Remodeling your house is undoubtedly an exciting venture, allowing you to alter your space to exactly how you want it.
From the floors and walls to the wood grains and cabinets, you can pick and change everything until you have made your vision come to life.
Many people have memories of fantasizing about their dream home since they were young children, and while you may no longer want a slide from the roof to the yard or all of the floors to be made of trampolines, you will still have all of these ideas for your dream home.
Not only is renovating a house an exciting and unique adventure, but it can also be rather profitable if you have plans to sell the house in a few years. On the other hand; however, remodeling a house can also be a costly feat.
The potential for a high cost and the time commitment that you will need to adhere to can make remodeling a house feel like a daunting task rather than a fun one.
Fear not, though, as the proper planning can help prevent you from getting overwhelmed with the task.
To get the most out of renovating your house, you will need to have properly planned and prepared for it as well as be knowledgeable on what could and might go wrong.
Today we are going to be looking at all the things you should be considered before remodeling your house, how to go about doing that, and ways that you can save money during the process.
Things To Consider Before You Start Remodeling
As we have already discussed, you need to plan out your remodel before jumping into it headfirst.
While it might be tempting to go ahead and knock that wall right down with a sledgehammer, or to paint the stairs without a second thought, there are many considerations to take beforehand.
Often, when people do not plan their remodel properly beforehand, they will change their minds halfway through the renovation or realize that they actually had to sand the wood before treating and staining it.
These realizations or changes of opinions will cost you more money and time in the long run, so put the paintbrush down and let’s think about this.
Decide Whether You Want To Do It Yourself, Or Hire A Professional
First thing’s first, you should decide whether you’re going to do the work yourself or get in touch with local professionals.
While doing all of the work yourself might sound appealing in the short term, many people don’t realize how much work goes into remodeling.
For every task that you might want to include in your remodel, there are pros and cons for doing it yourself or not.
So, why would you want to do all of the work yourself when you can simply hire someone to do it for you?
There are many benefits to remodeling your home yourself, such as saving money on labor costs, you can do it exactly as you want it, and there are no strangers coming in and out of your house every day.
Below we have listed the jobs that you can do yourself, according to each area of the renovations.
- Refacing the cabinets
- Installing under-cabinet lighting
- Replacing the counter laminate
- Replacing the sink
- Replacing most of the appliances
- Tiling basic surfaces
- Adding under cabinet lighting
- Replacing the appliances
- Installing new flooring
- Replacing the vanity
- Installing mirrors and shelves
- Installing televisions
- Installing drywall
- Painting the walls
- Installing wall trim
- Replacing or installing doors
- Insulating walls
- Installing drywall
- Painting the walls
- Installing trim
- Installing new flooring
- Painting walls/ installing wallpaper
- Installing shelves
- Replacing doors
- Changing electrical fixtures
- Changing the hardware
- Building a simple deck
- Building a shed
- Installing a wall or fence
- Replacing a garage door opener
As you can see, there are plenty of tasks for your renovation that you can do without hiring a professional. Many people hire a professional quickly without assessing whether they can actually do the task at hand or not.
Hiring A Professional
Hiring a professional might be more costly than doing the job yourself, but there are still many advantages to hiring a professional. For example, their experience often allows them to do a better job than you might be able to do.
They will also know more about the subject than you and therefore complete it quicker and safer. Take electrical wiring, for example.
You might remove it and hope for the best, while a professional will know exactly what they’re doing and you’ll have more of a chance of being left with something that won’t need replacing in the future.
Below is a list of tasks that you might want to hire a professional for rather than tackling yourself.
- Installing new plumbing or moving existing
- Running a gas line
- Installing high-end countertops
- Installing hardware lighting
- Removing walls
- Installing new plumbing fixtures
- Running electric for under-floor heating
- Tilling difficult spaces
- Running new ventilation
- Increasing the bathroom size
- Installing a fireplace
- Installing HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems
- Building a wet bar
- Building a permanent entertainment center
- Waterproofing the basement
- Installing HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems
- Pouring foundations
- Adding additions to existing house
- Installing a sunroom
- Installing exterior siding
- Installing skylights
- Masonry work
- Installing metal roofs
- Adding new siding
- Installing a permanent pool
- Complex decking
- Running electric to an outbuilding
- Stamping a concrete patio
- Installing sprinklers into the ground
While you might think that you can do these things by yourself without the help of a professional, they will often do a better-looking job.
