Nevada County residents like to improve their home to fit their needs, but renovations can be two fold. They can improve the quality of life in the home and also raise the value of the home. However, that doesn’t mean you should go in and start renovation portions of your home with no plan. Start by talking to a real estate agent about what improvements can add the most value to your home. To make it easy on you, we have identified several things homeowners should consider before home renovations begin.
Think Long-Term Home Improvement: Remodeling Magazine reported that money spent on a kitchen remodel produces the highest return on investment. Bathroom renovations and adding additional rooms such as guest bedrooms or studies also traditionally score well. Homeowners should consult with a local real estate sales associate to determine if their plans will positively influence the resale value. A sales associate may be able to offer suggestions on renovations that will provide a significant return on investment. Also, make sure that the additions are permitted. If they are not permitted, it may negatively impact your home’s value.
Healthy Balance: While homeowners should consider a home’s future value when making renovations, changes that enhance their lifestyle should also come into play. More size, better layout and contemporary looks can help a family find more pride in their home and increase the home’s overall value. Life-altering milestones – like having children, having extended family move in and work-at-home-jobs – provide good cause to renovate. Things like open concept kitchen, living, and dining areas will be helpful to you and to the value of your home.
Seek Out Referrals: Once committed to the process, hiring the right home improvement contractor is critical. A great way to choose a contractor is to contact salespeople at stores where contractors buy their supplies, such as lumberyards, window stores, cabinet shops and hardware stores. It is also a good idea to speak with friends, family and neighbors that have been through the process before, as well as check the Web sites of local community associations. You can also ask a real estate agent which people or places they recommend.
Obtain Multiple Bids: Always get at least three estimates on a project. Contractors can bid on the same project using different prices and timeframes. Check that all the bids are based on the same scope and quality of work, which is the only way to do a fair and effective comparison.
Interview Your Home Improvement Contractors: It is important for the homeowner to talk about a contractor’s style and process. A strong rapport and close communication with the contractor will increase the likelihood of the project going smoothly. If, for example, the homeowner will want to know every detail during the project, they probably will not be content with a contractor that provides little information during the interview. It is also important to verify that the contractor has a license and insurance certificate. Most states require a contractor to carry worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance. It may end up being more expensive, but the quality of the work will shine through.
Follow up on References and Verify the Contractor’s License: Be sure to check the contractor’s credentials. Ask how many similar jobs the contractor has completed, how much experience they have, whether they guarantee their work and who will be in charge of the project. Reputable contractors typically supply names and phone numbers of recent references. It is worth calling a minimum of three people to verify the contractor’s credentials. There are several good questions to ask: Did the reference pay a fair price, was the work done properly and would the reference hire the contractor again? Did the contractor show up every day and finish the project when expected?
Contact Local Consumer Protection Agencies: Call the local or state consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau to check if there have been any unresolved complaints registered against the contractor. Also contact the state’s contractor licensing agency and local building inspectors to confirm that the contractor has a clean record.