Money Matters: Planning for home remodel

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 10/17/2012 10:09 am

Remodeling is a sliding scale of changing elements with one bottom line.

However, March said certain projects do call for a professional.  

“That includes plumbing and electrical, most of these are things that a traditional home owner that doesn't have any experience with it could really get into trouble with," March said.  

That trouble can double down the road.

"Sometimes if you DIY you're doing yourself a disservice because it's obvious if you haven't done a professional job. If you turn around to sell your house you may need to rip something out that you put time and effort into. In a lot of instances you actually save yourself money with a great plan and hiring a professional," March said.  

March added, when calculating your budget for a project, add 10 percent to that number to manage unexpected expenses.

"I think budget is the top of everybody's mind lately. It's so important with any project to really start with a great plan," Laurie March, House Counselor for said.  

March said the first step is to take a look at your phase in life.

"A remodel is really different for a newlywed than it might be for an empty-nester in terms of budget and materials," March said.   

Then March suggests consulting a local real estate agent.

"That means someone who can come out and assess the value of your home and can really tell you what your area is like so you know that you're not going to over-invest and be shocked if you put your house on the market later," March said.

Next, do some pricing research.

"Get educated on what it costs to buy a marble counter top before you fall in love with it. There's a sliding scale of the cost of every type of material. You could have a $50 faucet or a $1000 faucet," March said.    

Before you call a contractor, consider jobs you can do yourself.

"Lots of paint projects can be done at home. That could be anything from painting an accent wall to, if you do it right, you could even paint your own cabinets," March said.  

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