By George DeMare, Vice President Business Development —

Remodeling projects can be a daunting, but ultimately rewarding prospect for homeowners

Taking the time and effort to renovate can greatly improve a home’s overall value. Most people think of a home remodel as a major project that requires drastic changes – this is not always the case.

According to the Census Bureau, 30 percent of remodeling activity involves major additions and alterations, 40 percent are minor additions and alterations, and 30 percent are maintenance and repair.

Here are four tips to help remodel a home the right way:

Remember The Market

Homeowners should be careful what they add especially if selling is in the future. Personal preferences and what might be valuable to the homeowner could actually hurt the home’s resell value. Bathroom remodels account for 78 percent of renovations in the U.S. and is generally the best and safest way to see ROI upon sale.

Don’t Skip Maintenance

Renovations do not mean the rest of the house is neglected. Keeping everything in a home up to date helps improve overall value making expensive updates worth the overall investment. For example, air conditioners today use 50 percent less energy than they did in 1990, a difference in efficiency potential buyers are sure to notice. Even if the home is not being sold money will be saved on utility bills.

Aim For Efficiency

Make changes that will improve the home’s overall energy efficiency. High-tech energy-saving materials might seem expensive and excessive now, but over time will pay for themselves through a reduction in energy bills.

New walls should be insulated with an appropriate R-value (the measure of resistance to heat flow which is thermal resistance) for the weather and temperature throughout the year to help HVAC systems work more efficiently.

Stick to the Budget

This is the most important! It can be easy to get carried away when planning renovations. Setting and sticking to a budget is essential to avoid financial fiascos later on. Always budget for a bit more than expected just in case problems come up and additional repairs are necessary. Many homeowners choose to get a home renovation loan in order to spread costs over a period of time.

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