Not only will the work look impressive and done by a professional, but it will also be completed to a high standard and won’t need to be redone anytime soon.
Think Of A Budget
Setting a budget for your remodel will help you to stay under budget and not get stressed when it comes to paying for materials, labor costs, and unforeseen expenses.
As with most things, setting an achievable budget is incredibly important.
There are five steps to budgeting for a house remodel, which we have detailed below to help you plan a budget quickly.
Get A Rough Estimate Together
First thing’s first, you’re going to need to determine how much money your remodeling dreams are likely to cost.
There are a lot of considerations to take into account before you get an accurate estimate, such as the size of the house, what jobs you want to do, and how much you’re going to hire contractors to do.
On average, the cost to remodel a house is from $19,800 to $73,200. As you can see, this is a large average and doesn’t help much when trying to get an estimate for your individual house.
To get your estimated cost of renovation, you need to know what you’re going to be remodeling. Below we have listed a number of common renovation projects with their average costs.
- Bathroom renovation: $5,350 to $13.670
- Kitchen renovation: $6,700 to $16,930
- Major renovation: $14,375 to $42,428
- New flooring: $1,769 to $3,192
- Central AC system: $4,670 to $5,930
- New roofing: $4,390 to $7,940
- New siding: $6,820 to $12,760
- Guttering system: $920 to $1,295
As we will mention in the next section, it actually costs more to renovate a single room than it does an entire house. This is due to you being able to buy more materials in bulk and not wasting as much.
For example, you can get a great deal on multiple paint cans rather than simply buying one expensive can.
We’ve also created a table so that you can see how much each room is likely to cost you in the remodel per square foot. This will allow you to get a more accurate estimate as you can measure your personal spaces.
|Room||Lowest cost per square foot||Highest cost per square foot|
Determine How Much You Have To Spare
Now that you have landed on a rough estimate for how much the entire remodel is going to cost you, it is now time to see how much you can spare.
It might surprise you to know that remodeling a whole house is actually much better value for money than remodeling only one room, as remodeling an entire house costs around $15 to $60 for every square foot, while remodeling one room can cost $100 to $250 per square foot.
You can remodel a house with a low-end, mid-range, or high-end vision in mind. It comes as no surprise that the high-end alternative is much more expensive. Here are the average costs you’d be looking at for each of these visions:
- Low-end: $15,000 to $40,000
- Mid-range: $40,000 to $75,000
- High-end: $75,000 to $`150,000+
$15,000 to $150,000+ is quite the jump, but it is good to know that you can still remodel an entire house on a budget.
Just because it is called low-end does not mean it can’t look nice either, as many people have successfully remodeled their houses with a low budget.
Decide What You Can Do Yourself
How much you have to spend will influence your decision on whether to hire professionals for the work or do the majority yourself. As we have mentioned before, DIY home renovations are often cheaper.
The labor costs of contractors are generally between $30 and £125 per hour, so longer jobs can really rack up the cost of the renovation.
Not to mention that if you are hiring multiple contractors, you can get flustered with all of the invoices coming in at once.
However, there is a larger margin for error if you renovate the house yourself. Some jobs are relatively easy for someone inexperienced, but some are almost impossible. If you want a job done right, you should think about hiring a contractor.
But that doesn’t mean that they have to do everything. Sure, you might need them to place another wall up or build an addition to your house, but don’t pay them to do something that you could easily do, such as painting the walls.
Contact Various Professionals
Once you have determined what you’re going to do yourself, the next step is to call around your local contractors to see who is able to do your work and for the best price.
However, choosing the professional with the lowest price and an empty schedule isn’t always the best way to go.
Contractors will often make it easy for you to get in contact with them and access their portfolio. Make a list of 10 to 15 contractors and compare each of their portfolios to see who is best suited to your tasks.
Portfolios with few projects or bad pictures are a red flag to look out for as this could mean that the work is not up to your expectations.
As you narrow down your options, you might want to ask the professionals for references that you can contact to see how others found working with them. Hesitation or refusal to offer there is an immediate red flag to be wary of.
Now you should have narrowed your list down to a few best contractors for your work. You can now ask them for their quotes on your work.
As you’ll have narrowed down only the best professionals in your area, you should feel confident opting for the cheapest quote you get.
Differentiate Between Your Priorities And Dreams
You should have a good idea now of how much all of the renovation work is going to cost, depending on the jobs that need to be done, the labor costs, and the total of the materials needed.
