Renovation projects often start off simple and then snowball into something major. Part of this is finding out hidden problems as you go along, but there is also that situation where the creative bits of our minds start over-ruling our common sense bits. If you can afford to let the creative genius takes over the project, that’s not usually much of an issue, unless you and your significant other can’t agree on the décor. But that’s another story.
The concern is when that creative vision opens up the wallet and drains it faster than you can replace the funds. Sometimes you just have to put the brakes on and replace what’s needed and leave the ultra-sleek, oversized, dream of whatever wait until next time around. Ether that or prepare to spend a lot of time at home soaking in, showering in or admiring that creation while you pay off the monthly bill.
For example, you may have water damage in your basement to take care of, say replacing the floor and the drywall that is now “wetwall” and showing signs of mould. You may be tempted to replace your appliances, put in a wall or two or otherwise try and turn the basement into a “man cave.” If insurance is paying for the damaged repairs this may not be so bad. If all of it is on you, consider your financial situation before making that move.
If you are of a mind to do some home renovation just because you want to, pick a project that will give you the most return on your money. Kitchen upgrades give you’re the most bang for your buck. Often considered the heart of the home, this is where the family gets together. It is also the room that potential home buyers focus on.
A nicely done kitchen will go a long way in making up for other minor home issues. Wow them with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and an island if there’s room. Tie it all together with hardwood floors and lots of cupboard space in real wood cabinets and your home will be an easier sell once the time comes.
Second on that list should be your bathroom. Hopefully you have more than one, a definite selling point. If you have the need and can afford it, putting in a second bathroom will not only improve your living experience but make your home more marketable. Make your bathroom/bathrooms bright and cheery with lots of natural light and clever but understated lighting fixtures. Recessed vanities make the bathroom appear larger. If you have room for it, a separate tub and shower are desirable features.
Putting in a swimming pool may be near the top of your renovation list. But consider this, in some areas of the country homes with pools don’t sell as fast. Homeowners in the northern parts of provinces may only get a few months use out of that pool each year. Then it has to be drained and covered before the weather turns cold. It’s expensive to keep the water warm during an Edmonton winter and if you elect to go without that heater you might end up with one giant ice-cube. That may make an interesting skating rink for a game of backyard hockey, but when your “pond” thaws in spring you’ll have cracks in your pool lining that need repaired.
Nope, if you must indulge in outdoor water sports all year, try putting a hot-tub on your patio. You’ll still have to heat it, but it won’t be nearly as expensive. It is rather an interesting experience to be soaking in nice warm water under a covered patio while looking at the snowflakes pile up in your backyard.