Remodeling brings lasting advantages to you and your family, enhancing functionality, flow, and overall comfort while rejuvenating your home. Yet, determining the ideal moment for a renovation can be a challenge.
Remodel projects essentially fall into two categories: the first involves renovations carried out upon purchasing a home and before moving in, while the second entails remodeling after having lived there for a while. Since every homeowner’s situation is unique, it is wise to begin by assessing your needs, budget, and the condition of your home.
Part One: Making Your Newly Purchased Home Your Own
Buying a home can be a rewarding and exciting process. Most homeowners look forward to moving in and creating a space that suits their needs and reflects their design style. This often includes renovations of some kind. It can be hard to know, though, whether projects should be completed before moving in or after living in the home for a while. There are pros and cons to both, and the following guidelines can help make your decision easier.
Remodeling Before Moving In – When it’s the Better Choice
Buying a home that needs major upgrades to make it habitable is one of the top reasons for remodeling prior to moving in. Safety comes first, of course, for you and your family, so the home must meet the necessary building codes. So, when purchasing a fixer-upper in need of extensive work in every room, consider moving in after completing the repairs and improvements. Otherwise, it may be difficult to keep your family safe and maintain your daily routine.
Remodeling important spaces like the kitchen, bathrooms, or the primary bedroom is another reason to postpone moving in immediately. These upgrades often include a complete demo and removal of existing cabinetry, plumbing and light fixtures, sinks, tubs, showers, flooring, and drywall, creating a disruption to daily life. Additional reasons to delay moving in occur when you’re making other big changes, such as reworking the home’s layout or adding a bump out or second floor.
These types of pre-move-in renovations are only possible if you have the budget and time to allow it. So, this is an important decision to make before purchasing a home. If doing the work in advance isn’t possible, you might want to reconsider the purchase.
Before deciding for or against the purchase, however, consult a qualified design-build firm. They have experience managing remodels, and if you move in before/while renovating, they can offer suggestions to help minimize the impact on your routine.
Should You Wait Before You Renovate?
There is no absolute answer, as every homeowner’s situation is different. But most experienced design-build firms recommend living in a home for at least 6 months before remodeling. While this might seem counterproductive, it provides time to get settled into your new space. It also allows you to see how the layout and amenities function with your daily routine.
You might learn, for example, that the kitchen would work better with an island, or that the primary bathroom needs a bigger shower and more storage. Waiting 6 months also provides experience with the home’s overall flow and can help improve your remodel plan. The result – greater satisfaction with those future improvements.
After Moving, Take Time for a Little Rest & Relaxation
While buying a home is exciting, it can also be stressful. From house hunting and securing financing to navigating red tape and moving in, it’s a tiring process. It’s okay to take time to unpack, attend to post-moving details, and de-stress. Once fully recharged, you’ll be better focused and able to make great remodeling decisions.
Home Improvement Planning & Construction Takes Time
Many homeowners ask, “How long does it take to remodel a house?” Experienced design-build firms estimate the average time to complete renovations is 6 to 12 weeks. This doesn’t always include the planning stage, either, so depending on pre-construction preparation, that timeline could be longer.
Our best advice for planning a remodel? Do not rush the process. Scheduling renovation projects prior to moving in is not always ideal. It can often consume more time, money, and energy than expected, creating undue stress over your “move-in” deadline.
So regardless of the timing or size of your remodel project, know that meticulous planning is necessary. There are abundant choices and details involved, including plans, materials, and hiring the right contractors, designers, and/or architects. Careful planning will help avoid mistakes and ensure that you’ll enjoy quality, functional results for years to come.
Hire a Design-Build Professional, See the Possibilities
If your remodel project is more extensive, such as a full room or large area in the home, it’s a good idea to hire a reputable remodeling contractor. An experienced design-build firm will offer ideas that you might not have considered. From structural elements to the finer, finish details, they can highlight the many available possibilities.
When renovating the laundry room, for example, they can create additional storage with custom built-in cabinets and pull-out drawers. Or, if you’re remodeling your enclosed kitchen, they might suggest adding an island with storage and extra seating. Well-versed in the process, a design-build firm will not only highlight your many options but will also tailor the project to fit your needs and budget.