However, what happens when this number is higher than the budget you have set yourself? Below is an example of a home renovation to help you visualize the situation.
The house to be renovated is 2,600 square feet and it needs a full renovation. The owners have a budget of $25,000, so they can spend $9 for every square foot.
This is not enough to renovate their house entirely with all of the tasks they need to do.
Initially, they wanted to remove all of the floorings, knock down some walls, add in an entirely new kitchen and bathroom suite, and add an addition to the house for a new baby on the way.
On top of this, they wanted to furnish the house and paint the walls of every room.
However, as the family doesn’t have enough of a budget to complete all of these tasks, they’ll need to determine which are their priorities over just their wants.
As they need a new room for a child, this will be a priority and therefore be the first on the list of jobs to avoid them running out of money before getting to it.
On the other hand, a new bathroom suite might have to be taken off of the list to remain within budget. They can always come back to this at a later date.
It is important you set your list of priorities in order so that you don’t run out of money before you reach the most vital job.
While it may be tempting to get the smaller, less important jobs out of the way first, always start with the ones that you’re most desperate to get done. And remember, don’t forget about those unforeseen costs!
Booking Time Off Work
It’s likely that you’re going to be doing most of the renovation yourself and therefore you will need some time off work to get it done.
A lot of people think that they can work a full-time job and come home to work on their renovation, but this will get tiresome very quickly.
How much work you’re doing to your home will determine how much time the renovation will take.
Below are some examples:
- Cosmetic remodel (painting, new appliances, basic floor replacement) should take from a few days to three months.
- Medium remodel (new kitchen, installing a fireplace, additions to the house) will take from several weeks to six months.
- Major remodel (foundation or structural repairs, second-story additions) could take from six months to one year.
However, this is assuming that you’re going to be working all day, every day for the time frame. If you’re only doing a few hours of work a day as well as weekends, it is going to take you much longer than you first anticipated.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re hiring contractors, you’ll need to be at the house to grant entry to your home. So, you’ll need to determine how much time off you’ll need from work.
Some people will only take a month off to kickstart the project and then finish the leftover jobs after their jobs once they get back to work. Others make their home renovation a complete commitment and take a sabbatical from work altogether.
Choose Your Style and Design
There are plenty of ways to choose a style and design for your home out there, but chances are that you’ll already have a clear vision of what you want your remodel to look like.
Drawing up some plans can be beneficial to you so that you can see what everything is going to look like once finished.
Creating mood boards can be extremely beneficial with paint and wallpaper samples, colors for the appliances, and the wood grains you want to use.
This will keep everything streamline in the house so that you don’t accidentally mismatch the renovations and leave yourself with an odd-looking house.
Essentially, you need a specific style and design for your house before you get any work started. You should be 100% certain of your decision as well, as you’ll find it much more difficult to change your decision halfway through your remodel.
Not only will this affect the time schedule of the renovation, but it will also cost much more than originally planned.
How To Remodel Your House
Now that you have all of the costs and stylistic choices planned out, it’s time to get going! Renovating a house can be a very exciting project, especially as you see it all come together before your eyes.
So, you’re finally ready to remodel the house – but where do you start? Below we’ve looked through the most common methods of remodeling your house to spark some inspiration for the home renovator in you.
Repaint Your House
Perhaps the easiest way to renovate your house is to add a new lick of paint to the walls.
It is relatively inexpensive, easy to do, and you can fit it around your busy schedule.
Repainting the kitchen, bedrooms, and living room is most common, but you can even repaint the exterior of your home too!
Here is a simple guide on how to paint the interior walls of your home, so that you can get supreme results without hiring a professional.
Remember that you make the rules when it comes to painting – not all walls have to be the same color! An accent wall can work well in many different rooms as long as the colors compliment each other.
Choosing a paint color can be a long process of paint chips, tester pots, and colorful stripes all over your house. However, don’t rush the process of picking your paint so that you don’t change your mind halfway through.
- Paint roller and extension pole
- Drop cloths
- Tray for paint
- Masking tape or paint tape
How much paint you’ll need depends on the size of your room. For every 400 square feet, you’ll need one gallon of paint.
There is also a paint calculator that you can use to determine the exact amount of paint you’ll need. Bear in mind that you might need slightly more to account for mistakes.
Prep The Space
It is incredibly important to prep the area thoroughly before painting. Cover all furniture or counters, place painter’s tape around the skirting and edges of the walls.
