A home remodel is a big undertaking, but a worthwhile one. Remodeling your home can make it more appealing and better suited to your lifestyle. It can also fix a lingering issue from the original construction, modernize the design to fit contemporary trends, and increase the overall value of your home.

Before starting a home remodel, there are some things you should know. We’ll explain some of the major areas of home renovations:

Key Areas of Home Remodeling

While a home remodel rarely includes just one part of the home, there are a few key areas worth focusing on. Since these areas each require their own considerations during a remodel, we recommend treating them as distinct tasks even if you are doing a whole-home renovation.

Exterior Remodel

Your home’s exterior makes an essential first impression on any visitors and potential buyers. Renovating your outside spaces may or may not affect the house itself, and requires a variety of services that interior remodels may not need. For example, common facets of a home exterior remodel include landscaping, masonry, paving, painting, fencing, patio work, deck work, doors, windows, and roofing.

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels tend to require more electrical work and plumbing work than your average remodel. This makes it an expensive area to remodel. Despite the cost, remodeling the kitchen can vastly improve quality of life and your home's resale value. A quality kitchen sits high on the list of desires for most home buyers, so anything you can do to improve your kitchen can go a long way to making it more appealing. Common elements of a kitchen remodel include cabinetry, electrical additions, new appliances, countertop addition, and flooring.

Bathroom Remodel

Similar to a kitchen remodel, bathroom remodels can require a lot of plumbing work, which has a habit of making them costly. But, like kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations can add a lot of resale or rental value to your home. Some common elements of a bathroom remodel include plumbing, lighting, painting, flooring, shower and tub additions, closet additions, and counter space improvements.

Bedroom Remodel

A bedroom remodel can improve your home value, but tends to be more of a personal addition. You can use these to update the appearance of your bedroom or add more space to the room. Some of the typical parts of a bedroom remodel include flooring, painting, minor electrical work, lighting, and closet additions.

Common Area Remodel

Common areas include any place that everyone in the home uses, like a living room or dining room. Enhancing these areas can add significant value to a home, but it doesn’t typically make the same impact as a bathroom or kitchen remodel. Even still, a common area remodel can open up the floor plan, make it more livable, or modernize the layout of your home to keep it on trend. Typically, a common area remodel includes demolition, flooring, painting, outlet addition, and lighting.

Home Renovation Basics

Home renovations of any area tend to involve more than your typical home improvement project. Remodeling can mean knocking down a wall, adding a whole new room, or making some other significant change to your home.

A home renovation can usually be broken down into three basic steps:

  1. Demolition – Not every renovation requires a significant amount of demolition work, but most require some. It could be as minimal as ripping up carpet or as significant as tearing down a wall.
  2. Structural improvements – This is where most of the work takes place. Once you’ve done the demolition, you need to “repair” the damage with upgrades and enhancements. This step may include installing new electrical work, making plumbing adjustments, adding a new bathtub, putting up a wall, or installing a shelf. Just about anything you can imagine fits under this step.
  3. Cosmetic adjustments and cleanup – The final step for any home renovation is cleanup. This is where you’ll work on largely cosmetic changes after the heavy lifting is over. For example, if you renovate your kitchen by tearing out your old cabinets and putting in new ones, you would save painting the cabinets and adding trim for last. Other examples of cosmetic adjustments include painting walls, adding subway tile to a kitchen or bathroom, and staining a deck.

How to Start a DIY Home Remodel

Before starting your remodel, you need to create a home renovation plan. When planning, here are the main factors you need to consider:

  • Remodel purpose: Is this remodel for you and your family to enjoy or for the person who will buy your home? This question will dictate a great deal about what you want to do. Choices that are most on trend will tend to add more value, even though they may not match your personal preference.
  • Budget: Be realistic about what you are willing to spend on a home renovation project. And once you know what you can spend, spend some time researching how much a typical renovation costs. Always choose a renovation project that is smaller than your maximum budget because unexpected variables may increase the cost.
  • Tools: If you plan on doing everything on your own, you’ll need tools. Build the cost of tools into your budget and make sure to research which tools you need to get the job done.
  • Permits: Not every renovation requires permits, but make sure to check with your local authorities before pursuing a major renovation. If you don’t get the necessary permits beforehand, you may have to undo all the work you’ve completed.
  • Abilities: One of the most important parts of any home project is knowing your limits. Few things are more frustrating than investing a heap of time into a project only to realize you can’t do it on your own. If you plan to do your remodel entirely on your own, be realistic about your capabilities and do extensive research into what each type of remodel requires.

For more help on planning your home remodel, take a look at our article detailing the strategies that project managers use to complete renovations.

Home Remodel Work That Requires a Professional

When it comes to major renovations, we always recommend hiring a professional. Home renovation is complex and presents a lot of challenges for an amateur. If you’re doing anything more than a small task, such as painting a room, we recommend at least exploring the cost of hiring a pro.

While we do suggest using professionals for a majority of home renovations, the following bits of remodeling work present unique challenges that almost always require a professional:

  • Plumbing: Amateurs can do more plumbing tasks than you might expect. Still, when it comes to renovating your home bath or kitchen, it’s a good idea to hire a plumber. Even if you think the cost of hiring a plumber is high, it’s nothing compared to the cost of water damage that shoddy plumbing work can cause.
  • Electrical work: Like plumbing work, electrical work has a level of complexity that is beyond most DIYers. A professional electrician can also help you avoid dangerous mistakes that lead to fires and electrocution risks.

Call Neighborly for Help with Your Home Renovation Projects

If you plan to start a home renovation soon, the Neighborly family of brands can help. We have all of the services you could need to start a home renovation, from plumbing to electrical work and more. Explore our services to see how we can help you achieve your dream renovation.

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