After several years of living in your home in Raleigh, North Carolina, it’s common as a homeowner to find yourself looking for a change, especially if your family has grown or you’ve adopted new habits and interests. However, by that time, you may also be heavily invested in the local community or your children’s school district.
If you’re ready to transform your home life without having to uproot your routine or relocate to a new house, a remodeling project is just the thing to help. From redoing particular rooms to tackling the whole home, remodeling gives you the opportunity to critically evaluate what architectural and design elements aren’t working for you anymore or if your tastes have changed. You can then upgrade and optimize the space to be the safe, comfortable and functional haven your family needs for the foreseeable future.
When it comes to planning a home remodel or addition in Raleigh, the first issue to address is budget. What will it cost to achieve your vision and, just as importantly, what do want to spend?
Budgeting sounds simple enough, but it can be a complex, evolving process as you research average renovation costs, evaluate your funding sources, work with your home remodeling team to design plans, and find ways to implement cost-saving measures when possible. Here is a look at some of the important steps involved in developing a realistic budget and sticking to it:
The first step in planning your North Carolina home remodel and setting a budget is to identify what you are determined to accomplish with the project. If you have significant damage to your roof, siding or other architectural elements, repairs should be near the top of your list. Homes also accumulate gentle wear and tear over the years, which requires maintenance and renovation. From there, assess which aspects of your home have caused your family discomfort or irritation over the past few years. Do you need to add an extra room to accommodate your growing children or an elderly parent who is coming to live with you? Do your bathrooms feel old and outdated? Is your kitchen cramped and no longer suitable for your current lifestyle? From there, think about cosmetic elements and color palettes. Have your tastes shifted over time, making you lose interest in the design styles currently integrated into your home?
As you answer these questions and identify your priorities, make a list. Don’t worry about adding the projects you want along with those you need, but put them lower on the list so it’s easy to make cuts while designing your remodel and trying to stay within budget.
Once you’ve established the “what,” it’s time to figure out the “how much.” There are numerous factors that impact the cost of any type of home improvement project, large or small. Speaking with a professional home remodeler is the best strategy for coming up with some accurate numbers.
However, you can also figure out the average cost of various remodeling projects based on regional data. For example, the average cost of a kitchen remodel ranges from about $20,000 to upward of $100,000 based on the size of your space and the quality of fixtures and finishes you choose. Your bathroom remodel estimate may also run the gamut from about $20,000 for a midrange renovation to $30,000 to integrate a universal design and $60,000 for a major, upscale project. Siding replacement costs about $10,000 to $15,000 while updating your windows in North Carolina costs about $16,000 to $20,000 depending on whether they’re wood or vinyl.
As you look into the average cost for each item on your priority list, you can start to develop a preliminary budget using a digital or online remodel calculator. You also should start considering where you could save and where you want to splurge. Outdoor amenities such as decks and kitchen renovations tend to have high ROIs, but if adding a fireplace to your living room or a heated floor and large, standalone tub to your master bath would substantially enhance your quality of life, that’s worth considering.
Another important step is to evaluate your finances. How much can you spend on your project and how will you pay for it? If you have savings to invest toward your home remodel in Raleigh, that’s ideal. When you can pay entirely out of pocket, you know upfront what you have to spend and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of interest rates or payment plans.
If you need to finance your residential renovation either fully or partially, there are a few different sources available, from personal loans and refinancing your mortgage to government loans and credit cards. For a majority of homeowners in North Carolina or Eastern Tennessee, the best way to borrow for a remodel is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a home-equity loan.
A HELOC is a secured loan that is backed by the value of your property, which means you often qualify for a lower interest rate than you would when applying for a different type of unsecured personal loan. Similar to a credit card, if approved, you get a revolving line of credit that enables you to borrow what you need, when you need it, which is especially helpful for ongoing or lengthy home remodels. In order to qualify for a HELOC, you must have sufficient home equity, which means the value of your home is higher than the amount still owed on your mortgage.
For a home-equity loan, the value of your house is again used as collateral. Unlike a HELOC, however, you receive a lump sum of money for your project that you must repay over the course of a set term, along with accumulated interest.
Certain property owners in North Carolina may also qualify for the Section 504 Home Repair program, also known as the Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants, offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Low-income households may qualify for a loan to repair, improve or modernize their home. The grants are distributed to elderly homeowners who are 62 or older, and the money must be used for renovations that involved removing health and safety hazards.
Even after all your careful planning and preparation, you should anticipate that there will be a few unpredictable challenges and circumstances along the way. Make sure you’re ready to deal with the unexpected by incorporating a contingency into your budget. Experts often recommend reserving at least 10% to 15% of your total available funds to cover costs related to unforeseen circumstances. It’s also prudent to have two options, both economy grade and high-end, for each aspect of your renovation project. Doing so makes decision-making easier and less time-consuming when you are given the opportunity to expand the scope of your project or faced with the need to cut back.
At this point, you are ready to move your project forward by partnering up with a professional builder in Raleigh that can turn your dream into reality. The company you choose to oversee your remodel will influence every aspect of the project going forward, from cost and timeline to the quality of craftsmanship, so take your time finding the right one. You can get quotes from a couple different remodeling firms based on recommendations from trusted friends, neighbors or other professionals and tradespeople in the industry. Set up an interview with each of your top prospects and ask to see a portfolio of their recent work in North Carolina. Also check their references and peruse online sites for client reviews.
Cost is important when selecting a home remodeler, but it shouldn’t be the only factor you weigh when making your decision. It’s also vital that the team can work with your preferred style and offer transparency, strong communication and superior customer service to create a positive home-remodeling experience for you.
A home makeover has the potential to be an incredibly rewarding and valuable experience. However, it comes down to your ability to set manageable expectations and develop a realistic budget, as well as finding a home remodeler who also prioritizes those aspects of the project. At Wood Construction and Remodeling, we are experienced in a variety of home remodeling services, from bathroom and kitchen renovations to adding outdoor living spaces and home whole makeovers. No matter the type and size of your project, we work closely with you to meet and to exceed your expectations for budget, schedule and quality.