For most homeowners, the most challenging part of any home renovation project is finding the money to pay for everything on the wish list and finding a capable and reliable contractor to do the work.
Even with the right contractor, renovation can be expensive, wearing, and involve disappointing discoveries, like electrical wiring that’s not to code or leaking pipes behind walls. There are steps you can take to help you get the job done right while keeping your budget and your sanity under control.
With a reliable figure in hand, you can look at your financing options. You may want to renegotiate your mortgage or apply for a home equity line of credit to fund the renovation. This type of line of credit is secured against the equity of your home, giving you access to credit at a lower interest rate.
Finding the right contractor
Ask for recommendations. Ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbours to share the positive renovation experiences they have had. Employees of local hardware, paint, and home supply stores can usually provide referrals also.
Match skill sets to your project. Every professional contractor has strengths and weaknesses. Someone who constructed a beautiful outdoor patio for your relative may not always be the right person to install drywall and lighting fixtures in your new family room. Ask if the contractor has completed jobs like yours before and choose someone who routinely does the kind of project you are undertaking.
Check reviews, licenses, and reference. Read online reviews, on specialized renovation sites or even on Yelp, Facebook, and Google. Once you’ve found a potential contractor inquire if he or she is licensed to work in your area and ask for a list of references of clients who have had similar projects completed.
Get it in writing. Both parties should sign a contract that outlines in detail the work that will be done . And keep in mind that any changes or additions to the job along the way will very likely mean additional materials, labour, and costs.
Tips for staying on budget
Stretching your financial resources so you can afford everything on your renovation wish list is often a challenge. Appropriate planning can mean the difference between a successful home renovation and a project fail.
- Once your project gets underway, talk to the contractor frequently to make sure the expectations of both parties are being met along the way.
- Do the work in stages to suit your budget. This will mean less, or at least more manageable, financial pressure.
- Consider capital versus operating costs. Energy-efficient lighting and heating options may be more costly upfront but will mean long-term savings.
- Do some of the work yourself. Perhaps there are savings to be had if you do some of the prep or finishing work yourself. But always consult with your contractor first.
One piece of advice when it comes to making a big financial life decision? Talk to us at OMISTA Credit Union. While it might be intimidating to sit down and hammer things out, your financial future is worth the time.
Discuss financing options that work best for you by visiting us at any branch or contacting us online.