Practical steps for planning a renovation


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(Family Features) If you’re planning a home improvement project but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Starting a remodel or renovation can be nerve-racking, but putting the right steps in place, from choosing the project to smart fundraising strategies, can reduce stress.

Before starting a project, owners need to figure out which projects they want to prioritize, what they can afford, and smart financial solutions to pay for it all. This can help you complete the project on time, on budget, and with less stress.

Do your research
Part of preparing for a home improvement project is doing your research. This means considering design and material options that reflect your personal taste and what could add the most value to your lifestyle and your home. It is also important to plan ahead for factors such as long lead times for contractors or supplies.

Establish a budget
Before you start planning a project, determine what you can afford. If your list of upgrades is longer than your budget allows, consider a short-term and a long-term budget so that you can tackle some small projects more immediately and save larger renovations until then. whether you had the chance to save money or get financing.

Define a financial strategy
Budgeting and determining your financial strategy are not quite the same thing. Once your budget is established, you will need to decide how to pay for the work. According to a survey by online lender LightStream, savings accounts provide at least capital for about 66% of homeowners who are considering renovating. However, in today’s uncertain economy, running out of a savings account can make you nervous, especially if you are drawing down an emergency fund.

Credit cards are a financial strategy that approximately 30% of homeowners will use. However, unless the card fees are paid off quickly, you could end up with this debt for years, making your project much more expensive due to the high interest rates over a long period of repayment.

An unsecured consumer loan, like those provided by LightStream, can be another financing option and can often save thousands in interest charges compared to credit cards. Homeowners with good credit can borrow up to $ 100,000 at fixed rates without charge. The funds can be deposited directly into customers’ bank accounts from the day of their request and can be used to pay for any renovation service, finishes or products.

Prioritize projects
With your budget in mind, you can focus on the renovations to prioritize. Whenever possible, start with the most immediate needs in your home, even if they may not be the most exciting projects. Go for lasting impacts rather than cosmetic fixes. Fixing a leaky roof or collapsing foundation might not be as dreamy as creating a chef’s kitchen, but it’s important to make sure that the projects you choose to do sooner set you up for it. success – and improvement in the value of the home – later.

Beyond critical repairs, the survey found that the most popular projects planned by homeowners this year include kitchen (38%) and bathroom (32%) renovations. Home office building has also grown in popularity as the pandemic has focused on upgrading the remote workspace, doubling planned projects to more than 26%.

Consider the environment
For many homeowners, Mother Nature plays a role in prioritizing renovations.

About 35% of survey respondents said they plan to invest in projects that improve their outdoor living spaces. When it comes to interior upgrades, consumers want to incorporate environmentally friendly and sustainable products such as smart systems, energy efficient lighting, solar panels, air and water filtration systems, insulated windows and other eco-sensitive and economical products.

Many people also choose to work with companies committed to environmental responsibility. For example, through a partnership with American Forests, LightStream plants a tree every time it funds a loan, totaling over one million trees planted across the United States.

Find more tips for getting started with your home improvement project on Lightstream.com/remodeler.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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