When it comes to transforming your home through renovation, home improvement projects, while exciting, can pose various risks if not approached with caution. Whether planning a small makeover or a major overhaul, here are some expert tips and insights on a safe home renovation journey.

Home renovation trends for 2024

  1. Smart Homes. Integration of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things for controlling various aspects of the home through voice commands or smartphone apps.
  2. Sustainability. Increasing use of eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient solutions such as bamboo flooring, recycled countertops, solar panels, and energy-efficient windows.
  3. Versatile Living Spaces. Creation of multifunctional rooms that can adapt to changing needs through convertible furniture and sliding walls.
  4. Wellness-Focused Renovations. Incorporation of spa-like bathrooms, dedicated meditation spaces, and the inclusion of natural elements like indoor gardens and ample natural light.
  5. Outdoor Living Areas. Transformation of outdoor spaces into home extensions with comfortable seating, outdoor kitchens, and entertainment areas.
  6. Open Floor Plans. Removed walls to create open, spacious living areas that promote a sense of flow and connectivity.
  7. Statement Ceilings. Adding visual interest to rooms with unique ceiling designs, such as exposed beams, coffered ceilings, or decorative molding.
  8. Sustainable Materials and Finishes. Use of sustainable and natural materials like reclaimed wood, cork, and natural stone for flooring, countertops, and wall finishes.
  9. Home Office Spaces. The incorporation of dedicated home office spaces or designated work areas within existing rooms to accommodate remote work and study needs.
  10. Bold Colors and Patterns. Embracing vibrant colors and bold patterns adds personality and visual interest to rooms, such as accent walls, wallpaper, or vibrant furniture.

These trends focus on sustainability, technology, flexibility, and creating spaces that promote well-being and comfort.

Antoaneta from CPP Home Builders & Remodeling

Assessing your renovation needs

Before diving into any renovation project, assess your home’s needs. Take the time to evaluate the areas that require attention and establish clear goals and priorities for the renovation.
Consider using an essential home remodeling checklist, a valuable tool to help ensure a successful renovation project.

Here’s a checklist that covers some of the most important aspects of the remodeling process:

  • Define Your Goals: What is the primary goal of your remodel? (e.g., increasing space, improving functionality, enhancing aesthetics) Which areas or rooms in your home do you want to remodel?
  • Budget Considerations:
    • What is your budget for the project?
    • Are you open to financing options if needed?
  • Functional Needs: What functional improvements are you seeking? (e.g., more storage, open floor plan, additional living space)
  • Aesthetic Preferences:
    • What design style and aesthetics do you prefer? (e.g., modern, traditional, contemporary)
    • Do you have specific color schemes or materials in mind?
  • Must-Have Features: List the essential features you want in the remodel (e.g., kitchen island, walk-in closet, energy-efficient appliances).
  • Wish List: Identify additional features or design elements you’d like if the budget allows. 
  • Contractor Selection
    • Have you chosen a reliable design-build firm or contractor to work with?
    • Have you checked their credentials, reviews, and references?
  • Lifestyle Considerations: Your lifestyle, hobbies, and daily routines can influence your remodeling choices.
  • Future Needs / Consider Accessibility Needs: Consider any specific requirements for mobility, accessibility, or aging-in-place features.

Christine Ramaekers from MainStreet Design Build

How to start planning for a home renovation

Home renovation is like a small project where homeowners upgrade their houses to fix issues developed over time to improve aesthetic, functional, or energy efficiency constraints. These issues can be cracks in the home, kitchen spills, space constraints, etc., including electrical and plumbing problems. Their upgrades include painting the house, upgrading electrical and plumbing wires, replacing the kitchen platforms/cabinets, etc.

