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[:en]Managing Renovation Plans in Times of Uncertainty[:]

[:en]In these times of uncertainty, managing plans for a halted home renovation, or for one you have in place for the future can be an overwhelming task. If youve already picked out areas of your home you know you want to remodel, the next step is navigating how to manage these plans in a crisis. From large upgrades like new hardwood flooring, to smaller scale choices such as adding a kitchen backsplash, every type of renovation has a different time commitment. As you consider your best plan of action in the coming months, it's crucial to do your research and expect the unexpected. We hope the tips below help you tackle your renovation plans during this chaotic time.

Want vs. Need

For some homeowners, renovation plans might be determined based on necessary fixes that need to be made to their home, whereas for others many changes fall under the category of preference. Now more than ever, it's important to determine the difference between the remodel you might want as opposed to the remodel you need, in order to make the right renovation decisions. Whether you already have a contractor in place, or you still need to call around, arrange a video conference with a professional to discuss what your current options are at this time.

As you spend more time inside your home, consider the spaces you find yourself in most often, anddiscuss with a contractor which project will be the most manageable based on what you have to work with. While youll likely have to hold off at this point on any major upgrades to the central areas of your home, its still helpful to get a second opinion on what is manageable, and what the timing of such a task might look like.

Timing

Perhaps the most uncertain part of managing renovation plans in a crisis is timing. If youve been in the midst of a remodel, your plans have most likely been disrupted, and if you have one scheduled for the near future, your plans will likely be pushed back. Its always good housekeeping to discuss the timing of your home projects as openly and as frequently as possible with a local professional. While they may not be able to give you an exact timeline, they can still give you an approximate estimate on how long you may have toanticipate waiting before continuing on with your project plans. As you determine when to push back your plans, be sure to choose a time to remodel that works best for the calendar ahead. Planning to gut a part of your home during a busy season, let alone a season of crisis, will only add more stress to your life. Instead of immediately following through with your plans, consult with your realtor the importance of timing as a factor.

Understandably, homeowners zero in on budgets rather than the time required to execute a successful renovation, said Annie Bauman, a Realtor in Needham with Gibson Sothebys International Realty. While It looks painless on TV, undergoing home renovations is like a part time job. One of my clients once hired an engineer and an architect to draw up plans to replace their sweet but tiny antique home. In the end, they sold the plans along with their home and moved down the road to a larger, renovated property. Reason? Not budget. This family had a daughter headed to college. They didnt want to be consumed with this project for a year and miss precious family time with their kids.

Cost

Remodeling within your financial means is a must, which means theres no shame in putting your plans on hold if youre currently experiencing some financial hardship. Though there are many easy ways to fund home improvement projects, its crucial not to get carried away with your plans, especially right now. Ask your contractor or other family members and friends who have experience with renovations first hand what financial options they recommend. Many homeowners explore private loan options or even use credit cards to fund their projects depending on how large the renovation is. You might want to look into how home equity loans work as well, since many homeowners find that taking out such a loan is their best option in the long run. Empower yourself with the right information now so that you can stay on top of the financial commitment a renovation requires later on.

Commitment

Lastly, consider the overall commitment the renovation youre looking into will require. Will the remodel call for you to vacate your home for a period of time? If this is the case, its probably time to prioritize other home improvements, or to put off these plans until next year. Be sure that anyone else who will be affected by the renovation is on board and has a clear understanding of how long the process might take. Though most renovations end up being a positive and exciting process, these projects can be a long commitment and should be planned with your entire household in mind. As most, if not all, home renovations are being placed on hold till further notice, try to make the best of a bad situation by having a plan of action in place for the future.

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