Feature Articles - Housing
Remodeling: Is now the right time?
Marsha G. Alexander, Housing and Environmental Design Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Many people are choosing to remodel their current home rather
than moving to a new house. There are cost-effective ways to improve a house to meet changing family needs. Many important factors should
be considered in the decision to remodel or renovate.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Is the location good? Is
the neighborhood changing in a positive way or likely to change?
If so, will you be happy with the changes? Is noise and traffic
at the present location a problem? Are houses in the neighborhood
being converted to rental properties? Are the homes changing ownership
rapidly? If you have children, will there be children for your children
to play with as homeownership changes occur? Would you prefer to
live closer to work, schools or shopping?
- Is your present house worth remodeling? Is your house structurally
sound? A qualified housing inspector can help you determine specific
problems that may need attention and approximately what it would
cost to make any needed repairs.
- How much will the project cost? Develop a list of specific improvements you wish to make and then get several bids from qualified contractors. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling will often yield the highest paybacks for the initial investment when you go to sell your home. Other projects that provide significant payback on your investment include interior and exterior painting, flooring upgrades and replacing windows and doors.
Consider zoning restrictions in your area. Be sure to check with
the local city/county zoning office to see if the type of work you
plan is permitted and whether additional work and expense will be
required to meet regulations. There may be restrictions on the distance
required to your lot lines in which you are permitted to build or
what percentage of the lot may be covered with structures. There
may be other issues the zoning office can also bring to your attention.
Start with reasonable expectations. Remodeling and renovation of a structure can be very stressful. Often the cost of remodeling may be much more than first anticipated. Careful planning to determine your specific building objectives and comprehensive bids from qualified contractors are essential to a successful project.
Last update: Wednesday, January 18, 2012