Here is the step-by-step advice if you plan to start for home renovation:

  1. Define your goal: Determine what you want to achieve after completing the home renovation. Is it the aesthetics or functional aspects or to increase energy efficiency?
  2. Set your budget: Have a realistic budget to plan for home renovation and to decide your plans based on it. The budget includes potential costs, materials, labor, and last-minute expenses.
  3. Prepare a list and prioritize them: Make a list of what renovations you want to do for your home. It can be from a minor aspect, such as replacing a lamp, to a considerable renovation, such as a complete kitchen renovation. And prioritize which goes first and what can go last.
  4. Gather ideas and inspiration: Gather ideas and inspiration for your project. Whether they are from the internet, your friends’ houses, or your travel home stays, it doesn’t matter. Create a vision board/ mood board from the images to help communicate your ideas to designers and contractors.
  5. Choose between DIY or professional services: Access the tasks and test your skills. If the job is small and you can do it yourself, go for it. DIY not only reduces your expenses but also improves your skills. Go for professional services for complex tasks.
  6. Go for sustainable options: Explore eco-friendly and energy-efficient options for your renovation. This benefits the environment and can lead to long-term cost savings.
  7. Hire professionals and communicate: Check for references and reviews to hire professionals (architects, designers/contractors). You can also compare the previous work they did and the estimates received from two to three professionals.
  8. Observe the work consistently: After the work is handed over to the professionals, check the day-to-day improvements and verify whether it is done correctly.

Remember that thorough planning is essential for a successful home renovation. This can save time, effort, and materials and reduce overall stress during the renovation.

The Arch Space

Should people phase their remodeling projects?

We are frequently asked whether doing a remodeling project in phases makes sense. The answer is, well, it depends.

The primary benefit of doing a project in phases is that you will break the project’s cost into smaller, more manageable payments. It can also be easier to remodel one space at a time rather than tearing your entire home apart. Also, after you’ve done phase one, you may decide you don’t need phase two, which could save you some money.

There are drawbacks to phasing a remodeling project, too. First, by breaking the project into smaller pieces, you’ll find yourself paying more than if you did the project all at once. The project will also take more time in aggregate, leading to remodeling fatigue, where you want the construction crews to leave already.

Whether you build your project in phases or not, you’ll need a master plan—a drawing showing how you want the house to be in the future—to make educated decisions about what to do first. A master plan will also ensure you don’t do something in phase one that makes a future phase more difficult.

Dawn Zuber from Studio Z Architecture

What type of work requires a remodeling permit? 

Permits play a crucial role in home remodeling, ensuring that changes made to a property comply with safety and building standards. To determine whether a permit is necessary, consider the project’s scope. Always remember to consult with your local municipality for specific requirements.

Structural alterations such as adding or removing walls always necessitate permits, which can impact the building’s stability. Similarly, any modifications to plumbing, heating, or air conditioning systems typically need permits (except for minor repairs).

Permits generally aren’t needed for surface-level improvements such as painting, flooring, or door replacements. However, if you’re working on the building envelope, which includes siding, roofing, and insulation, permits are required. This is because the building envelope is critical for maintaining safety, comfort, and protection from the elements. Landscaping projects that alter access to the house (i.e., patios) and features like fire rings may also require permits.

Permits can be categorized into building permits (demolition, structural work, safety, and insulation) and mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing, and heating). Specialized projects may necessitate additional permits.

Permits ensure that home renovations prioritize safety and compliance with local regulations. Always check with your local municipality to see if your project requires a permit.

Timothy Ferraro-Hauck from Bluestem 

How to prepare for a remodeling project with a contractor

Preparing for a remodeling project with a contractor involves detailed steps to ensure a smooth and successful renovation. Here’s a more in-depth guide:

