Buying a new home can be one of the most joyous and stressful times of your life. There are so many things to think about and take care of. It’s all very exciting, but it can be overwhelming if your new house needs work. While some projects are of the DIY variety, others take a lot more planning and labor and can require inspections, permits, and research. Structural changes can mean hiring a contractor and getting estimates.
You shouldn’t be afraid to add on to your new home, or to build a new structure on the property. Fortunately, there are several ways to implement these changes, just keep in mind it will require permits and some careful planning in order to be successful. Start by creating a budget and a timeline for completing the project, and assess how your lifestyle will be affected in the meantime. It can be nerve-racking, after all, to live in a home undergoing renovations.
Consider the structure you’re changing
Whether you’re adding onto the house itself or creating a new structure on the property, it’s crucial to think about the materials that will be used and the associated costs. You’ll also want to consider sustainability and how materials will weather, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, snow, or wind.
If planning a home addition, you’ll likely want materials that match the house for aesthetic reasons, and to maintain your home’s value. However, if it’s a detached garage you’re building, your options expand, depending on your budget, and you have more wiggle room. For example, wood is a great option for building a workshop or garage, but be prepared for it to weather and warp over time. Steel is a solid alternative and is highly durable, though it’s susceptible to rust as the years go by. Whatever materials you choose, weigh your options carefully as you put together your budget and project plan.
Stay within your legal limits
Building a new structure or adding on to one will almost always require a permit, as well as an inspection by a city employee. This ensures everything is up to code and meets safety requirements, both now and in the future. Look online to find out what is required in your city before any work begins, including digging on your property, which can affect utility lines. If you’re using a contractor, they should be able to help you navigate this process.
Consider your budget
No matter what type of work you’ll be doing, your budget should come first. Overspending can create lots of problems down the road, so you’ll want to plan accordingly and give yourself a cushion of at least 10 to 20 percent of your budget. Take a look online to find out the average cost of materials and labor in your area, and think about whether you’ll be able to save money by handling some of the project yourself. Just keep in mind that the big jobs, such as installing electricity, should always be handled by a Pro.
Choose projects that will give you a return on your investment
The best home projects are ones that will give you a solid return on your investment. Most homeowners don’t stay in one place their entire lives, meaning you may be ready to sell down the road. You’ll want your home to include all the things a potential buyer will be looking for; this might be an updated bathroom, new light fixtures, or an upgraded kitchen. Look online to get an idea of what buyers are looking for in your area, and stick with classic touches that never go out of style.
Making changes to your home can be difficult, even when you have a plan. Make sure you’re able to work out a budget and timeline before anything else, find a way to reduce stress as you go, and keep communication open with your spouse or partner to avoid fixer-upper burnout With some preparation, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly. Before you know it, you’ll be on the other side and putting those home improvements to work.