A home remodel is a great way to add appeal to your house, whether you plan to move soon and want to increase the selling potential and overall value, or if you simply want to make it a space you love coming home to at the end of the day. Depending on the scope of the project, though, a home remodel can be a BIG deal. From the amount of dollars you’ll spend to the time it takes to complete (and where you will live in the meantime!) there is a lot to consider. This article will help you to navigate the murky waters of a home remodel. No matter what project you decide to take on, whether you do it yourself or call in a pro, Catchbook is the perfect tool to plan it. In this post, we’ll tackle three major questions that every person should ask when considering a home remodel.
Should you DIY or hire a professional?
In our post about DIY home décor, I talk about all of the benefits to doing something yourself. Among them is the amount of money you could save. Hiring a professional can be costly, but keep in mind it will cost you even more in time and repairs if you try something beyond your skill level! There is a saying… If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur. Don’t be that amateur! So, start by looking at what projects you can reasonably manage on your own.
Be honest with yourself. This is important when it comes to assessing your skill level. Are you an expert at using a miter saw, or have you never even picked up a hammer before? Your capabilities are a good indicator of whether or not your project will be a success. Everybody is different, but typically a good rule of thumb is that electrical wiring and any sort of building (an addition to your house, for example) should best be left to the pros. Unless you’re an electrician or experienced enough to be one, you run the risk of endangering yourself and others in the home when you attempt DIY electrical wiring. There is a building code for a reason! Same goes for foundations or walls. It doesn’t just apply to building either; demolition can be just as dangerous. Anybody can take down a wall with a sledgehammer, but can you assuredly identify a load bearing wall? Take down one of those, and you’ll have bigger problems than just a closed concept living area.
You may ask yourself, what about a kitchen or bath remodel? Those are pretty serious projects that require significant time and effort. If you feel as though you’ve got the skills, don’t let that deter you, but you should ask yourself: “Do I really have the time to dedicate to this?” Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is no small task. Even with a professional working around the clock, it could take weeks to finish! You don’t want to start only to realize you can’t finish due to time constraints. Since those are major rooms in the house that you use every day, you don’t want them to be out of commission any longer than necessary!
What adds the most value to your home?
Regardless of whether you plan to stay in your current home for 3 years or 30, it’s good to know that the money you spend on a remodel will actually pay off. And if you are fixing up your home with the explicit intent to sell, return on investment should be pretty high on your list of priorities when determining which projects you’ll take on. So, what are some of those worthwhile home remodels that will add the most value to your home? Where can you get the most bang for your buck?
You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that one of the best home improvements you can make to increase resale value is… a new front door! On average, a new front door adds 96.6 percent of the amount you spent back in value to your home. It’s a fast, easy fix that will instantly up your curb appeal and leave potential buyers with a great first impression. If buying a new door is out of the question for you, a fresh coat of paint will suffice.
The same is true for windows, siding, a new roof, or even a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Home maintenance tends to have a greater ROI than a major remodel or addition. That’s not to say you should nix the kitchen and bathroom remodel entirely, however. Those two rooms continue to be the biggest selling points for home buyers. In fact, in the hottest housing markets, those two remodels can bring in more than 100 percent of the cost in value to your home.
A minor kitchen remodel draws in higher returns than a major one. Most home buyers aren’t looking to pay top dollar for a kitchen that would satiate a culinary expert. Skip the top of the line appliances and instead, try replacing them with more energy efficient models. New cabinets and countertops do a lot to improve the ambiance of your kitchen, but don’t stress about getting fancy imported wood or the rarest granite you can find. Most people can’t tell the difference and don’t care.
As for bathrooms, if your house only has one, an addition can bring in a good chunk of change. On the whole though, additions are usually more expensive (not to mention more work!) than they are worth.
Why do remodels take so long, and how can I speed it up?
During a home remodel, your life is completely interrupted from its day to day flow. Particularly if you are remodeling a kitchen or bath, because A. it is a room that you use every day and B. at some point, at least one of the appliances you use regularly will be out of commission. There are a few options to help you deal with this. You can either make do with a construction zone in the middle of your living space, move in with a family member or friend, or spring for a hotel room in the meantime. Each of these poses its own problems, such as costs, stress, comfort… you get the idea. So how can you make a remodel go by faster?
Even if you’re using the skills of a professional contractor, home remodels take time. Did you know that typically the most time consuming part of the process is the design process? Planning each detail, capturing it accurately and efficiently, plus deciding all of the materials that will be used, has a major impact on the time your remodel will take. It helps to be decisive and have a clear vision of what you want. Catchbook can help with accurately capturing your ideas and designing them. Let’s look at two different scenarios:
Using a Professional Contractor
Let’s say after reading this article, you decide you need to call in the help of a professional contractor and team to complete the remodel of your dreams. You can save a lot of time and strife by creating a clear vision and plan before commissioning them for work. Use Catchbook to sketch your ideas with accurate dimensions. You can pull in inspiration by taking photos of tile and fabric samples, wall paper, or paint. Import them into Catchbook so you have them right on the page for easy access. You can even collect multiple pages into a single Catchbook binder that you can send as a Catchbook file or a regular PDF to your contractor and design team when you’re ready, so they can take it from there.
Doing It Yourself
If you decide you have what it takes to remodel your home yourself, or you are a contractor and someone has commissioned you for the job, then Catchbook is the tool you’ll need to create those early design concepts. More than just design inspiration and samples, you will be able to quickly and accurately capture dimensions to create floor plans. Editable ink makes it easy for you to change the design, and you can always update it on-the-fly as more changes come. The ability to export your file as DXF means you can use a CAD system like NX for 3D rendering, so you or your clients can take a virtual walk through of what the finished room will look like! You can’t do that with other drawing tools.
See for yourself what using Catchbook for a home remodel or addition looks like. Watch the video below.