  • Define Your Goals and Budget:
    • Start by clearly defining your remodeling goals.
    • Consider what you want to achieve with the project: a kitchen renovation, bathroom upgrade, or a complete home remodel.
    • Create a realistic budget that covers materials, labor, permits, and contingencies.
  • Research and Choose a Contractor:
    • Take your time to research and interview potential contractors.
    • Seek recommendations from trusted sources and check their credentials, licenses, and insurance.
    • Review their portfolio and contact previous clients for references.
  • Detailed Project Plan: 
    • Work closely with the chosen contractor to create a comprehensive project plan. 
    • Specify every aspect of the renovation, including design, materials, and finishes. A well-documented plan minimizes misunderstandings during construction.
  • Get Permits and Approvals: Depending on the scope of your project, you may need permits from your local government. Your contractor should assist in obtaining the necessary approvals and permits.
  • Timeline and Schedule: 
    • Develop a realistic project timeline with milestones and deadlines. 
    • Understand that unforeseen issues may arise, so allow some flexibility in the schedule.
  • Contract Agreement: Draft a detailed contract that outlines all project specifics. Include a payment schedule tied to project milestones, a clear scope of work, change order procedures, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Temporary Living Arrangements: If the project impacts your daily life, plan for temporary living arrangements, especially if you renovate key living spaces like the kitchen or bathroom. Communicate these plans with your contractor to minimize disruption.
  • Open Communication: Maintain open and regular communication with your contractor. Schedule weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to discuss progress, address concerns, and make necessary adjustments.
  • Material Selection: Finalize your material choices early in the process. Delaying material decisions can lead to project delays if items are not readily available.
  • Prepare the Work Area: Before work begins, clear the workspace of furniture and belongings. Cover or relocate valuable items to protect them from dust and potential damage.
  • Quality Control: Regularly inspect the work to ensure it meets your expectations and the agreed-upon specifications. Address any concerns promptly to avoid issues piling up.
  • Budget and Timeline Management: Keep a close eye on project expenses and the timeline. Ensure any changes or unexpected issues are documented and addressed promptly to avoid cost overruns and delays.

By meticulously following these steps and maintaining a solid line of communication with your contractor, you can enhance the chances of a successful remodeling project that meets your vision, stays within budget, and finishes on schedule.

Ken Combs from CQC Home 

How should people navigate the home remodeling process

Home remodeling is more than just a transformation of space. It’s a meticulous process that combines aesthetics with functionality. At Arsight, rooted in the vibrant energy of New York City, we’ve refined this process over a decade, guiding countless projects to fruition. Here are some pearls of wisdom from our journey:

  • Start with a clear vision: Every successful project stems from a well-defined concept. Reflect on what you need both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. This clarity is the compass for your remodeling endeavor.
  • Engage the professionals: While the allure of going it alone might be tempting, the expertise of seasoned professionals ensures that your dream is both achievable and sustainable. They’ll bring your vision to life while staying grounded in technical realities.
  • Collaboration is key: At the heart of a well-executed remodeling is teamwork. Embrace a collaborative approach, integrating ideas and expertise. This not only refines the concept but also personalizes the transformation.
  • Stay informed and open-minded: The world of design is constantly shifting. It’s essential to stay updated, drawing inspiration from new trends and innovations. At Arsight, this principle of growth and exploration has been pivotal.

Home remodeling is a journey. Approach it, seek partnerships, and remain receptive to evolving ideas to ensure a captivating transformation.

Artem Kropovinsky, interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York, NY. 

Budgeting for safety

Investing in safety upfront is cost-effective in the long run. Allocate a portion of your renovation budget specifically for safety measures. Consider it an essential part of your home improvement plan that protects your family and investment.

How to get the correct home renovation cost estimation

Accurate home renovation cost estimation is crucial in ensuring your project stays within budget and runs smoothly. Start by defining your project scope, specifying the rooms or areas you want to renovate and the desired changes. Detailed planning is key; gather inspiration and ideas to communicate your vision effectively.

Research and compile a list of reputable contractors who specialize in your type of renovation. Reach out to at least three of them for detailed quotes. Provide a clear project scope, including design preferences and materials. Request itemized estimates that break down costs into labor, materials, permits, and potential hidden expenses.

Checking the contractors’ credentials, licenses, and insurance is essential for quality assurance. Contact their references to gauge their past performance. Keep in mind that the lowest estimate may not guarantee quality work, so be wary of outliers.

