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Denver Renovations See Significant Summer Uptick

The realities of home renovation can be positive if the time, team and terms make sense


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With median home prices now soaring above $500,000, Denver metro area homeowners have an accelerated equity level in the homes they bought, even just one year ago –  a helpful criterion when considering a renovation. Adding to this landscape is the fact that renovating a current home to an owner’s taste can be more cost-effective than “buying up” for the next home. Since the market has essentially lapped itself and the same homes now cost nearly 50 percent more from their 2012 market bottom, existing homeowners are staying put longer for fear they won’t find homes they want within their budgets.

Yet, many are reticent to pursue a renovation. 

Whether a homeowner personally experienced or was previously exposed to a poor renovation project, the impacts are often long-lasting. The realities of home renovation can be positive, though, if the time, team and terms make sense for the customer.

WHEN TO RENOVATE

According to Reuters, the rewards of remodeling outweigh the costs, as Americans are expected to spend nearly $340 billion in 2018 on renovations – a 7.5 percent increase from last year. That said, ask anyone about the experience of living in a home during a remodeling project, and the resulting response will likely include one or more of the following: Loud, dusty, stressful, expensive or inconvenient. Ladders, tools and multiple supply boxes of often clutter the floors, sheetrock dust settles everywhere, and the constant flow of tradespeople coming and going conflicts with family schedules.

While no home remodeling project is without a little dust and disruption, summer is often more conducive to a somewhat modified routine while the project is under way. Noise and inconvenience are naturally mitigated during the summer months when families tend to spend more time outside the home or outside in general. 

TIME

Opting to complete renovations in the summer can be a boon for staying on schedule, too, as inclement weather is less likely to slow down the work. Additionally, summer can be a great time to:

  • Get your basement ready for colder weather
  • Complete a kitchen remodel so it’s ready for the holidays and ability to move cooking to the outdoor grill!
  • Be a time of lower stress in the summer
  • Provide more options for space and social gatherings away from the home

TEAM

Finding the right team to renovate a home is vital, but with so many renovation companies to sort through, knowing what questions to ask before hiring can help whittle down the options.

Alice Garceau of HGTV recommends asking for referrals, reviewing credentials, interviewing candidates and asking acquaintances about their personal experience with remodeling.

Ensuring the project stays on budget, on time and in scope comes down to process. Since summer schedules tend to be more fluid for homeowners, renovation can oftentimes progress more seamlessly. 

TERMS

The smartest renovations are the ones that make sense for every home-dweller – including pets. In the summer, pets are often able to spend more time outside, too. Each project has terms or characteristics specific to the customer.

Depending on which part of the house is under construction and the time involved, it’s helpful for the project lead to ask questions that guide the process. Consider finding answers to these questions if renovation is on the horizon:

  • Ask for detailed plans and scope of work: Figuring out details as the project goes along is a recipe for disaster
  • Request an exact price: There should be no changes when the details are nailed down up front
  • Require review of a detailed project schedule before the project starts: The timeline must be guaranteed -- much of the frustration of remodel comes from projects running late
  • Agree to the process for communication: Daily updates seem obvious, but lack of communication is one of the biggest complaints of homeowners
  • Finally, ask how well the contractor communicates when she or he is trying to sell their company?  If they aren’t tops while they are trying to sell would-be customers on their own company, drop them … the service is only going to get worse

In this hot construction market, be leery of anyone who states can start next week. Be patient, do your homework, and happy renovating!


Patrick Condon is the CEO of founder of The Finished Basement Company.

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