Are you thinking about restoring a home or getting prepared for a home restoration? If the answer is yes, then you're about to take on an exciting process with a great outcome. But, while home restorations are exciting, they are also without a doubt very stressful. To take some stress off of your shoulders, we've got some must-know home restoration tips for you. From what to do, what to avoid, and how to save money, we've got everything you need to know, right here.
5 Home Restoration Tips
Whether you're buying a fixer-upper and going through restoration for a new place to live or to flip it on the market, some tips must be followed for success:
Be Picky With Picking Your Team
There are some home restoration tasks that you can take care of yourself, and if you're trying to save money, then we recommended taking advantage of that. But, there are a ton of project tasks that should be left to professionals. It's especially important to leave some things to professionals if you're a first-time homeowner, aren't experienced with DIY projects, or you've never done a restoration before.
Whether you plan on picking one general contractor or individual subcontractors, not all professionals are equal. The same goes for choosing your inspector. It's essential to do your research and hire a skilled team that you can trust. On top of a team that's skillful and trustworthy, it's also important to work with a contractor who understands your vision.
Often the best way to find the right team is by word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family. If you don't have word-of-mouth recommendations, then do your research online and read reviews. To play it safe, also check into a potential contractor's license, certificates, lien history, bond number, etc.
Prioritize the Big Challenges
Most people would rather start with small tasks that are easy to accomplish, but with your home restoration that's not the best route to take. Focusing on small tasks like cosmetic fixes might lead to unnecessary spending and useless changes that hurt your budget and project timeline.
Instead, focus on the significant challenges such as working on masonry and stonework, foundation cracks, windows, roof, doors, electrical wiring, and plumbing. It's always best to focus on factors that can cause big problems in the future. Weak foundation or a leaky roof will give you more problems in the future than a less than perfect paint job or scratched wood floors.
Be Smart About Resale Value
Even if you don't plan on selling after a home restoration or any time soon, it's best to invest in a property that you can see a return on. There's not much point in investing in a home and spending more money on restoring it than you'll ever get back. Do your research on the resale value of restored houses in the area and use those numbers to structure a smart budget.
It's Okay to Be a Bit Quirky
Old houses can have quirky features and trying to eliminate all of them can lead to overspending and extending your project timeline. While for some, removing all quirks to have perfectly radiant, even flooring is a necessity, if you're okay with some quirks then learn to embrace them. Quirks in some older homes, like unique hardware, can actually help add character to your home and add historical accuracy.
No matter how much planning goes into a project, little things are bound to go wrong, and in those moments staying positive will make everything so much better. To make staying positive on home restoration days when things just aren't going right, try to remind yourself that the restoration won't go on forever. It's also useful to take as many progress pictures as possible to remind you how far you've come.
What Are Some Mistakes to Avoid During Home Restoration?
In almost all home restoration projects problems occur, but for the smoothest project possible, make sure to avoid these mistakes:
Starting Without a Plan
It's always best to have a plan, and with house restorations, a well thought-out plan or blueprint is a necessity for success. Before you start a project, it's best to have it planned out as many details as possible. As the project grows, there will be so many decisions to make, and having a big picture in mind and choices made in advance will make everything go smoother.
Not Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Whether you're hiring professionals or getting the project done with help from experienced friends and family, everyone needs to be on the same page. Not coordinating your team will slow down your project and mess up our timeline. Taking the time to plan and have everyone the same page will be worth it in the long run, as it will increase efficiency and speed up the project process. When working with old houses, it's especially important to coordinate teams as many tasks will involve multiple individuals.
Wanting a modern feel and look to a home restoration makes perfect sense, but it's not always the most effective option. Compliances and house components today are made entirely different from how they were made historically. Modern components and appliances will not be the same as those that come with your fixer-upper.
While sometimes replacing old components and appliances is the way to go, that's not always the case. Some parts have been custom made to precisely fit your home, and no replacement will work better than a repair. But remember always to consult a professional, as many times replacement is still the best option.
Mishandling Hazardous Materials
Old houses can be full of hazardous materials like asbestos and lead, and a big restoration project mistake is mishandling these dangerous materials. It's best to have your home inspected for lead and asbestos before getting started so you can manage them properly.
Not Being Flexible With Your Timeline
In a perfect world, everything would get done on time, unfortunately, with house restorations, a perfectly met timeline is not usually the case. There are so many things that can extend your timeline. From items not being delivered on time to weather conditions, things come up. The key to success is being flexible and assuming that your timeframe will be longer than the one you set.
By assuming the project will take longer, in the worst-case scenario, you won't be disappointed, and in the best-case situation, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
How Can You Save Money on Home Restoration?
Make a Budget
If you're trying to save money on a project, then the first step is creating a realistic budget so that you can stick to it. When developing a project budget, you have to consider prioritizes, big-ticket purchases, resale value, and more. Don't just come up with a number in your mind either: write out your budget and use an excel spreadsheet or another method to keep track of all expenses, so you can stick to your budget.
Use Recycled Materials
If you're trying to save money, a great way is to buy using recycled materials through purchasing salvaged items. Items like doors, skylights, insulation, and more can often be found for up to half price when you choose salvaged items. Remember that some contractors won't want to work with recycled materials, so this is an excellent money-saving tool for certain contractors or DIY projects and tasks. It's best to know this is a tip you want to use, before committing to a contractor or team.
DIY As Much As You Can
There are many components to a home restoration that require a professional for safety and effectiveness, but there are also many things you can take care of yourself. Even if you don't have hands-on experience, there are so many things you can learn. So for the most savings, prepare to roll up your sleeves and get involved.
Take Advantage of Government and Business Programs
There are government and business programs that can help you save money, so do your research and take advantage of as many as you can. For example, updated appliances with energy star approved ones can lead to green energy tax credits. Likewise, some businesses will give you a rebate for turning in old appliances.
Know When to Splurge and When to Save
Not every component of your home has to be the most expensive, but be smart about it. For example, it's recommended that you spend more money on permanent fixtures like bathtubs and cabinets, while less permanent options can be midrange. It's also useful to splurge on items in parts of your home where people will spend the most time, like your kitchen or living room, and opting for midrange options in bedrooms.
Home restorations are an exciting process, and in the end, you get a dream home to live in or a property to sell. But accomplishing the perfect home restoration involves a lot, and with the tips and advice in this post, you're ready to get started.