So, you bought a fixer-upper? What should get fixed first? We hope these tips can help you prioritize your remodeling projects!
If you bought a home that needs some work, you are probably already working with a budget in mind. Money is a finite resource, so you need to decide how to allocate yours. The most important thing is to not spend your entire budget at once. You need to keep a certain amount of money set aside for home emergencies, especially if you purchased an older home. You never know when you might need a new HVAC system or if you need to pay for an emergency plumber. Some experts recommend having around 3-6 months living expenses set aside as this could also help cover a home-related emergency repair. Your budget is really comprised of two sections: money set aside for home emergencies and money you can spend on remodeling right now.
Aesthetic vs. Functional
Not all remodeling projects are created equal, some projects are more necessary than others. As hideous as that wallpaper may be, replacing it is not as important as having a functioning water heater. HGTV shows stun us with beautiful before and after visuals, but not every remodeling project is visible. There are many unseen areas in your home like the plumbing, duct work or foundation that may need work to help keep your home functioning. Functional remodeling projects should take precedence over aesthetic projects.
Every family and individual is different, the most important remodeling project will vary from person to person. Make the remodeling decisions easier by deciding what one project you can’t live without. Someone who does a lot of cooking may decide that cooking on an electric stove is untenable, so getting a gas line plumbed in may be the #1 priority. Think about what will have the greatest impact on your daily life and what you will most enjoy. A guest room might have a lower priority than an area that is frequently used like the living area.
Professional vs DIY
Some projects you can tackle yourself while others are best left to the professionals. If there is something you can do slowly at your own pace, like painting, that may be a lower priority than a professional project with a specific timeline. Professional remodeling projects will also usually come with a higher price tag. Space out your professional projects and tackle some DIY projects in between to go easy on your budget.
The best part about home remodeling projects is that you have the opportunity to make your new home uniquely yours!