Cover the floor with a drop cloth to prevent paint staining the floor unless you’re going to be replacing this.
Mix The Paint
Use a wooden stick to stir the paint to ensure that the colors are all mixed together thoroughly. The last thing you want is a streaky finish on your walls thanks to unmixed paint.
Pour the paint into your tray and determine your plan of attack. Starting at the top and working your way down is a good idea. Many people like to paint the edges of the rooms first to ensure that all of the corners are properly coated.
If you’re painting an accent wall, paint the walls that are going to be lighter first. It will be much harder to cover mistakes with light paint than dark paint.
A primer will help you to cover dark paint, and at least two coats of paint will be needed to leave you with a flawless finish.
If you don’t feel like painting and want to hang some wallpaper instead, here is the way to do it. Again, make sure you think your wallpaper decision through properly to avoid getting halfway through hanging it before realizing you hate it.
- Enough wallpaper to cover the wall
- Wallpaper paste
- Pasting roller or brush
- Smoothing tool
- Spirit level
- Dust sheet
Prepare The Walls
Your walls need to be clean and dry before hanging wallpaper. You might need to prime the walls beforehand to get a good bond between the wall and the wallpaper.
Use your spirit level to trace a vertical line 50cm from the wall, if your wallpaper measures 53cm wide. You’ll continue using this all the way around the wall to ensure that your paper is pasted straight onto the wall.
Hang The Wallpaper!
Use the pasting brush to apply a thin layer of wallpaper paste onto the wall before applying the paper. Use the wallpaper smoother to ensure that there are zero kinks in the paper.
Trim any excess wallpaper and start again next to the first strip. Continue until the entire space is finished.
You can now also get a wallpaper that already has adhesive on the backside of the paper. Many people find this easier to work with, so this is an interesting fact to consider before purchasing your wallpaper design.
Refresh Your Cabinets
Refreshing your cabinets is an incredibly quick and simple way to renovate your kitchen and make it look completely different.
There are two ways you can do this – replace the cabinets altogether or simply replace the doors.
Replacing the doors is much less expensive than replacing the entire cabinets, and it takes much less time.
Tearing out the cabinets can be more difficult than you first realize, so refacing the doors is the best option for many homeowners.
Why might you want to replace the cabinets altogether? Perhaps the cabinets are not to your style or placed in obscure places that you want to use for different purposes.
Refacing cabinets costs for a 120 square foot kitchen can cost around $1,000 to $6,000 depending on the materials used.
However, replacing the cabinets with newer models can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000, so refacing is definitely an option to consider.
Freshen-Up The Bathroom
Renovating the bathroom doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to rip out the entire suite and replace it all.
Instead, completing smaller jobs can make the world of difference and make it look like you have a completely different bathroom.
Simple renovations such as replacing the showerhead and door, installing shelves and new cabinets can be easy ways to spruce up your bathroom on a budget.
However, if you’re wanting to add a new bathtub, sink, toilet, and shower, you’ll be looking at a price of $6,500 and upwards.
You can find lower-quality pieces for less money, but you’re better off paying the extra price to ensure that they won’t need replacing too quickly.
Hang Some Art
Hanging artwork in your home can change the entire look of a room.
The best thing about this is that you don’t even have to renovate the room – just hang a frame and you’re done!
Using one large piece of artwork can work as the centerpiece of a room, drawing attention from everything else so that guests only focus on the art.
Alternatively, you can use multiple pieces of art to create a gallery wall to fill large empty spaces.
Displaying art around your house can transform the house and make it feel much more welcoming. It also saves space as artwork often eliminates the need for other decor items around the house taking up floor space.
Rather than lots of space taken up by clutter, artwork can be seamlessly hung on the walls to take care of the room’s decor.
Put/Change The Window Covering
Much like pieces of artwork, window coverings can also add a statement to your room.
Brightly colored curtains or blinds can be statement pieces in any room and tie well into your decor without taking up too much space.
The best thing about window coverings is that they are also practical to keep the outside world out.
The 2021 top trends for window coverings include minimalistic coverings, using recycled materials for curtains, with comfort being the main component for a good window cover.
Hanging new window coverings can transform a room for very little effort and money. The best renovations are both stylish and practical, so get rid of those dingy curtains and add some new life to your room.
Change The Floor
Adding new flooring to a room can be costly, depending on the type of carpet or wood you use.
However, swapping out an old flooring for a brand new one can sometimes be enough renovating for people due to how different the finished product makes the room feel.
