To Remodel or Not? That ’tis the Question!

LKR Agent guest post by Terri Larson

All the DIY shows on TV often give some homeowners the itch to remodel their own home. However, not everyone is up for a full flip.  (Most prefer to fix and then flop in their newly remodeled home!)

To Build… or to Remodel

In the Iowa City area, we have a shortage of build-able lots for people to build, specifically, where they can select their own builder.  With the high cost of land and development, developers tend to hold onto the lots/land to help recoup initial development costs.  The down side can be that you are unable to buy a lot and pick the builder of your choice.  Our agents have experienced some frustration with this from people who’d like to build a new home.  And so – remodeling a current or older home has become much more prevalent.

The Remodel Ride

One experience some homeowners agree upon after completing a remodeling project is that it can cost more and take longer than expected. No matter the fact that you researched, planned, and received multiple bids, it can cost more and take longer than originally anticipated.

Replacing floor coverings or painting is a project homeowners can easily bid and contract with workers directly. A new level of complexity occurs when the project involves more specialized work for a remodeled kitchen, bath, wet bar, home theater room, etc.  Not to mention scheduling city inspections, electricians, plumbers, drywall contractors, just to name a few.​

When you start dismantling your home, you may encounter some unexpected construction before you are able to proceed.   Another occurrence to anticipate is that you may change your mind or add to the project. Be prepared for the ride!

Maintaining Your Investment

Your home is an investment and in order to get the best return, you do need to maintain said investment.  Bit by bit, you can change light fixtures, flooring, replace dented garage doors, sand and restain/paint dog damaged window sills.  (Maybe that’s only in my house…)  We can all be eager to “just go home” that we don’t look at our homes with a critical eye.  And that’s OK.  But every so often, we need to critically look at our homes and see/smell what others see and smell.

Talk with others who have recently remodeled and try to see some of their results while you consider who you want to use for your project.  Some contractors will run the remodel as if it were a new home construction, and take over the job so you don’t have to do all the scheduling.  Some of you are handy enough that you can contract out the licensed jobs, but take care of other aspects.  No matter what you choose, remodeling looks as if it’s here to stay.

To learn more about Terri Larson, visit her profile!