Consider a contingency fund of 10-20% to cover unforeseen expenses. When comparing estimates, look for consistency and transparency. Choose a contractor based on a combination of their estimate, references, credentials, and your overall comfort level.

Maintain open communication throughout the project and monitor expenses to ensure they align with the initial estimate. Adhering to these steps will help you secure an accurate home renovation cost estimation and set the foundation for a successful renovation project.

Sherry Wilkins from MIKOL 

Advice for a budget-friendly renovation

Strategic planning is key. Start by setting a clear budget and outlining your priorities. Focus on cost-effective, high-impact changes that can transform your space. 

  1. DIY. Embrace do-it-yourself projects. Painting, small repairs, and some basic carpentry can save significant labor costs.
  2. Prioritize. Identify areas needing attention, such as outdated fixtures, worn-out floors, or peeling wallpaper. Address these first for maximum impact.
  3. Shop Smart. Look for deals, discounts, and second-hand items. Thrift stores, online marketplaces, and outlet shops often offer great bargains on furniture and materials.
  4. Reuse and Repurpose. Salvage what you can from the existing space. Sometimes, fresh paint or new hardware can breathe new life into old cabinets and furniture.
  5. Energy Efficiency. Invest in energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they save money in the long run through reduced utility bills.
  6. Minimal Structural Changes. Limit structural alterations, as these can be costly. Opt for cosmetic updates like new light fixtures, handles, or backsplash tiles. Low-cost, high-impact changes you can do yourself may include Painting/ Limewash, hanging wallpaper, swapping out a light fixture or two, changing up the hardware on your cabinets, and adding new textures and color with accent decor, carpets, upholstery, and curtains. 
  7. Compare Contractors. If professional help is needed, obtain multiple quotes and check references. Choose contractors who offer quality work within your budget.
  8. Timing. Plan your renovation during off-peak seasons when contractors offer better rates.
  9. Flexibility. Be prepared for unexpected expenses. Allocate a portion of your budget for contingencies.
  10. Sweat Equity. Be prepared to put in some of your own time and effort. It can significantly reduce labor costs.

Remember that a budget-friendly renovation requires trade-offs. Make choices that align with your priorities and vision, and don’t compromise on quality for cost-cutting.

Rebekah Higgs from DIY Mom

Pre-planning for safety

Before the first hammer swings, don’t hesitate to hire qualified professionals. While some tasks are DIY-friendly, others require expertise. Also, you need to make sure you’ve acquired the necessary permits and approvals to avoid legal complications down the road.

Keep personal belongings secure while doing a home renovation

Before you start your project, devise a renovation plan that includes how you’ll secure your property. Make sure you budget for quality services. Cutting corners can create safety and security risks. For example, evaluate contractors by reading reviews, calling references, and checking licenses.

During renovations, you may need to make adjustments, especially if you’re planning to stay in your home. Organize work times and material deliveries around your schedule so your belongings aren’t left vulnerable. If possible, cover any openings in exterior walls each night. For added security, place valuables in a storage unit or safe deposit box temporarily.

One of the best ways to protect your property is to install a home security system with cameras, such as Deep Sentinel. The mere presence of a surveillance system deters unwanted behavior while renovations are underway, and you can continue to use it after your project is complete. Also, consider installing a fence and motion-sensor lights. Along with your home surveillance system, these will make your home a less appealing target.

After renovations are complete, reinspect your property for new security needs. If you let anyone inside your home, re-key your locks. Soon, you’ll be safely enjoying your newly renovated home!

Katie Krueger from Deep Sentinel

Advice for living in your house during a remodel

Living in your house during a remodel can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. While home renovations promise a better and more comfortable living space, the process itself can be disruptive. Here are some valuable advice and practical tips to help you make a living in your home during a remodel, a smoother, more manageable process.

