Home Renovation Resolutions: Remodeling Dos and Don’ts For 2020

Tony 11/27/2019
Home Renovation Resolutions: Remodeling Dos and Don’ts For 2020

With only a month or so left of 2019, many Americans are thinking of ways they’d like to improve in 2020. Consequently, the tradition of setting new year’s resolutions will likely be alive and well. Approximately 53% of people who set resolutions for 2018 said they wanted to save money, while 21% said they wanted to buy a house in the new year. And if you’ve already managed to purchase a home of your own, you might need to put those savings towards a renovation.

In fact, spending is up in this sector. A recent Houzz survey found that American homeowners spent an average of $60,400 on renovations in 2016. But if you don’t want to go for broke in 2020 -- or make a mistake that could derail how you feel about your house -- what should you keep in mind when taking on a remodeling project? Here are a few dos and don’ts to remember when making your remodeling resolutions.

DO: Set a Budget Beforehand

According to a Houzz survey, the number one renovation challenge for homeowners in 2016 was staying on-budget. Of course, curbing your spending is difficult to do when you don’t have a clear idea of the kind of renovation you can afford. While there are certain issues that might arise during the course of a project (particularly if you live in an older home), you need to set a cap of how much you can spend. Don’t forget to factor in 10% to 20% of your allotted budget for unexpected expenses, as Zillow recommends. This can keep you from overspending before the project really gets going.

DON’T: Be Too Eager to DIY

DIY home improvement projects have become a popular way to save money -- or so you might think. Some projects are fine to take on yourself, like painting the walls or replacing hardware. But if the project involves an essential room in the house or one that’s filled with complex components (like plumbing or electricity), you’ll want to call in a professional. Statistics show that the average American home has nine DIY jobs that desperately need attention. If you’re not up to the task, you could get in way over your head. As a result, the space might be out of commission or you might end up paying a lot more to fix your handiwork.

DO: Use the Right Materials

While you might want to find ways to save money on building materials, price isn’t the only consideration to keep in mind. If you want to promote energy efficiency, sustainability, and improved health, you’ll want to make sure any paint, flooring, appliances, furniture, and other components you utilize support those efforts. By purchasing paint products that contain no VOCs, you’ll be doing your part to protect the planet and your family.

DON’T: Forget the Permit

While a simple paint job or planting of a tree won’t typically require outside approval, there are many home improvement projects that will need a permit. Requirements for permitted projects will vary quite a bit based on your location, but substantial changes to a property -- like building an addition, changing the locations of electricity and plumbing, or even adding a fence -- may need a permit. It’s important to check with your local ordinance before beginning a home renovation project (or to work with a contractor who’s familiar with regulations in your area). Otherwise, all your hard work might be for nothing -- and someone could get hurt as a result.

With these dos and don’ts in mind, you can set your new year’s remodeling resolutions and feel confident in your renovation decisions.