Making upgrades and improvements around your home can improve both form and function. In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, you might be noticing things about your house that you didn’t before. Now, like many people, you’re thinking about changing them so you love your house a little more.
Renovations can boost home resale value, make spaces more usable and improve the overall feel of your house for you, your family and your guests. There’s no reason to rush into them just because you’re stuck at home though. Use this guide to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of renovating during COVID-19.
Know Why You Want to Renovate
Renovating during COVID-19 can feel like a great use of your time. After all, you’re stuck at home with little to do if you can’t continue work projects from a home office. Boredom is no reason to renovate though.
However, if you’ve been considering a renovation or making improvements around the house, now might be an ideal time to get your work started. With fewer demands on your time, you can focus in on your upgrades and repairs. You’ll also alleviate some of that stay-at-home boredom in the process.
Just make sure you know why you want to renovate before you begin. Here are a few smart reasons to tackle renovating during COVID-19:
- You were considering a renovation and now you have ample free time on your hands to get it started.
- Renovating will make spending time at home more enjoyable for years to come.
- Your renovation will improve your home value.
- You’re comfortable handling a DIY renovation or upgrade on your own. Now is also a great time to try your hand at small, easy projects around the house.
Plan Your Renovation Thoroughly Before You Begin
Horror stories of home renovation mistakes are easy to come by. You can avoid being one of the homeowners with a horror story to tell by properly planning your renovation before you begin.
Here are a few tips to help you during the planning stage:
- Make a list of renovation priorities. This can help you get the most from your money if finances are tight.
- Plan your timeframe. When can you start? When do you expect to be finished with your renovation? What if your renovation takes longer than expected?
- Consider how comfortable your home will be during a renovation. Big renovations can make your home a messy, dirty and dusty place. With shelter-in-place regulations in effect, now may not be the time to take on a huge renovation that turns your home into a job site for a month.
- Take your DIY skills into account. Can you handle a big renovation with little help or would your time be better spent or more DIY-friendly tasks?
Create a Budget
Hurrying to begin a renovation can lead to trouble down the road. In many cases, that trouble is going to be financial. Before you begin any renovation, start by creating a budget that you’re going to stick with. Even a budget range can be helpful if you’re willing to spend more money as your renovation progresses.
It’s also important to note that many renovation projects go over budget by the time they’re complete. Safeguard your project and your finances by spending 10% to 15% less than your desired total cost initially. That way you’ll have money in reserve and ready to go if your project inevitably costs a little more than you expected.
Choose Projects You Can Do Yourself
Renovating during COVID-19 could be a difficult process if you’re looking to hire skilled contractors and laborers to tackle tough jobs like installing stone, wood flooring or creating outdoor deck, porch and patio spaces. That’s because just like many other people, contractors, professional builders and workers may be sheltering in place to protect themselves and their families.
While some states allow home care and renovation professionals to work and others are starting to loosen regulations, you may find that hiring the people you want and need just isn’t possible now. For that reason, taking on DIY projects that you can tackle on your own or with the help of family members is a better bet.
For most people, that won’t mean building a brand new deck so you can enjoy the upcoming summer months outdoors. However, you might be able to take on small jobs like replacing laminate flooring in a bathroom or mud room, painting walls or whole rooms within your home or updating cabinetry.
Make Minor Changes Instead of Major Renovations
Renovating during COVID-19 can seem like a brilliant idea if you’ve got a lot more time on your hands than normal. If you’re a non-essential worker and you’re away from your job, you may have nothing but free time on your hands. Free time doesn’t mean it’s a wise idea to start a renovation though.
You can still make improvements to your home without starting a major renovation project though. Try some of these shelter-in-place projects that you can handle in a weekend instead.
Consider Permits and Other Potential Problems
Big renovation projects like updating your deck, adding a fence or even replacing interior flooring can require serious know-how, tools and building materials. Some large renovation projects will also require city permits to perform legally.
Getting these city permits for renovations is going to be more difficult and slower than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. While permit request numbers may be the same, processing is going to be happening at a reduced rate due to in-office restrictions.
In most areas, the number of clerks handling these requests will be much lower than usual due to COVID-19 related safety precautions. That’s not to say you can’t or won’t get a permit now, but you may need to build in additional time to obtain permits.
You’ll also likely wait considerably longer to have a professional inspect your property and ensure upgrades are up to code as well. Even utility companies that can tell you where gas, electrical and plumbing hookups before you dig will have a backlog right now.
Ready to Get Renovating During COVID-19?
BuildDirect is open and ready to ship the products you need to your home today. We can even provide you with up to five free samples so you can compare different choices from the comfort of your home before making a decision.
Reach out to our trained representatives now so we can help you get your renovation project underway today.