  • Set Realistic Expectations. Living in a construction zone can be noisy, dusty, and disruptive. Prepare yourself mentally for these inconveniences.
  • Be Flexible. Understand that the project may experience delays or unforeseen issues. Be adaptable and patient.
  • Establish Clear Communication. Maintain open and frequent communication with your contractor. Discuss schedules, expectations, and any concerns.
  • Pack and Protect Belongings. Safeguard your furniture and personal belongings by covering them with plastic or moving them to a storage unit. Protect what you can’t move.
  • Minimize Dust and Debris. When working with a contractor, make sure there is a minimum plan for sealing off construction areas with plastic sheeting. You’ll also want to keep doors closed. Ask about the use of air purifiers to reduce dust.
  • Plan for Meals. If your kitchen is part of the remodel, set up a temporary kitchen in another area of your home or use a microwave, toaster oven, and crockpot.
  • Consider Pets. The construction may stress pets. Keep them in a quiet, safe area during work hours. Be mindful of open doors and gates.
  • Plan Your Schedule. Coordinate your daily routines to work around the construction schedule. If possible, avoid being at home during noisy or disruptive phases.
  • Stay Informed. Stay updated on the progress of your remodel. Regular meetings with the contractor can help you stay informed about the timeline.
  • Manage Stress. Remind yourself why you decided to remodel. Focus on the result and the improvements it will bring.
  • Practice Self-Care. Stress can build up during a remodel. Take time for yourself and your family. Consider staying at a hotel for a night or a weekend to get a break.
  • Stay Organized. Keep track of important documents, permits, and financial records related to the project.

Mark Gill from Schroeder Design Build

Importance of planning your moves when doing exterior home renovations

Planning is the backbone of any successful renovation, especially when it comes to exterior projects. Firstly, meticulous planning ensures that all safety protocols are in place. Exterior renovations often involve working at heights, dealing with structural elements, and navigating landscaping. A well-laid-out plan minimizes risks and ensures the safety of both workers and residents.

Secondly, planning helps in budget management. Exterior projects can quickly become costly if unforeseen challenges arise. By anticipating potential issues and mapping out each phase, homeowners can avoid unexpected expenses and ensure the project stays within budget.

Lastly, a detailed plan ensures aesthetic and functional coherence. The exterior of a home is its first impression. By planning each move, homeowners can ensure that the final result is safe, structurally sound, visually appealing, and in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Brad Smith from Omni Home Ideas

Safety first

Gear and equipment

Select tools specifically designed for the task and ensure they’re in good working condition. Trying to improvise with the wrong tool can lead to accidents and subpar results. 

Proper safety gear, including goggles and gloves, is your foremost defense against accidents. 

Remember to consult user manuals to operate tools correctly. Additionally, regularly inspect your tools for wear and damage while adhering to maintenance recommendations to maintain their safety and performance.

Safe work practices

If you plan on a big remodel that requires demolition, use proper tools, wear protective gear, and identify load-bearing elements to maintain structural integrity. 

Safety knowledge tips about using ladders on stairs

Using ladders on stairs can be tricky and potentially dangerous if not done properly. Here are some safety tips to consider:

  1. Choose the Right Ladder. Ensure the ladder is designed for use on stairs. Some ladders are made with adjustable legs specifically for this purpose.
  2. Stabilize the Ladder. Make sure the ladder feet are on a stable and non-slippery surface. You can use anti-slip mats or ladder stabilizers for additional security.
  3. Adjustable Legs. If your ladder has adjustable legs, ensure they are securely locked into place before climbing. 
  4. Angle and Position. Ensure the ladder is positioned at the correct angle (typically 75 degrees). The ladder should be set so that for every 4 feet of ladder height, the base is 1 foot out from the wall or vertical surface it’s leaning against.
  5. Climbing. Always face the ladder when climbing or descending. Maintain a three-point contact (two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand) at all times.
  6. Do Not Overreach. Stay centered between the ladder’s side rails. Overreaching or leaning too far to one side can make the ladder unstable.
  7. Secure the Top. If you’re using an extension ladder, ensure the top rests against a solid surface, not a fragile or slippery surface like glass or polished wood.
  8. Watch for Obstructions. Be aware of the area’s doors, windows, or other potential obstructions or hazards.
  9. Limit Traffic. Make sure people in the household know you’re using a ladder on the stairs so they don’t inadvertently knock it or bump into you.
  10. Limit Weight. Don’t exceed the weight limit specified for the ladder, and avoid carrying heavy or bulky items up or down the ladder.
  11. Inspect the Ladder. Before use, always inspect the ladder for any damage, missing parts, or wear that could compromise its stability.
  12. Seek Help. If you’re unsure about the stability of your ladder setup or if it feels unsteady, ask someone to hold the base while you’re on it, or reconsider your approach altogether.