Choose the flooring carefully so that you aren’t left with something you don’t like or that is inconvenient to you.
For example, while hardwood flooring might look lovely and rustic, it can be a pain to clean and isn’t the best for pet owners.
Below is a list of average prices for the different types of flooring per square foot:
- Hardwood flooring: $6 to $22
- Laminate flooring: $3 to $10
- Carpet flooring: $3.50 to $11
- Natural stone tile flooring: $6 to $20
- Ceramic tile flooring: $7 to $20
- Vinyl or linoleum flooring: $3 to $7
Depending on how much square footage you have to cover, flooring can be rather inexpensive to quite costly. However, if you don’t want to replace the whole floor you can always add a nice accent rug instead.
Ways To Save Money On Your Home Remodel
There seems to be no way around the cost of a remodel – if you want it done well, it’s going to cost you a reasonable chunk of money.
However, luckily for us, plenty of people have renovated their houses in the past and therefore have come up with some excellent ways of saving money on the remodel.
Increase Efficiency, Not Size
When you think of a remodel, your first thought might be expanding the space.
However, this does not always have to be the case!
If your kitchen can be re-jigged to become more efficient, you won’t have to worry about paying for the expensive extension on the house.
Instead of the majority of the kitchen is taken up by large appliances and countless small cabinets that don’t hold anything, remove some of these to allow the space to feel larger.
Expanding a room can cost upwards of $50,000, but installing some custom cabinets to enhance the efficiency of your kitchen could only cost $35,000.
That’s already an incredible saving. If you decided to reface the cabinets rather than replace them you could save even more money.
Bring in Natural Light Without Adding Windows
Windows can be a costly renovation project and often one that isn’t needed.
Cupboards and bathrooms that don’t have any windows can be a pain, but installing a light tube can be a much cheaper option than installing an entire window.
A solar tube is a tubular skylight that brings ample natural sunlight into a room without taking up as much space as a regular skylight or window would.
A solar tube costs around $500 to install while an insulated window costs $1,500.
DIY The Home Remodeling Yourself
As we’ve already mentioned today, doing the work yourself can save you a lot of money rather than hiring a professional.
You have the choice between spending a lot more money or allowing a lot of your time to be taken on the remodel.
You don’t need to hire an architect to design your remodel for you – you can do it yourself and save $500 on the flat fee alone.
By designing the renovation yourself, you can save a lot of money and feel a bigger sense of accomplishment once the remodel is completed as you designed it from start to finish.
Buy/Deliver The Material Yourself
Contractors will have laborers’ costs for you to cover as they complete the work your house needs.
However, this is not the only expense they will be asking you for. Instead, many contractors will offer to get the materials themselves for you.
This leaves them with the opportunity to tack on additional costs for the parts so that they’re making more of a profit.
Moreover, they might not be getting the cheapest materials out there.
Buying and delivering the materials yourself is more of a hassle on your end, but it’s worth it for the additional savings you get from being able to choose the best value-for-money materials on the market.
Leave Things As They Are
Finally, don’t move things if you can avoid them. Just because the kitchen sink would look better in one place doesn’t mean that you should pay the large costs of moving plumbing.
Moving a toilet more than three feet away from its original location can cost up to $1,000!
While this might seem like it is necessary at the time, is it really worth $1,000 to alter the position of the toilet?
Wherever you can help it, don’t move any of the large appliances that will need to alter the plumbing.
Remodeling your house is an exciting prospect, and it can be a fun project for the entire family. However, you must plan ahead before jumping right into the remodeling process to avoid wasting time and money.
Budgeting your money is extremely important, and researching contractors and different styles to choose from can help you envision your ideal renovation project.
You should also consider your options for contractors so that you don’t choose someone that will leave you with low-quality results.
Remodeling your house comes in many different forms, such as painting the walls, installing new flooring, hanging decorations, or refreshing the bathroom and kitchen suites.
You might be surprised to find that you can do most of this yourself without the help of professionals.
There are many ways for you to save money on your remodel, such as alternatives to adding windows and expanding rooms. You can also take on a more hands-on role and purchase all of the materials yourself.
Lastly, don’t rush into things before thinking them through first. Do you really need to move that kitchen sink, or can you work your plans around it? Is it essential that you replace the entire cupboards rather than refacing them?
Remember to have fun with your remodel and be proud of everything you’ve accomplished – a lot of people wouldn’t have the patience to renovate their house!