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The True Cost of Home Renovation

The True Cost of Home Renovation

February 20, 2019

I love do-it-yourself projects. Well, I love starting them. Then, somewhere in the midst of it, the excitement wanes. It could be the project is heading toward a serious Pinterest fail and I’m giving in, or it’s just far more complicated than I anticipated. Bigger projects, like remodeling, are even worse. I’ve lived through it. And before you knock down a wall, rip up your floors, or fill your yard with lumber, Homes By Taber has some advice about the true cost of home renovation.

Time isn’t just money. It’s time!

Once you’ve finally narrowed down your long “To Do” list and decided on the top priorities, you work on the budget. One contractor tells you one price, another is a lot higher. The lower one assures you that he is reputable, reliable, and committed to quality. But you’re skeptical. And you should be. With most things in life—and most definitely home remodeling and construction—you get what you pay for. Whether that’s inexperience or inferior materials, the contractor who comes in far lower than the others is trying to win your business. Once you’re all in, the delays, problems, and extra costs kick in.

Maybe you’ve decided to do the renovation yourself. If you have the time and skill, that’s fine. DIY sounds like a fun undertaking—until you’re smack dab in the middle of a demolition nightmare. You took it apart, but now you have to put it back together. It’s not like a small craft project that you can tuck aside until you feel more motivated. You’re living inside your “craft project”, and no glue gun is going to do a quick fix on this one,

Honestly, how much are you saving by spending your own time on the project? And if there’s a problem—like a wrong measurement that sends you back to square one—how do you recoup that lost time? It’s not like you have a builder’s warranty that covers the cost and materials. That’s on you.

Get ready to rough it.

Then there’s the family stress that comes with living through a renovation. As a rule of thumb, no matter how much time you’ve estimated for a remodeling project, double it, especially for a kitchen renovation. Don’t shake your head. That figure has been proven to be accurate most of the time. You suddenly realize the work is more time-consuming than you expected. Or the contractor took on too much other work and isn’t showing up regularly (which also happens far too often). 

For whatever reason, the project lingers. Meanwhile, your family is sharing a bathroom and living with the noise, dust, and chaos. You could even go without a functioning kitchen for weeks (maybe months) longer than was planned. Your microwave and fridge are in the living room. You’re washing dishes in the bathtub. And takeout food has worn out its welcome.

Don’t kid yourself. There is nothing fun about living in a home during renovation. 

The bottom line keeps sinking.

You start with a budget. There’s 100% certainty that you will spend more than that, unless, like the timeframe, you’ve doubled your initial approximation. 

Some of the materials may not be as available as you’d hoped, so you need to upgrade—unless you’re willing to sit and wait. 

There’s an unexpected glitch. Until you rip down walls, some of the plumbing, wiring, and structural issues may not be visible. If you’ve ever watched “Love It or List It”, you’ve probably noticed that dear Hilary is never able to stick with her estimated budget. Even Chip Gaines has run into unforeseen circumstances when he sees what’s under the floors and behind the walls. That’s the nature of remodeling an existing home.

Is it really worth it?

Some remodeling projects boost your home’s resale value. Others may increase the comfort or enjoyment of your home, but won’t give you a return on the investment. In general, the lower cost home improvements—like replacing a garage door or front entry door—deliver the best ROI at resale. Adding manufactured veneer siding to your home is also a smart choice. The added curb appeal and reduced maintenance should net you almost all of your cost when you sell your home.

A complete bathroom or kitchen makeover will certainly improve the look and convenience of your home, but don’t expect to recover the cost. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, a minor kitchen remodeling project (approximately $22,000) nets 81.1% return on investment in the home’s resale value. The ROI of a major kitchen remodel ($63,829) gives you back only 59%.

If your goal is to increase your home’s value, take the time to understand what truly contributes to it.

Save time and money on remodeling.

Think about the car you hold onto because it’s paid for. But the monthly payments are replaced with repair costs. There comes a time when you pull the plug on the life support for that vehicle and buy a new one—a car that has all the latest technology for comfort and safety, and is covered by a warranty..

When your home just doesn’t match your standards, you can spend time and money on trying to make it work. Or you can find a home that’s move-in ready with all the features you want. Just like the new car, it’s fully updated and warrantied. There’s nothing to repair, replace, or renovate. With improvements in energy efficient homebuilding, you’ll probably also save money on energy bills. Homes By Taber’s homes earn an average HERS rating of 46, which certifies that the home is 49% MORE energy efficient than typical new homes and 84% more efficient than resale homes. These improvements amount to saving about $1,508 on average on your annual energy costs.

Have fun watching the home improvement shows, but don’t bring the cost and chaos into your home. How about starting a new Pinterest board instead for items you want in your new home? Take a look at Homes By Taber’s communities of single-family homes in the OKC metro area. We have move-in ready homes available now, with our upgraded standards already included, or will build the one you want! Talk to us about what’s missing in your current home.

About Homes By Taber

Homes By Taber, a local homebuilder in the Oklahoma City metro area, offers new, energy-efficient homes starting at 1,500 square feet of indoor living space and going up to 3,350 square feet of indoor living space. Prices for these new single-family homes start below $200,000 and go up to the mid $500,000 range. Homes By Taber was founded in 2000 by Taber LeBlanc. We currently build in 15 different locations with new homes for sale in the OKC metropolitan area.


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Just finished an inspection with darling couple buying a Homes by Taber home. What other builder encourages a 3rd party inspection? Not any I can think of. The inspector was impressed by so many details, from the quality of the paint to the proper installation of the gas stove. It is such a pleasure to see how Taber Leblanc and his company have evolved through the years...always improving on their ...

Carolyn Sims