Remember, if you ever feel unsafe or unsure about using a ladder on stairs, it’s best to seek professional help or find an alternative method. Safety should always come first.

Drip Motion

Do’s and dont’s of a roof installation

Creating a sturdy and long-lasting roof is a task that needs precision and patience. Here’s a quick guide to help you nail it right! First, prepare your workspace. Keep it tidy and safe to avoid any mishaps. Second, start with an underlayment. It’s like a protective blanket for your roof, guarding against the elements. And remember the drip edge. This handy component directs water away from your house and into the gutters. But remember, haste makes waste! Don’t race through the process; take your time to make sure every step is done right. And always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They’re there to help you get the best results. Safety first, folks! Roofing can be tricky, so gear up and stay safe. And remember, while DIY is rewarding, roofing isn’t a beginner’s project. It’s okay to call in the pros if you need to. After all, your home deserves the best!

Scott H. from  DIY Home Comfort 

Childproofing and pet safety

childproofing and pet safety must be top of mind when performing home renovations. Establish a dedicated safe zone for children, separate from the construction site, using safety gates to restrict access and keep hazardous materials out of their reach. Protect your pets by confining them to secure areas.

Fire safety

Remember to consider the importance of fire safety. The presence of construction materials can increase the risk of fire hazards. Always keep working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in place and functional.

Environmental considerations

Handling hazardous materials requires responsible identification and management. Educate yourself on dealing with substances like asbestos, lead, and mold. Learn how to properly dispose of hazardous materials to protect your health and the environment. Consider embracing energy-efficient practices and opt for sustainable, eco-friendly building materials to reduce your home’s environmental footprint.

How to incorporate sustainable design into your remodel

When embarking on a home remodeling project, aesthetics are important, but so is the planet’s well-being. Sustainable design has gained popularity for a good reason—it reduces your carbon footprint, enhances indoor air quality, and can lead to long-term cost savings.

To integrate sustainable design into your remodel, consider the following tips:

  • Choose eco-friendly materials: Prioritize sustainable, non-toxic materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood, or recycled glass. These choices look aesthetically pleasing and benefit the environment and your health.
  • Go energy-efficient: Upgrade appliances and lighting fixtures to energy-efficient models. This reduces energy consumption and lowers utility bills. Look for the Energy Star label to ensure optimal efficiency.
  • Install low-flow fixtures: To minimize water usage, incorporate low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets. This not only saves on water bills but also conserves a precious resource.
  • Maximize natural lighting: Harness natural light to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Consider adding skylights or larger windows to boost energy efficiency and mood.
  • Consider solar panels: Consider installing solar panels on your roof for a substantial impact. This reduces your carbon footprint and offers long-term energy bill savings.

By embracing sustainable design during your remodel, you can create a visually appealing and environmentally responsible home. These sustainable choices can also lead to significant financial savings in the long run.

Belkis Cruz, Executive Assistant at LBR Partners 

Importance of proper waste management during a home remodel

Proper waste management during a home remodel is crucial for protecting your health and safety, conserving resources, and ensuring legal compliance.

