In this crazy housing market, more homebuyers are seriously considering fixer-uppers, or settling for properties that may not have everything they want or need from the day they move in — to say nothing of those who are waiving inspections and other contingencies in their contracts, which could lead to even more surprises on closing day.
If you recently bought a house that needs some TLC, the crucial first step is getting a handle on exactly what work needs to be done (versus what would just be nice to have) and how much those must-do items will cost.
When budgeting, it’s helpful to think of these projects in three broad buckets, according to Liz Lovery, an interior design and DIY social media influencer who participated in a Bankrate-produced video series. The categories she identified more or less fall in order of necessity: structural renovations, functional/systemic renovations and interior renovations.
Here’s what you need to know about each home renovation category, and how to plan for related projects.
You don’t have a house without a structure, which is why this is category number one. It includes things like the foundation, walls, floors, roof, windows and doors, all of which need to be in a state of good repair to ensure your habitat is inhabitable — and stays safely livable for the long term.
You should also consider why you’re doing the work, says Ari Rasekh, co-founder of Manor.care, an app that helps homeowners keep track of their property’s maintenance needs.
“Are we talking about repairs, routine maintenance or home improvement?” he says. Repairs come first. “Routine maintenance is to avoid a repair and home improvement is by nature more optional. When I look at prioritizing, I look at those factors.”
While some structural projects can be more of a wish-list item, like adding an extension to your home, the majority of them fall into the vital-repair category: Work that tends to be more necessary than discretionary, like dealing with a leaky roof or a seriously cracked foundation.
There’s a huge amount of variability, price-wise, with structural projects. For example, replacing a roof typically costs between $5,601 and $11,729, while replacing windows costs between $175 and $1,800 each, according to Angi, the contractor search service site. Of course, the costs will depend on the size and location of your home, the materials you choose and local labor charges.
You should always build a little extra into the budget, too. Since the start of the pandemic, shortages and supply-chain problems have caused construction material costs to rapidly increase, with drywall costing between $12 and $20 per panel, according to HomeAdvisor powered by Angi, nearly a 16 percent …….