3 Must-Dos for Your Checklist When Renovating an Old Home
It's a dream for many, giving an old home new life, but is it worth it?
It's a dream for many: giving an old home new life.
But is it worth it?
We think so — you just have to be
prepared for all the curveballs that this path
will throw at you. That's why we've come up with
a short but concise list of the top three
must-dos that should be on your checklist when
you go to renovate your old property.
Think you're prepared? Continue to reading to see if you can tick all these off your list.
1. Thoroughly Vet All Contractors
Every person on the other side of renovating their old home will tell you the same thing — vet the people and businesses you're paying to redo your property.
Whether you're working with a contractor that hires their own subcontractors or you're hiring contractors yourself, doing your homework beforehand may save you thousands in wasted time and materials.
When we say vet, we don't just mean a quick Google search. We mean run background checks through a reputable company (like with ScoutLogic, for example). You also want to speak with references given to you by the contractor, view their work in person if possible, and have legal counsel view contracts before signing.
With modern marketing techniques, any contractor can quickly improve their online reputation and manipulate reviews. That's why we heavily suggest going old-school. Put on your investigator's hat and get the complete picture of the main players in your operation before moving ahead with restoration work. You'll be glad you did.
2. Check With Local Municipalities About Land and Permits
Old homes often have odd structures. Whether it's their location, the wonky add-ons over the years, or a mixture of both, you'll encounter barrier issues that you may have never considered.
Before diving deep into the restoration work (arguably before you even buy the house), get as much information about the entire property as possible. That means learning about the history, the lot lines, what's underneath and overhead, any works planned for the future, and more.
And, of course, check with municipalities about permits and whether you can legally change all these myriad issues.
By understanding the entire property inside and out, you can plan and budget according to your wants and wishes. Ultimately, a home is an investment regardless of whether it's new or old, so completing your due diligence is pivotal before spending any money on home improvements.
3. Don't Underestimate the Need for Ample Budget
Yes, your contractors will give you estimates. But no amount of planning or budgeting will keep your budget totally in line with the initial estimate.
If you've decided to renovate an old home, the chances of uncovering something unforeseen are way more likely. With an estimated range of $60-$150 a square foot to gut and remodel a home, there's a considerable margin for error when determining the price of your project.
When undertaking such a monumental project, make sure the cash reserves can handle all the problems that may arise. We promise you won't be sorry.
The reality is that this is just the beginning of a long, long list. And that's okay!
Redoing an old home should be full of twists and turns. That's what makes it so rewarding. Just make sure that you check the basics off your list first so that you can enjoy the ride.