  • Health and Safety. Construction waste can contain hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead-based paint, and chemicals. Mishandling these materials can pose serious health risks to workers, residents, and the community. Proper disposal practices, including containment and appropriate disposal methods, help mitigate health risks and promote a safe environment.
  • Resource Conservation. Efficient waste management involves recycling and salvaging materials like wood, metal, and fixtures whenever possible. This practice conserves valuable resources, reduces the demand for new materials, and lessens the overall environmental impact of the remodel. It aligns with sustainability goals by minimizing waste generation and promoting responsible resource utilization, which is increasingly important in today’s environmentally conscious society.
  • Legal Compliance. Many jurisdictions have strict regulations governing the disposal of construction waste. Failing to comply can result in fines and legal repercussions. Proper waste management ensures that the remodeling project operates within the bounds of the law, reducing the risk of costly legal issues.

By prioritizing waste management during your home remodel, you can protect your health and safety, conserve resources, and ensure legal compliance.

Susan Komen from  Hazwoper Osha 

Emergency Preparedness

Ensure you have a well-stocked first-aid kit readily available, establish a clear emergency plan, and know how to respond swiftly and effectively in unexpected situations before they happen.

Extra tips

Home renovations that decrease home value

Generally speaking, there aren’t many renovations that will specifically decrease a home’s value. That being said, some renovations or home improvements are lower cost and more desirable to homebuyers, resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI) for sellers. One example of this is comparing a full kitchen renovation to a kitchen refresh- a kitchen refresh involves simple aesthetic changes like painting cabinets and upgrading appliances, while a renovation requires more significant structural changes. The average home seller will see a 377% ROI for a kitchen refresh but only a 220% ROI for a kitchen remodel. The same principle applies in bathrooms, where sellers can generally expect to see a 256% ROI for a bathroom refresh and a 120% ROI on a bathroom remodel. A good rule of thumb to use is that the more expensive and personalized the renovation is, the lower the ROI will probably be. Expensive additions like luxury materials, smart home technology, and solar panels hold value for homeowners but likely won’t hold the same value for potential buyers. If you’re preparing to sell your home, keeping ROI in mind when renovating is important.

Katie Schenk from Curbio

What’s an ADU, and how can it increase property value?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a secondary housing unit that can be built on the same property as a primary residence. ADUs are sometimes referred to as granny flats, in-law suites, or secondary units, and they can take various forms, such as a detached cottage or a converted garage. ADUs are typically self-contained with their own kitchen, bathroom, and living space.

There are two major ways that ADUs increase property value: 

  • Rental Income: Half of ADU owners in California have generated rental income, according to new survey data. This revenue can offset mortgage payments and other property expenses.
  • Increased Equity and Square Footage: Properties with ADUs can increase the resale value of a home. They can cater to a wide range of potential buyers, such as multigenerational families looking for separate living spaces or professionals who need space for a home office. Many buyers see the usable square footage and the income potential as significant advantages, which may lead to higher offers.

It’s important to note that the impact on property value can vary depending on the local real estate market, the quality and condition of the ADU, and the specific needs and preferences of potential buyers. 

Jessica Brown, Marketing Manager of Villa

How to renovate a bathroom on a budget

Renovating a bathroom on a budget requires a clever blend of creativity, savvy shopping, and DIY enthusiasm. Here are some practical steps for a budget-friendly bathroom makeover.

  1. Planning: Begin by creating a detailed plan. Define your budget and stick to it. Identify the fixtures and elements that need a revamp and prioritize them.
  2. Upcycling: Only some things need to be replaced. Save money by freshening up existing elements. A fresh coat of paint on your cabinets or a new set of handles can do wonders.
  3. Shop Smart: Look for discounted fixtures online or at thrift stores—you might find the perfect vanity or mirror at a fraction of the original cost. Consider using less expensive alternatives, for example, vinyl tiles instead of ceramic.
  4. DIY: If you’re handy, handling tasks like painting, installing shelves, or tiling can save significant costs. However, remember that professionals should handle plumbing and electrical work.
  5. Minimalistic Design: Adopting a minimalist aesthetic can be cost-saving. Fewer items mean less expense.

