Experienced Advice On House Remodeling
If you already own a house in a good location on a large lot, but the house is old, or obsolete, or too small or not well arranged, there are a few things you could do to make it more livable. The best part is that house remodeling is something you will probably be able to do yourself. You could add a room or two, or do a limited amount of remodeling, or change the plumbing fixtures and tile the bathroom, or put new cabinets in the kitchen, and of course, paint and paper where necessary to give the house a general " spruced up "appearance.
Since all this costs money, it is always wise to consider whether you might get more for the money by selling the old house and starting over in a new place. Much depends on the lot. If you have no special attachment to the place, it is often cheaper to sell and build new in a more desirable location. But be sure to find the new lot before you sell the old, as it is not as easy to find extra good locations as one might think.
If your lot is large, well located, has excellent shade trees, and you like to live there, think carefully before you part with it. While house remodeling costs almost as much as building new, sometimes portions of the old structure may be usable, and the cost may not be quite so high as building an entirely new house.
Examine the old building carefully and minutely to see what features of it are in good condition. Perhaps the foundation is solid and is holding the house in shape perfectly. Maybe the frame is solid and substantial. Perhaps the roof is not sagged out of shape, and only the shingles need replacing. This is not too expensive an item but it is most important. Do not do any interior painting or rebuilding until you are sure that the roof is entirely weatherproof.
If the roof, frame, and foundation are in good condition, the house is probably worth remodeling. Try not to move more partitions than you have to as this becomes very expensive. Maybe new windows are called for; the windows are not very expensive, but patching the plaster on the inside and the siding or stucco on the outside, where you remove the old windows will cost money, unless you are planning the whole job anyway and placing new material on the outside.
Often new oak floors can be laid directly over the old floor, and a very handsome result obtained. New linoleum should not be too expensive for the kitchen and bathroom. Very probably you will want new plumbing fixtures, but the drain pipes may be as good as new. Some of the water piping, particularly the hot water piping, may have to be replaced. Perhaps you will need a new water heater, and maybe a new heating plant. Of course you will want new cupboards in the kitchen, and probably a new sink.
Although these things do not all have to be done at once, usually it is less bother to get them all over with at one time, as it becomes discouraging if the house is torn up too long or too often. While this is one of the pitfalls of house remodeling, do not forget that your focus should always be living in a better home, one you are excited about inviting your friends to.
Learn More »