Remodeling Checklists and Timelines

From on December 04, 2008 in General

Homeowners wanting to sell their homes are on tenterhooks these days, watching with avid interest as the market rocks and rolls. CNN reports that 85,000 homes in the U.S. were lost to foreclosure in October. Homes for sale, sitting vacant, are projected to remain on the market for six months or more, and sellers are being encouraged to make offers as much as 13% below the asking price. With all this shaky news, it’s not surprising that many homeowners are feeling cautious about remodeling these days. Smart MoneySmart Money says, “In the Current Market, Remodeling Trumps Moving.” This article suggests that in today’s buyer’s market, staying put and remodeling with an eye towards potential return on the dollar when selling your home at a later date is a viable strategy. I talk with people about remodeling frequently, and one of the main things that crops up in these conversations is that there are many more contractors available for remodeling projects now than there were several years ago. This is good news for homeowners who want to do remodeling jobs that are smaller in scope – contractors are considering these jobs with more interest now than when major remodels and rebuilds were more available (and more attractive). In an article called How to Make Wise Remodeling Decisions in Today’s Jittery Housing Market at, it says, “Many discouraged sellers who don’t have to move are considering another option: updating their current home and staying put.” The remodeling upgrades that continue to deliver the most viable financial returns are still kitchen and bathroom remodels, with deck additions, window replacements, new roofs, and new siding all “holding their own” for return on investment. Analyzing Checklists and Timelines, while always important considerations in planning a remodel, may have more value to you, as a prospective remodeler, than ever. Here are some things to consider:

  • How long do you plan to stay in your current home?
  • What are the upgrades/remodeling jobs that are most obviously needed?
  • What are the upgrades/remodeling jobs that will most improve your quality of life experience and add to your comfort and enjoyment of your home?
  • When you consider your budget, what ballpark amount makes sense to allocate for remodeling?
  • Which of the remodeling jobs on your wish list fall within your budgeted amount?
  • If some of the remodeling jobs are more costly, are you willing to shop for financing in today’s market?
  • Is there an expert you can consult regarding the potential return on investment for costly upgrades, given your specific home and neighborhood?

Once you have answers to these basic questions, you’ll have a much clearer picture about your own make-sense remodeling decisions. You’ll feel more confident when interviewing contractors for estimates on jobs both large and small, knowing that you can proceed according to guidelines you know will work for you now, in the current housing market.