Not As Easy As It Looks

Everybody has their own ideas as to which room in the home should be renovated first. Yet this is not really something that can be reduced to an automatic mathematical formula as written in the infallible house flippers manual. Human judgment, personal tastes, and available resources can all affect the calculation.

In addition, many homeowners, particularly new ones, are at a loss regarding where to begin the process of upgrading their surroundings to better suit their tastes. In these cases, it may be wise to get an informed professional opinion from a general contractor, who can provide some guidance on what projects are within the purview of the available resources.

The important thing to remember is that there is no real one-size-fits-all type of advice that is good under all conditions. A lot depends on a set of specific factors that change from one project to the next. For example, certain rooms in the home, namely the kitchen and the various bathrooms, are often cited as the best place to start renovating.

Kitchen Remodel

As anybody who has ever gotten into a kitchen remodeling project well knows, kitchens can gulp money at a tremendous rate. One you get into the middle of one, however, you are usually committed to getting it done. Stopping in the middle is going to leave you with a partially-functional kitchen that is, in addition, disconcertingly ugly in its unfinished state.

This means that prioritizing which rooms to remodel is dependent on what financial resources you can commit to the project. Even if you want a new dream kitchen, you may not have the monetary juice to pull it off right now. So think about picking another space that is a better match for what you can afford to spend on bringing that project to completion and then revisiting other rooms as financial circumstances improve.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the current state of the home as it now stands. You may not be wild about your kitchen– but it may be in better shape than your living room with the warped floor boards and crumbling plaster walls. Homeowners may make better use of their resources if they begin by impartially assessing the condition of each room on an objective scale, and then list out where their priorities should be.

Of course these calculations primarily involve people who are going to stay in their homes and remodel as they go. Many of these prudential planning and scheduling aspects go out the window if you are just looking to hastily flip a house you just bought. Here, you simply want maximum return on your investment of time and money– regardless of what the finished product looks like.

In these circumstances, yes, you should probably put your resources into the kitchen and bathrooms on a priority basis unless someone has driven a truck through the bedroom of the house you just picked up.
Someone who buys and sells houses for a living is not interested in the same criteria as the established homeowner. The only thing that matters is Return On Investment and a dollar put into the kitchen or bathroom traditionally brings the largest multiplied return on that dollar, all other things being equal.

Yet there are other spaces in some homes that can produce far higher returns than the traditional kitchen and bath remodels– and provide a vastly more enjoyable lifestyle as well. Lots of new homes are sold with unfinished basements in them. So far as the banks are concerned, this is not considered to be part of the living area of the home until it is finished.

Bathroom Remodel

Completing this space can not only add a lot of usable space to the house but it can also greatly enhance the value and marketability of the home as well. If a home’s square footage is taken from 2000 to 3000, its loan value increases as well. Adding an additional bathroom can be even better than putting the money into one you already have. The same goes for adding new bedrooms instead of upgrading the current stock.

As can be seen, there are a lot of moving parts for most renovation projects, and it is critical to craft a carefully considered plan before opening up the wallet and buying stuff. Slow and steady investment, backed by proper budgeting and wise allocation of available resources, can actually carry you farther than the frantic “blow-and-go” process which some of the most extreme house flippers have been known to employ.

A general contractor like VanRossun Contracting can provide some apples-to-apples price comparisons and cost-benefit analysis between various room remodel projects which can really help you decide where to start and also where you hope to end up—as well as the most frugal and efficient way of arriving at that desired destination.