Should I Stay or Go?
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
I've gone back and forth on sharing this process with you. Is it too late to share? And how much information is too much information? Truly, I wish I would have started writing about this several months ago when we started. And although I almost just let it be, I decided that this information is useful and worth sharing.
We finished renovating our house at the end of last year. Renovating is a crazy, stressful, exciting, and fluid. The transformation that occurs is insanely satisfying, and I live for those before and after pictures! But it definitely isn't for everyone. Here's some things to consider when deciding if you'd like a remodel?
Remodeling is Expensive.
Most people decide to remodel because they think it's the cheaper option. But depending on the extent of your remodel, it can be very pricey. Most extensive remodels will be at least $100k. That might seem extreme, but consider these:
- Are you changing the layout (and therefore removing/creating walls)?
- Are you moving/creating any electric, gas, or water systems?
- Are you creating any additions (and therefore moving exterior walls?)
- Are you getting new cabinets? Handles? Island? Countertops? Appliances? Backsplash?
- What furniture will need replacing? Will the old furniture work with the new layout?
- Will light fixtures be moved or replaced?
- Will you need load bearing beams to replace any walls that were eliminated?
- New flooring? Baseboards? Windows? Paint?
It's important to have a realistic budget. And once you have set that budget, stay close to that number. So before you commit to an entire remodel, get a consultation with a general contractor/designer who can give you a "ball park" figure of your vision.
One more thought - for extensive remodels with so many working parts, having a general contractor or designer can be extremely helpful. Most of the time, they have excellent contacts. Individuals with fair pricing and quality work. And they can also make sure the process goes smoother. They can check that layouts flow smoothly, and aren't awkward. They can also oversee that finishes, textures, and colors are cohesive and good for your space. Pinterest is excellent, but that's not your space. And different layouts and finishes look better with bigger or smaller spaces! Also, making change orders usually cost extra. Therefore, a designer can minimize those changes by capturing you're vision from the beginning.
What's My Living Situation?
Most people can't afford to live somewhere else for several months during their remodel. In some situations, you might be able to stay with family (we did!) or very, very close friends (who will love you even after spending 24/7 together). We have known clients to live in their basement. Some have rented an AirBNB during the messiest part, but then continued to live in the house during the renovation (even without water in some areas)! Those are all solutions. But can bring a lot of stress as well! So make sure you have an understanding of the duration of your remodel. They can take anywhere from one to several months depending on the season and demand.
Although I could make this next statement it's own paragraph, I'll sum it up with this: They always take much longer than you think. Expect a few delays or hiccups along the way!
So... Why Would I Do This?
I know I made all of that sound horrible, so why do it? Honestly, there are a lot of good reasons to choose a remodel too. Personally, we love our neighborhood. We absolutely love our friends, neighbors, and school. We love the location. And to give all of that up felt like a higher cost than the remodel itself.
Also, there is an endless amount of options and flexibility with a remodel. And to see a vision come to life with everything you have chosen is exhilarating. That can also happen if you build a custom home! But if you're buying another house or even building new with a tract home builder, those options are more limited.
Renovating is very stressful, and it's not glamorous at all. But after a few months of living in your new home, you will forget about all the stress and absolutely love it!
What Should I Do?
Only you can answer this question, of course. But my advice is to think about your area, the housing market, and the cost of the remodel. And then think about the most important aspects in your next home. Maybe you'll find, like me, that your house simply needs some updating. Or maybe you'll realize that although renovating sounds exciting, moving would be a better fit for your situation. Either way, trust your gut. You've got this!