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5 Tips on Renovations for First-Time Homebuyers

Monday, December 21, 2015   /   by Bill Berning*

5 Tips on Renovations for First-Time Homebuyers


If you want to renovate your new home, you should do plenty of research before you start. Here are some tips to make your home renovation project successful.




For a first-time home seller, renovations mean adding those final personal touches to the new home. However, it is important to plan if you want to make sure that renovation project is completed to your satisfaction without problems. Researching the permits required, contractors to perform the work and costs are all important steps of creating a successful renovation project plan.




Doing research prior to renovating your home can save you money and a lot of hassle. Like many first-time homeowners, you are probably excited to get started. However, it is important that you create a plan that will help you to avoid the pitfalls that often accompany renovation projects. Failing to get the right permits or hiring the wrong contractor could put your home and risk and make you liable for damages and fines.


To save money, you may consider doing some of the work yourself.  If you are planning to do some of the work yourself, you should make sure that you understand how long the project will take, as well as, the skills required. Taking on a renovation project that is more than you can handle is a common mistake made by first-time homebuyers.


In addition, you could easily end up over budget if you fail to plan your renovation or end up hiring the wrong contractor for the job. Here are five tips for first-time homebuyers to help you avoid problems with your home renovation project.


Obtain the Necessary Permits


Some home renovation projects require permits from your local authorities. "There are not too many jobs you don’t need a permit for," says Michael Hydeck, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. "It’s better to be safe than sorry."


The projects that require permits are typically projects that involve modifications to the electrical system or structure of the home. Permits are required to ensure the safety and integrity of your home. In addition, the permits also ensure that the work being done won’t disrupt or neighbors or make improper use of public space and resources. In order to find out if permits are required for your renovation projects, you should call local contractors to obtain estimates. These companies can advise you on how to apply for the required permits for your renovation plans. You should always make sure that you contact the local authorities yourself. Don’t trust a contractor to do this on your behalf.


You should never do renovation work that requires a permit without approval. Not only is this illegal, you could compromise the value of your home. Renovation work that has not been approved will make your home uninsurable. In addition, fines may be imposed by the local government for failing to obtain the proper permissions and can be significant.


Update the Bathroom and Kitchen


Updating the bathroom or kitchen is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to make an older home look great. By adding new plumbing fixtures to the faucets, you can change the look of a bathroom or kitchen immediately. A complete bathroom or kitchen remodel could cost significantly more. However, if you are on a budget, you can make the changes yourself by just purchasing some items from a home improvement store. Add some new mirrors or new towel racks to improve the look of your bathroom. In the kitchen, you can add some extra storage space. If you'd like more extensive work done, such as installing new cabinets or tile, it is a good idea to call a bathroom or kitchen remodeling contractor instead of doing yourself.


Kitchens and bathrooms are considered the most important areas of a home to potential buyers. If you are looking to do renovations that have the potential to improve the value of your home, these rooms are good places to start.


Choose Contractors Carefully


If you opt to have your remodeling work done by a professional contractor, you should interview several candidates and get estimates before you decide on a company to complete the work. As a part of the process, you want to make sure that the contractor is adequately insured and is licensed to perform the work that you require. As the homeowner, you could be held liable if the contractor is injured while working on your property and the company is underinsured or is not insured.


You also want to make sure that the contractor has the right experience to get the job done. Review the references provided by the contractor and make sure that contractor has done work on jobs that are similar to what you want in order to improve the odds that your project will be successful. Asking for recommendations on contractors from family and friends can allow you to find a contractor that is qualified and will meet your expectations.


You should also make sure that your contract agreement stipulates that you are not required to paid the full cost of the project until the project is actually complete. “Contractors are notorious for finishing most of the job and then moving on before they get to the final details. Don’t make the final payment until you are completely satisfied with the work and have all the lien releases and receipts.” says Teresa Mears of usnews.com.


Completing renovations on your new home doesn’t have to be difficult. With the proper planning and research before you get started, you can ensure that completed renovation work will meet your requirements and may even add value to your home.


*This article is syndicated and licensed from Realtor.GetWrittn.com.


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