Although it seems like no time since we moved in, next year marks twelve years spent in our current house. Aside from some DIY projects, changing out stained carpet, and having the exterior painted a few years back, we haven’t done any major remodeling. Now it seems several things need updating or repair, the biggest one being our master bathroom. How do you know when it’s time to spend money on remodeling?
Three Questions Before a Major Purchase
As with most big decisions, it’s best to make a list of pros and cons and ask yourself the three big questions everyone should consider before shelling out money.
I’ve seen variations of the big three, but in a nutshell,
1) Is this something I need or will it add value to my life?
In our case, we really don’t need to remodel. I’ve known many families who never update anything. It might not bother them to live continually in 1987, but remodeling our master bathroom would add tremendous value to my life.
2) Do I need it right now?
No, we are not on any sort of time line, but if we did ever decide to list our house, remodeling would have to be done to get top dollar.
3) Is this the best price?
If we did decide to go ahead with a remodel, honestly, we’d probably use our go to contractor. He isn’t the least expensive, but I trust his work and know he would be fair. When doing a home project, sometimes it doesn’t pay to go the cheapest route.
So looking at those answers, we get a mixed bag. Lets move on to the pros and cons.
Pros of Remodeling
Increase in Home Value
Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms generally offer the most bang for your buck. Dollars spent can often return more than 100% back in increased home value. If we sell the house, this is great. If we live in the house for another 10 or more years, this is sort of irrelevant.
Added Comfort and Function
When building our current home, the bar was pretty low. We have some nice finishes in parts of the house, but Jim and I were coming from a very basic starter home. We thought just having a garage and more than one bathroom was fantastic and didn’t really consider layout or design. As a result, we have a huge jetted tub that we don’t use and a small shower that we use every day but hate because of how it’s crammed into the corner. The shower head also does not stop dripping unless you pull Houdini like moves to get the on/off nozzle in the correct position.
Basically, we’d like to trade the giant whirlpool for a smaller soaking tub and make the shower larger with nicer finishes. I know it’s a first world problem, but if we’re going to do it, why not do it right?
Cons of Remodeling
To get our bathroom the way we want, the cost would be substantial, several thousand dollars. Because we’d be moving plumbing, it’s also not something we can do ourselves.
A huge problem with remodeling is the unknown variables. What if the whole room gets torn apart and an unknown problem presents? Also, when you’re in the midst of a stressful project, sometimes you don’t always follow your head when it comes to cost saving measures. What if the tile I want is on back order, but I can have a more expensive one done today?
If you’ve ever lived in a remodeling project, it’s not fun. Having workers trekking around the house for a maybe weeks would suck. I think we’d try to schedule most of the work at a time when we’re out of town if possible.
When is it Time to Remodel?
I’m not sure if we’re ready to spend money on remodeling. Jim would have done it last summer if I’d been on board, but I’ve become very stingy with money over the last few years. I guess it comes down to how annoying our current situation is, how much we need to spend to get what we want, and how we will fund it. Lot of people take on debt for home repairs or remodels.That’s not always a bad use of money, but we don’t want to go the financing route. It will be paid in full or not at all. At least we should get some awesome credit card points when we finally decide to pull the trigger!
Have you done a major remodeling project? How did you know when the time was right?