Home Renovation: What You Might Not Have Prepared For

Americans are still actively renovating their homes during the pandemic. The Selective Insurance Company of America hired The Harris Poll to conduct surveys among 2,057 American adults from December 28 to 30, 2020 and July 6 to 8, 2021. Findings showed that more than half or 55 percent of homeowners did substantial home renovations in the first half of this year. That represents a 25 percent increase from home renovations reported at the end of 2020. The most popular renovations were for an existing room, basement, or attic for 36 percent of homeowners; a new room for 12 percent of homeowners; and installing a pool or hot tub for 17 percent of homeowners.

Delays and Costs Increases

According to Houzz, if you plan to renovate your home, it is best to prepare a substantial budget for rising materials costs. You must also factor in possible time extensions for your project in the face of delays in supplies, shortages in labor, and extreme weather events.

Some materials that have shortages and consequently price increases include lumber, steel, concrete, drywall, copper, foam, aluminum, plastic, paint, cabinetry, appliances, and furniture. There is also a lack of skilled workers in most or 92 percent of construction companies. More than half of them reported having moderate to severe shortages for carpenters. It is also challenging to find skilled cabinet specialists, framers, and plumbers.

The Overall Budget

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Most homeowners think that doing home renovation projects one at a time lowers the overall costs, but this is not true. You can save more by doing a complete home renovation or doing all the room renovations you want all at the same time. This is because you can get a bulk discount on everything from your contractors’ fees to the cost of materials and deliveries. You also save time by doing all the renovations in one go rather than having stop-and-go projects over an extended period.

Another misconception of homeowners is that they can remain in the home while renovations are done one at a time. This seems feasible in theory but can become a nightmare in real life. The residents and the workers will always be in each other’s way, and it is not possible to live normally in a house where construction is ongoing. This is especially true when the residents are working from home or doing distance learning. It is best to set aside a budget to move into temporary housing during the period of renovation. Again, expect possible extensions of this setup and prepare for the worst.

As of August 2021, HomeAdvisor states that renovating an entire house can cost from $100,000 to $200,000, depending on the home’s size, age, and location. Logically, a larger home will cost more to renovate. An older home costs more because it will probably have outdated electricals, plumbing, and other problems that homeowners and contractors need to address. Location is also a significant factor because service fees and materials costs vary depending on where the project is.

Protecting Your Property

During renovations, homeowners must protect parts of the property that they will not renovate. While this is supposed to be part of the responsibility of a professional contractor, it is still best to have a specific discussion on this.

For instance, when building a room above an existing garage, make sure that heavy equipment rolling into the garage have equipment such as TireSocks to protect the existing finished garage flooring. You must also install appropriate floor coverings inside the house wherever there is ongoing work. Ensure that all furniture and appliances are well covered and padded against bumps and dents. If possible, move your furniture into a rented storage facility instead to give workers enough room in which to work.

Understandably, any indoor renovation will likely produce dust and other particles. Don’t hesitate to ask the crew to vacuum the area after each workday rather than leaving dust and other debris to accumulate until the end of the project. Sawdust, debris, and other particles can do severe damage to your respiratory system.

It is also inevitable that dust and other particles accumulate in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts, even if no one uses the system during the renovation. Ideally, you need to have these ducts professionally cleaned afterward to ensure that your indoor air quality is not compromised.

It’s easy to focus on the design and the outcome of a home renovation project. It’s essential, however, to also plan for the practical aspects of the work. Covering all your bases will ensure that your home renovation goes with little or no hitches before, during, and after the project.

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