Remodeling Your Home: Alterations for the Professional and the Homeowner

With the housing market in a slump, now may be the perfect time to consider doing a small remodel of parts of your home. A minimal amount of money can give your home a new look and make it easier to sell. If you do decide to do this be forewarned; after your remodel you may not want to leave.

The most cost effective remodels are the jobs that focus on cosmetic elements such as new paint and fixtures. If you only have enough money to update on room, choose the kitchen or bathroom. Although these rooms are more expensive to update than other rooms in your home, this is also the area where you will see the most return from your dollar when you sell.

The most important part to planning a remodel is the sequence of jobs. After you have researched and decided what type of jobs will make the most use of your money, plan what jobs should be done immediately. If you are not sure, the rule of thumb is to work biggest to smallest.

The biggest remodeling jobs to consider are structural changes to your house. These are almost always handled by a contractor and will require building permits. Next in size and importance are large plumbing and electrical alterations. These will also need to be done by a professional.

Next in size and complexity are remodeling jobs that you may be able to do yourself if you have some basic home remodeling experience. These jobs are often hired out as well. They include major patchwork and alterations to wall and ceiling coverings. This could be something like replacing a drop ceiling or large sections of plaster will drywall. This category also includes replacing or adding light fixtures.

If you are in a kitchen, consider cabinetry and countertop alterations next. If you are installing completely new cabinetry, you will probably want a contractor to do the work. If however, the cabinetry is solid, consider making cosmetic changes, like refinishing or changing the doors. This type of alteration can undoubtedly be done yourself. Replacing countertops is also a job that can be completed by many homeowners.

After cabinetry and countertops, consider your flooring. This can be replaced, or if it is wood, refinished. Flooring is easy to install if you have a strong sub floor to act as the foundation. There are also many modern floor installation kits that are geared for use for the average homeowner.

When most of the larger jobs are completed, the last category of jobs are easily completed by a homeowner. This includes the installation of small fixtures and appliances, as well as the majority of cosmetic work. Cosmetic work is the easiest type of work that can be done by the homeowner. It includes jobs such as painting, staining, and installing molding.

Although these items are not normally part of a remodel, consider updating any furniture or decorative accents you use in your home. If you intend to change the color scheme in your home, this step may be particularly necessary. Realtors often encourage sellers to paint the rooms of their home in light neutral colors, so that the buyer can envision his own furniture in the space.

As with any home remodeling project, make sure that you have done your research. If you decide to complete the work, make sure you know the exact steps to the finished job. If you hire a professional, be sure to use good sense and ask a lot of questions. Also make sure they are licensed and take a close look at the contract before signing. Another step to consider if you are thinking of listing your home is to contact a realtor. He may be able to point out remodeling opportunities that you never even considered.

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