The first quarter of the year is over and as it goes, so does tax season. For many homeowners, a tax refund means they can finally start (and hopefully complete!) a renovation project. Some projects are needed - they are the direct result of a home's aging process be it routine maintenance or the need to repair some sort of damage, but more often they are desired - either to replace outdated fixtures or colors, or to change the flow of a room.
The most desired updates for 2019 continue to be remodeling the kitchen or master bathroom which can cost anywhere from $7,500 to $25,000 depending on whether you DIY or hire a contractor and how much you change. For example, a bathroom remodel for a 40 square foot area could cost $8,000 (+ $70 per additional square foot) including new fixtures and bath. A change in kitchen cabinets could cost around $3,500-$20,000 where new countertops and backsplash could cost $40 to $200 per square foot. Not only are updated kitchens and baths on the most desired list for renovation, they also help a home sell quicker. Another change that decreases market time is a new roof. Asphalt shingle roofs should be replaced every 12 to 20 years if they have not sustained any storm damage and can cost about $4 per square foot. In recent years, metal roofs have gained popularity, not only in aesthetics, but also because they are stronger and last twice as long as other roofing options. They cost between $6 to $13 per square foot to install.
While many projects can be completed without a contractor, it is a good idea to consult an expert if: you want to change a wall or move some in that requires plumbing (like a toilet), or if your house is older and you cannot afford custom cut windows. Many prefabricated windows no longer come in the odd sizes seen in older homes and framing in a new (smaller) window can reveal unsuspected issues like mold or insect damage. Other pitfalls to avoid include not having a well-designed plan, choosing beauty over function, not setting a fixed budget, and using poor or in proper materials. As with most things in life, it is important to keep perspective, and be patient with yourself and your helpers. Remember that most renovation projects take more time and are sometimes more of an investment than originally planned.