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Before you renovate your home

David Dorman

Home renovation television shows like the Property Brothers, Flip or Flop and List It or Love It, give homeowners big ideas about how they can spruce up their property to increase the value when they sell. However, some of these projects can sometimes open up big problems for owners whose big remodeling dreams may not have been thought out thoroughly. Here are a few renovation ideas that perhaps need a little more thinking prior to start.

Tearing down, or greatly reducing walls: Walls can quite often look like they’ll be no big deal to tear down, but quite oftne they can be weight bearing walls that provide more support to a home than homeowners may realize. The walls may be holding up ceilings or other important structures and may contain electric and plumbing. When you consider the removal of a wall always consult with a professional beforehand. Your extra consideration may turn out to be a huge savings in the end.

Making a historic home more contemporary: Removing some of the historic features to an older home can sometimes be a very bad and value deflating idea. Removing original woodwork, built-in fixtures or claw-foot bathtubs can be one of the worst mistakes a semi-pro remodeler or motivated homeowner can make. The interior may no longer match the character of the exterior, and therefore reduce the value of the property.

Replacing worn-out wood or seemingly damaged floors: “Unless you’ve had some serious water damage, it doesn’t take much to replace hardwood flooring. Tearing out old floors could potentially lower your home’s value and remove a feature that many home buyers are looking for. “The older the home, the higher the quality of hardwood, which might have cost $20 a square foot when it was built. Replacing the flooring with tile, laminate, carpet or other modern floor covering is like reupholstering your leather couch with canvas because it looks cleaner when you first make the change… but it’s not a good idea.

We always say, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you have to make the renovation decisions immediately. Usually a couple days of processing will help you make a more calm and well thought out decision. As always, get a second and third opinion before permanently altering a house.


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