Setting Your Home Improvement Priorities

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 8, 2012

Unless you are one of the lucky few whose budget knows no bounds, you will want to determine your renovation budget upfront. Before you start on any major home improvements or renovations, it’s important to identify the key areas to be addressed, prioritize them and then see which ones will realistically fit into your budget. You can then set short, medium and long term home improvement priorities.

Note: While renovations and remodeling will add value to your home for resale, this particular blog is looking at setting priorities with the intention of staying put in your home. Remodeling to  add value and improve the sale of your home has been addressed in previous blog posts.

First Priority
Your first priority should be to address any repairs that may be putting your family’s health, safety or security at risk. This would include things like faulty electrical wiring or leaky plumbing, mold issues, pest infestations or a leaking roof.

I would also include in the list of top priorities, any modifications that your home may need to accommodate the particular medical or health needs of a person with disabilities or chronic health problems. In this category you would have renovations such as widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair, installing a ramp, adding handrails in the bathroom and changing door handles to levers.

Important
The next category are those projects that are important but discretionary. These are all of the home improvements that will improve the comfort of your home or its esthetic appeal. Here, you may want to include bathroom or kitchen remodeling, replacing older flooring and upgrading your appliances to newer energy-efficient models.

Wish List (a.k.a.  bottom of the priority list)
While it is great to dream big, we can’t do everything at once. Look at your list of home improvements and determine what can wait to be done later on down the road. From there, you can establish your long-term priorities and save up for them. This list might include items like building a home sauna, insulating a garage or dedicating a room to a hobby.

Essentially, when developing your list of home remodeling priorities, you will be considering the urgency of the repairs or renovations and their importance in order to determine how quickly they should be addressed. Prioritizing isn’t fun or glamorous but you’ll be happy you did it, in the long run.

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