Don’t Remodel Your New Home Just Yet: 3 Unexpected Reasons to Wait

 

If you just moved into your new home, congratulations! If your first intention after the last box is unloaded from the moving truck is to get busy remodeling your new home before you unpack, hold on a moment. If this seems like a crazy thing for a remodeling company to say, hear us out please.

It’s probably just fine do some immediate remodeling touches like updating the paint or switching out the flooring. And naturally, you’ll want to remodel or update any damaged areas that need repair before the home is habitable. Accessibility or major functionality issues are also a good reason to remodel right out of the box.

But it’s the major structural changes that have more to do with taste that make us say, “Whoa there!” In our experience, this scenario is often fraught with frustration for homeowners. Ask yourself if the remodeling is a functional need or just a really intense want.

We strongly recommend living in your home for about a year before digging into your “want” remodeling list. Look at these 3 reasons we tell people to wait and you’ll end up saving time, hassle and money in the long run:

1. Let Your Financial Situation Settle

You’ve just purchased a home—that’s a big financial responsibility. Aside from the new mortgage, you likely paid for movers, professional cleaning, etc. Give yourself a year to let all of that settle out. Pay down some bills over the next several months. Go ahead and change the doorknobs and a few other light touches that make you feel happy, but don’t break the bank. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how much remodeling your budget can handle. Your wallet and credit score will thank you.

2. Give Yourself a Chance to Get to Know the House

You and your home have really just met. What you saw before the previous owners moved out probably wasn’t everything there is to know about your home. Maybe your first thought was, “Wow, we should remodel the kitchen.” But now that you’ve lived there for a while, you realize a more important project is remodeling the bathroom or the closets. You can only know these things by living with the house for awhile. Over this year, do the following:

  • Observe family traffic patterns through various areas of the house. Note inefficiencies and places where the flow doesn’t work.
  • How is your storage space working out for you? Any design elements that drive you nuts?
  • Throw a couple of dinner parties and see how well your guests are able to mingle and how efficient it is to get food from the kitchen to the dining room or patio.
  • Spend time on the patio and around the yard—is it fabulous or not?
  • Pay close attention to how well your home handles each season. Does it get too stuffy in the summer or drafty in the winter? Is the color scheme too dark or too glaring? Are there indoor leaks or outdoor drainage issues?
  • Once you’ve spent a year getting to know your new home, you’ll be able to make wiser remodeling decisions that will increase the value of your home, improve your quality of life, and save you the trouble of having to remodel a remodel that was too hastily done in the first place.

3. Give Yourself Time to Get Educated about Remodeling

This “honeymoon” time with your home is also a great year to learn all you can about different remodeling projects you’re interested in before actually plunking down the cash and letting the sawdust fly. Becoming an informed homeowner will help you save time and money when you reach the point where you’re ready to commit to a remodeling project or two.

Riverside Construction holds regular complementary home remodeling seminars that cover a wide range of remodeling projects you might be dreaming about. Our next one, which is always very popular, is our Kitchen and Bath seminar. We’ll be digging deep and answering all of your questions about remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, so save the date and register for the class:

Riverside Construction’s Kitchen and Bath Seminar
On Saturday, August 19th from 10:30 a.m. to noon
At the Holiday Inn City Center in Downtown Lafayette

Although the class is free, space is limited, so register as soon as possible. When you register, be sure to leave a question or comment in the bottom box about the remodeling project you’re considering so that we can come prepared with some ideas and answers for you.

If you can’t come to this seminar, we will hold more in the future; keep an eye on this page so you’ll know when we schedule the next one.

You can also request a personal consultation with one of our Riverside Construction remodeling experts that fits within your schedule.

And remember—don’t jump into a remodeling project too quickly with your new home. Follow our three tips and wait a year so you can get the most satisfaction and value from your remodeling project!

8 Critical Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

It doesn’t take much to run a home remodeling project over budget. If it’s important to you to keep your savings intact, avoid these common mistakes before construction begins.