Only a strategic approach to your bathroom renovation can give satisfying and affordable results!

Nikki Bahan from  Nikki’s Plate 

How to DIY bathroom remodel on a budget

Remodeling a bathroom on a budget can be a rewarding DIY project, transforming your space without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you achieve a cost-effective bathroom makeover:

  1. Plan and Budget. Start by setting a realistic budget for your project. Decide which bathroom elements need the most attention, such as fixtures, tiles, or paint, and allocate your budget accordingly.
  2. Prioritize. Identify the essential upgrades that will make the most significant impact. Often, a fresh coat of paint, updated fixtures, and new hardware can breathe life into a bathroom without major expenses.
  3. Reuse and Repurpose. Whenever possible, salvage existing fixtures and materials. Refinishing a bathtub, repainting cabinets, or reusing tiles can save you a lot.
  4. Shop Smart. Look for deals, discounts, and sales on fixtures, tiles, and materials. Consider shopping at outlet stores, searching for second-hand items, or using online marketplaces to find bargains.
  5. DIY Tasks. Take on tasks you feel comfortable with, such as painting, tiling, or installing new hardware. Hiring professionals for complex plumbing or electrical work can be costly.
  6. Energy-Efficient Upgrades. Opt for energy-efficient fixtures and lighting. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they can save you money in the long run on utility bills.
  7. Limit Structural Changes. Avoid major structural alterations, as they can significantly increase costs. Focus on cosmetic changes that can still make a big difference.
  8. Timing. Consider doing the project in stages, tackling one aspect at a time. This can help spread out expenses and prevent overwhelming costs.
  9. Do Your Research. Learn as much as possible about the DIY tasks you plan to undertake. Watch tutorials, read guides, and consult with experts if needed.

With careful planning and resourcefulness, you can achieve a stunning bathroom remodel on a budget. Remember that a well-executed DIY project saves money and gives you a sense of accomplishment and a bathroom you’ll love.

Patricia Davis Brown from Dig This Design

What’s the importance of keeping organization in mind when doing a kitchen remodel?

The Key Ingredient to a Successful Kitchen Remodel: Organization

When embarking on a kitchen remodel, many homeowners focus on aesthetics and functionality, and rightly so. However, one critical aspect often overlooked is organization. Organizational planning should be at the forefront of your kitchen remodel project. Here’s why it’s of paramount importance:

  1. Maximizing Space. A well-organized kitchen makes the most of the available space. Smart cabinet layouts, shelving solutions, and drawer dividers ensure every inch counts, preventing clutter and chaos.
  2. Efficiency Matters. Organization enhances kitchen efficiency. Designing a workspace where everything has its place reduces the time and effort required for meal preparation and cleanup.
  3. Streamlining Daily Life. An organized kitchen simplifies daily routines. Imagine finding ingredients, utensils, and cookware effortlessly, making cooking a pleasure, not a chore.
  4. Future-Proofing. Consider your future needs. As your family grows or your lifestyle changes, an organized kitchen can adapt to accommodate new demands seamlessly.
  5. Resale Value. Should you ever decide to sell your home, an organized kitchen is a significant selling point. Potential buyers appreciate a well-structured space.

In conclusion, organization is the unsung hero of kitchen remodels. It’s the key to creating a visually appealing, highly functional, and stress-free cooking environment. Don’t underestimate its importance when embarking on your next kitchen renovation project.

Sina Sabeti from Niksi 

Final thoughts

By prioritizing safety from start to finish, you protect yourself and your loved ones and pave the way for a successful and hassle-free renovation. Ensuring a secure environment during the renovation process is crucial. In addition to taking every precaution, consider the importance of integrating a home security system into your renovation plans. Installing a reliable security system safeguards your property from potential threats and provides peace of mind. It adds an extra layer of protection, enhancing the overall safety of your home. By incorporating a home security system into your renovation, you invest not only in the aesthetics and functionality of your space but also in the well-being of your family and the security of your belongings.