Renovating their homes has become a way of life for US homeowners. They constantly want to improve their abodes and add to their amenities. Of the homeowners who completed home renovations in the past 12 months, 75% plan to renovate the following year, too. That cycle of constant improvement partially stems from great budgeting advice from home improvement experts.
Know When Major Home Features Require Replacement
Every major feature of the typical modern home eventually requires replacement. For example, an asphalt shingle roof lasts about 15 years. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system lasts about 15 to 25 years, says home improvement guru Bob Vila. When you learn the expiration date of each major home feature, you empower yourself to budget for their replacement. If you purchased a home with a five-year-old HVAC system, calculate the cost of a new one 10 years from now, including inflation, and save one-tenth of the cost each year. When the HVAC system breaks down or begins wearing out, you will have the money ready to replace it.
Prioritize Your Renovations
Perhaps you dream of new crown molding in every room and a new deck. Your foundation starts sagging and a support beam splits. Although the wraparound deck sounds the most fun, it comes last on the priorities list, while the support beam fix tops the list. Always put safety first and spend your renovation funds on what ensures your home will last longer. Exterior work and foundation work come first because both require outdoor work and good weather; without them, your house falls down.
Save small, indoor renovation projects for winter months. You can hang crown molding or wallpaper in any weather. Indoor painting and flooring projects also offer cold-weather opportunities. These smaller projects cost less but offer a sense of accomplishment when finished.
Increase Curb Appeal with Outdoor Projects
Instead of trying to accomplish the entire renovation at once, divide the projects by season. Tackle your deck and outdoor projects in the spring and summer. Decks, patios, and other hardscapes vary in cost, ranging from $2,500 to more than $100,000, according to The Backyard Way. Obtain quotes for the next season’s projects while you complete the current season’s projects to help you plan ahead.
More About Organizing Projects by Season
Determine the average cost of the types of projects you want to do in your state or city using home improvement websites. Once you know the general amounts, build a rough budget for the entire renovation. Divide the projects by season to dole them out throughout the year, scheduling indoor projects for winter.
Research the slow times of year for each type of contractor you’ll need to use. If you wait until June to hire a deck builder, you’ll find them all booked. Only warm weather states would provide suitable weather for deck building during winter though. For some types of work, you can’t schedule during the slow time for that type of contractor, but you can obtain quotes then and schedule their work for the earliest possible time.
Create a Home Maintenance and Improvement Fund
Many individuals find it easier to save for a project when they create a separate bank account to do so. Consider setting up an automatic deposit to this savings account so you can contribute the same amount each month. This process helps you build savings, increase your net worth, and prepare you for home emergencies that might require spending a large amount of money at once.
Budget for Constant Home Improvement
It’s a fact of homeownership that you’ll need to conduct annual maintenance. You’ll also need to repair and replace certain items. You’ll probably find things you want to upgrade or change, so create a budget for the things you know you’ll have to address and a savings account for emergency repairs.