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April 20, 2014  |  Login
10 Questions to Help You Decide Whether to Remodel
By Eric Corey Freed
Remodeling has the potential to transform your home into something that you wouldn’t even recognize when complete. Most people aren’t aware of the possibilities open to them. A good architect or interior designer can help you uncover this potential.

To decide if a remodel will work in solving your house issues, look at your current home. Do you suffer from any of the following?

Clutter: You may think you need a bigger home to hide that clutter around your home. What you really need is smarter storage, not more space to fill with more clutter.

Noise: People often complain that their old house has “thin walls” and they can hear noise from the other rooms. Adding insulation to these walls will help make the house quieter.

Limited use: If your dining room is too small to allow you to entertain, you may think you need a new home. An addition can convert your dining room into enough space for the perfect dinner party.

Darkness: Even the darkest room in your home can probably be brightened with a good remodel. New windows, skylights, or nice lighting can brighten your existing home.

Problems with temperature (too hot or too cold): You might think of your house as always uncomfortable: too hot or too cold. Adding insulation and a new heating system can greatly improve the comfort of your existing home.

If your main complaints focus on your personal comfort, a green remodel can easily turn your messy, dark, or drafty house into the perfect place to entertain friends.

In the following sections, I outline some of the benefits of remodeling and give you some questions to ask yourself in order to decide whether remodeling is right for you.

The Benefits of Remodeling

  • Remodeling your existing home instead of building something new offers several benefits for both cost savings and environmental advantages. Consider these benefits:
  • Remodeling greatly reduces the amount of raw materials you would use if you built a new home from scratch.
  • Remodeling involves less work than building, and less work means less construction cost.
  • The money you save in the initial construction costs (over what you would’ve spent on a new home) can be put toward nicer finishes and appliances.
  • Upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient models will lower your monthly utility bills.
  • Choosing green finishes that are low in toxins or are toxin free makes your home healthier for your family.
  • Green buildings may fetch a higher resale price than their nongreen counterparts.

Questions to Consider

If you’re not sure whether to remodel or build a new home, ask yourself some questions:

  • Are my rooms drafty?
  • Is my home uncomfortable?
  • Do I need more storage?
  • Were my appliances purchased before 1990?
  • Do I have high utility bills?
  • Does my home contain lead paint?
  • Do I have mold issues?
  • Is there any minor dry rot in the wood in the home?
  • Is my roof old and in need of replacing?
  • Do I have continual maintenance issues with my home?

Each of these questions addresses an issue of comfort — and the good news is that each of them can be remedied. If you answered yes to any of these questions, a well-planned remodeling project can correct these issues.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my home need major structural upgrades before any work can begin?
  • Does my home contain asbestos (in the shingles, insulation, or tiles, for example)?
  • Does my lot not allow room for expansion?
  • Is my home already overbuilt compared to the other homes in the neighborhood?
  • Am I planning on moving in less than five years?
Each of these questions addresses a structural or planning issue. These issues require more cost and effort. If you answered yes to any of these questions, the problems with your home may be too costly to fix, and a remodel may not help.

Of course, if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, a basic remodel may help it sell faster. If you see deficiencies in your home, potential buyers will, too. more



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