The holidays are over, it’s a new year, the kids are back in school and things are beginning to settle down once again.
Maybe you’ve spent the past few months visiting the homes of your friends and family, seeing recent updates or home improvement projects they’ve completed, or maybe you spent some time in front of the TV watching those addictive home renovation shows.
You may have also hosted your own holiday parties or had family staying with you and suddenly you noticed how small the house seems or how dysfunctional the kitchen is when there’s more than two people in it. Snow days might have found you scrolling through Pinterest, getting inspired as well as impatient about improving your own home. Whatever the case may be, now is the perfect time to start planning your home renovation for 2016.
Contractors’ busy season is generally in the summer, so if you can get ahead of the rush, nailing down a design and getting everything scheduled by spring, you’ll be at the head of the line when construction begins, and the first house on the block with a shiny new kitchen/bathroom/addition/renovation this year. But how do you know what you should tackle first or what kind of changes need to be made? A good contractor with a design background or design team can help you make these decisions. However, here are a few good things to keep in mind when considering a renovation.
What’s the Pain Point?
Home renovations should solve a problem. To prioritize your renovations, think about what the biggest pain points in your house are for you and your family. If the kitchen simply doesn’t have
enough work space, that may be the place to start. Or if you’re tired of parking your car in the driveway, shoveling it out of snow every winter, then you may desperately need a new garage. You may just need more space, but are reluctant to move because you love your home or neighborhood. In that case, it may be time to consider an addition to make your current home work for you in the years to come. Discuss these pain points with your family to get an idea of what is really bugging everyone, then prioritize and go from there.
What’s the Biggest Bang For Your Buck?
investment. The old saying is true that kitchen and bath renovations pay for themselves, but there are other high return renovations beyond that. If your home doesn’t have a garage, adding one can tremendously increase the value of your home. Taking a home from a three bedroom to a four bedroom through an addition can also put your home into a whole new buyer’s market. Finishing off a basement for extra living or entertaining space is another great way to add a lot of value to your home when it comes time to sell.
What Will You Enjoy the Most?
If you’re living in your forever home, or at least a home you plan to enjoy for a very long time, your
renovation goals may be different. In this case, it may make the most sense to just consider what renovations will bring you the most joy in your home. If you love to cook and find your culinary inspirations quashed in your current space, then that should be your priority. If you and your family spend more time outdoors than indoors, maybe an outdoor living space, screened in porch or some hardscaping makes the most sense. If your outdated bathroom doesn’t bother you, you don’t have to renovate it right now. Do the things that will make you love your home even more than you already do.
What Makes the Most Sense For Your Family?
It’s easy to take your own frustrations with your home and apply them to everyone in the family. Surely everyone hates that old, outdated hall bath,
right? Maybe not. Talk to every member of your family about how they think your home can be improved. While a brand new master bath overhaul might be nice, maybe it makes more sense to add a mudroom where the kids can leave their bookbags, boots and general clutter out of eyesight. Are kids fighting over sharing a bedroom? It might be time to expand with an extra bedroom addition. Prioritizing in this way will make the home more functional, fun and peaceful for everyone living there.