budget for it?

Here are three tips from us to help you plan for your next renovation:

1.     Understand the Costs Associated with Your Home Improvement Project

As a homeowner, you want to go into any renovation with both eyes wide open about what your project will involve (materials, timelines, etc.) and what its price tag will be. Be careful you don’t underestimate costs. Small fees can add up at the end, which is why it’s important to secure a detailed estimate at the beginning.

If you have concerns about your budget, keep in mind that:

  • Financing might be an option. Some home contractors offer financing, though you can also explore paths available through your bank like a Home Equity Line of Credit (or HELOC).
  • It’s possible that you’ll be able to complete your project in stages, working with your home contractor to identify higher priority areas (like malfunctioning windows or doors) and discussing how you can approach your goals strategically.

Don’t forget to factor a contingency fund into your plans. Sometimes costs will be predictable (like choosing a more expensive trim for your new windows at the outset), but sometimes problems won’t come to light until your project is already underway. The general rule of thumb is to have 10% to 20% of your project’s budget set aside “just in case.” Your contractor will be able to offer guidance related to your specific project.

2.     Make Informed Decisions about What to Renovate and What Not to Renovate

Consider factors like:

  • Your home’s age: New homes (under fifteen years) typically require less maintenance than their older counterparts. If an issue does crop up, it’s more likely that a simple repair will do the trick. If you’re having problems with an older home, undertaking comprehensive replacements might make more sense.
  • The plans you have for your home: Do you want to stay where you are for decades, or do you plan on moving in a few years? Remember that a home renovation can give a significant boost to your property’s value. You can recoup over 90% of the cost associated with replacing your front door, for example, and over 100% of what you’d spend reinsulating your attic.
  • Your location: You want your home’s exterior appearance to strike a balance between your aesthetic preferences and the trends present in your neighbourhood. Do you like the look of a wood-clad home? Authentic wood siding might be the right choice for you, though—depending on your budget—you might also want to go with something like vinyl siding designed to mimic wood.

What are the pros and cons of choosing vinyl siding? Read our blog to find out!

3.     Find a Professional, Experienced Home Contractor to Undertake the Work

Once you know what part (or parts) of your home you want to renovate, it’s time to find a reputable home contractor to perform the renovation.

As you’re assessing your options, keep an eye out for:Tips to Choose a Reputable Home Improvement Contractor

  • Positive experiences from past clients: Many contractors will post client testimonials on their websites, though you should also check out third-party sources like HomeStars and the Better Bureau.
  • Up-to-date insurance information: Professional home contractors need both General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance to keep you, your home, and their crews protected.
  • Physical locations: Legitimate home contractors will have a physical space out of which they operate. If a contractor supplies you with a PO Box, ask for the actual address. They can’t provide one? Take that as a red flag.

After identifying the three most promising contractors, it’s time to secure written estimates. Your estimate should include all the necessary details about materials used, labour, cost breakdowns, warranty information, and payment details.

Whatever the renovation you have on your to-do list, budgeting effectively for it and choosing the right home contractor will help you turn the vision you have for your home into a reality.

At Quality Exteriors, we’re committed to performing high-quality, reputable work that we’re proud to stand behind. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate!

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Manny DeMelo