We interviewed Riverside Construction’s owner, Andy Haste, to find out what breaks people’s budgets when they remodel their homes. Here are some helpful tips to help you circumvent those errors:

  1. Changing Your Mind After Construction Has BegunOne of the biggest, most costly remodeling mistakes a homeowner can make is making changes after construction begins. One advantage in working with a design/build firm is that every detail is thought through and even previewed, and fixed to a budget, before construction begins.
  2. Failing to Define Your Project Scope (Not Creating a Master Plan)Every home remodeling project should start with a clear project scope. A professional contractor can help you define your master plan and make sure every detail is accounted for. When meeting for the first time, expect to answer a lot of questions, especially WHY you are remodeling. By flushing out this deeper understanding of your home remodel, a remodeling contractor earns his weight in gold by coming up with creative, cost-effective solutions that you might never have thought of.Other questions you should be prepared to ask are “What are your needs, wants and desires for your new space? What do you love about your home? What don’t you like about your existing space? What is the size of your family? Is it expanding or will you be empty nesters soon? How often do you entertain? Where do you and your family spend most of your time? The more details you can flush out up front, the more precise a professional remodeling contractor can be in coming up with ideal solutions for your new living space.
  3. Choosing a Contractor Solely on PriceEveryone loves to save money! But the old adage “You get what you pay for” is never more true than when you hire a remodeling contractor. Choose a remodeling firm that has a stellar reputation in the industry. Start by asking for referrals and evaluate new companies by reading their online reviews and client testimonials. Some companies even provide direct access to their client survey results. Pay attention to the comments and how issues are handled.Instead of choosing a contractor solely on price, pay close attention to the overall value you will receive. Are they likely to still be in business five years from now when something needs fixing? Do they offer a workmanship warranty, and will follow up on their commitment to stand behind their work?Choosing a contractor shouldn’t be so much about “can they frame a wall or put in a sink”. It should be more about whether or not they have established trust in doing the job you need them to do. Emphasis should be placed on HOW the work is done. Will they protect your home? Will they do what they say they’re going to do? What measures will they put in place to protect your family or pets? Can you reliably trust them to carry out your vision?
  4. Failing to Create a Realistic BudgetOne of the key advantages in working with a design/build firm, in particular, is that they can help you determine a realistic budget up-front before construction begins. Make sure you work with a remodeling contractor that listens to your needs, develops a scope of work, and guides you in a design that realistically fits your budget. No time or money is wasted when you design to a budget that you can afford right from the start.
  5. Taking Too Little Time to Consider Specialty ItemsThe last thing you ever want to experience after spending valuable time and money on a home remodel is regret. “I really wish I’d put in that glass tile I wanted,” or “I’m really disappointed that we didn’t put in quartz countertops,” are statements that a quality contractor will ensure you never say six months or three years after your remodel is complete.Creating a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ is a helpful place to start. A design/build firm will incorporate these items into the design discussion early on, before a conceptual design and budget proposal are presented to you. This allows you to incorporate your needs into your overall plan and specifications right away. Be prepared to address why you want your ‘must have’ items as well. A reputable contractor will want to know WHY you want these items so they can present you with alternative options and steer you in the right direction.
  6. Not Knowing the Process Going Into Your RemodelHaving a clear understanding of the home remodeling process you’re about to embark on is a smart and effective way to alleviate anxiety. You should know approximately how long your project will take, what date it will be done, how your home will be managed and protected (both the construction and non-construction areas), when and how your ideas will be incorporated into the design process, and more. When you are looking for a contractor that is right for you, be sure to get a thorough understanding of their design and construction process.
  7. Not Being Prepared for the UnexpectedAny time you embark on a home remodel, no matter how old your home, you want to go into your remodel with a clear understanding of what to expect. Be prepared for dust and noise, for starters. And, have a plan in place for your pets.Unexpected situations can also rear their ugly head as soon as you start tearing down walls. Whether there is dry rot found behind a soffit, or dangerous electrical wiring that needs to be replaced, it is important that you prepare yourself for these types of surprises also. A reputable contractor will be able to set all of these expectations up front and help you set a realistic budget.
  8. Not Exploring ALL Options for Adding Space in Your HomeDon’t want to move, but desperately need additional square footage? One obvious solution is adding a new room addition to your home, but there are other options as well. You can maximize storage and reclaim space by creatively reconfiguring your existing space. Do you have a basement or attic that can be refinished? Do you have a wall that can be knocked down to improve traffic flow? By discussing your needs with a reputable remodeling contractor, you can explore all options that add square footage to your home, without breaking the bank.

Contact Riverside Construction today, for more information.  We would love the opportunity to help you with your next remodeling project.  Take the first step by scheduling a conversation with a design consultant.

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