Part Two: You’ve Owned Your Home for Years – When Is It Time to Remodel?
Your home is one of your greatest investments, so it is essential to maintain it well to preserve its function and value. This includes regular interior and exterior maintenance, and well-timed upgrades to maintain its integrity, comfort, and longevity. So, the big question is, how does a homeowner know when to remodel?
Most contractors recommend renovating a home every 15-20 years. This rule is not set in stone but is a guideline meant to help protect this important asset. A well-maintained, regularly upgraded home will build equity and preserve its long-term value.
That said, it’s perfectly acceptable to be flexible. A total home renovation need not be completed all at once. Homeowners should consider their budget, needs, home’s condition, function, and comfort. Most homeowners complete projects in stages over several years, perhaps remodeling the kitchen one year, the main bedroom/bath the next, and so on. Timing and plans will be unique to each household.
What Are the Signs It’s Time to Remodel?
There are two main indicators for knowing how long to live in a home before remodeling:
1) Your Home Has Maintenance Issues
Maintenance issues take top priority to ensure the safety of your family and guests. These repairs and upgrades will help prevent accidents, preserve the home’s integrity, and avoid more costly repairs in the future.
If your floors have seen better days, by all means, replace them. Give special attention to broken or rotted wood floors. Other flooring issues include worn carpeting or vinyl flooring that are potential tripping hazards, and damaged or worn stairs/stair treads.
A leaky roof must be repaired or replaced before more damage occurs. If the roof isn’t fixed, structural elements like sheathing, rafters, and trusses may need to be replaced. Interior walls and rooms may incur water damage too, as well as furnishings, flooring, appliances, and personal belongings. Regular roof maintenance preserves your home’s value and contents.
Unwanted pests, such as mice and termites can do substantial damage to a home. When found in attics, eaves, or siding, even honeybees and other insects and rodents can pose a threat too. So, it’s important to be observant while indoors and out, noting any damage or pests, and to eradicate the culprits immediately. Left unchecked, damage from these pests can mean costly repairs later.
Additional maintenance issues include loose or broken tiles, leaky faucets, and faulty outlets and light fixtures. Exterior items include damaged siding or fascia boards, rotten wood on porches or decks, and crumbling concrete patios, walkways, and driveways. It’s better to take care of these issues before they become more expensive to repair and create a hazard for families and guests.
2) Your Daily Needs Have Changed or You Need an Upgrade
One of the biggest reasons homeowners remodel is the need for more space. Whether because the kids getting older or you require a larger home office space, a well-planned project can meet these needs.
Another top reason to renovate is to update the kitchen and/or bathrooms. A kitchen with worn or dated cabinets and countertops or an inconvenient layout are all candidates for upgrades. Bathrooms with chipped tile and grungy grout, old plumbing fixtures, or an outdated sink and tub are popular remodeling projects too.
In addition to needing more space and updating important rooms, many Dallas residents want their home’s layout to function more efficiently. For example, you might want an open-concept family room/kitchen to enable better flow when entertaining. Those with an empty nest might want to repurpose bedrooms or relocate the primary ensuite bed and bath. Caring for an elderly loved one in your home can mean changes in the layout and amenities as well.
No matter what your reasons for remodeling, your home should be comfortable and function well for every member of your household.
How Often Should You Remodel?
As mentioned above, seasoned contractors recommend remodeling every 15-20 years. They also suggest that you evaluate current and future household requirements every 10 years or so. In addition, they advise assessing existing and upcoming maintenance projects, as well as your budget and family’s needs, to determine your unique home renovation timeline.
Blackline Renovations, The Design-Build Remodel Experts
Blackline Renovations has been assisting Dallas, TX homeowners with their remodeling projects since 2002. As a complete design-build firm, our team can help you decide when to renovate your home and create a customized plan to suit your needs whenever you’re ready. We oversee all the details, guiding your project from start to finish. It’s our great pleasure to help make your renovation dreams come true.
Our knowledgeable staff brings their talent and expertise to every job, managing each detail to your complete satisfaction. For a sampling of our completed projects, browse our portfolio which includes kitchens and dining rooms, beds and bathrooms, laundry and mudrooms, accessory dwelling units, garages, and home additions.
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