Mar 21, 2024

How to Prioritize Home Renovations

How-To How to Prioritize Home Renovations

Beyond making a list of what needs to be done, understanding how to prioritize projects will set you up for home renovation success.

Looking to tackle some home renovations but might not know where to start? Making an initial to-do list could easily become daunting and overwhelming. 

That’s why correctly prioritizing needs vs. wants, and asking the right questions will leave you with a clearer home renovation roadmap. 

Maintenance vs. Aesthetic 

Roof Renovation
Installers work on a roofing project.

It’s easy to want to prioritize home improvement projects that boost your home’s aesthetics and style, but it’s important not to neglect the fundamental home renovations that are essential to stabilizing your home. 

Although it may seem like a higher priority to update a master bedroom, or install a new kitchen backsplash, renovations like roof repairs and exterior siding replacement typically yield the highest long-term return on investment in comparison to other home improvement projects. 

These improvements not only significantly upgrade your home’s curb appeal — the first thing guests see when visiting your home — but they also make your home more energy-efficient, more durable and helps to decrease the likelihood of major foundational damage.

If you’re in need of exterior maintenance updates, follow this order as a good rule of thumb: 

1. Roof Upgrades A roof should be at the top of your list. Roof damage isn’t something to overlook as it could lead to more significant exterior and interior issues later on. 

2. Window and Door Replacements These are key in fixing any air leaks or gaps, thus keeping your home energy efficient and lowering your utility bills. 

3. Siding or Gutter Issues —These act as a home’s version of armor to protect it from external elements. Your gutters are an essential component of your home, responsible for diverting water away from the house and foundation so that it doesn’t ultimately cause interior leakage. 

Remember that when you purchase a home, the inspection report will tell you what needs the most repair. This will provide you with a baseline, and you can prioritize and plan from there. 

Quick-Fix vs. Long-Term

A long list of renovations can quickly become overwhelming. Prioritizing by timeframe can help you see the forest through the trees, and allow for tangible next steps. 

Organize your projects by what can be checked off in the following increments:

a) Three months
b) Six months
c) One year
d) 5 years or more

Cross reference these categories with any deadlines you might be working with, along with your budget, and you should have a clearer understanding of where to focus and how to plan ahead. 

DIY vs. Call In a Professional  

Installer working on door replacement
Installers work on a door replacement.

Once you have a breakdown of the remodeling projects you want to complete, then assess what you feel equipped to handle and where you need professional help.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to renovation expertise, steps needed to complete a project, timeline and budget. Homeowners fall into the trap of attempting a DIY when they are strapped for time or money, but it can quickly become uncharted territory and actually cost you more in the long-term. 

Unexpected challenges could arise halfway through or homeowners may lack the tools and the expertise to tackle each step. The trick is to take a step back before tackling any project and objectively evaluate your experience level. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a professional and align on your end-goal because this can save you significant time and money in the long run. 

If the remodeling project is outside of your DIY level and requires a professional, it’s important to know the right questions to ask when vetting a contractor, like licenses, reputable references, and a realistic timeline.

If you choose to go down the route of a DIY renovation, first identify what tools, materials or products you need to complete the project. Researching all of your options in advance also allows homeowners to categorize materials and products accordingly to quality and price point. This will provide full transparency into the “best” quality products you can afford within budget compared to “good” quality products.

Is an exterior home renovation high on your priority list? Check out our POWER’s services to learn more about how we can help. 

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