Jun 28, 2018

Don't Let Home Improvement Projects Break You This Summer

By Byron Ellis

Photo credit: Getty Images

No matter how well you prepare, a home renovation project is likely to cost you more than you think.

I remember my patio extension project. After twelve months and double my original budget it was finally finished!

Don’t get me wrong, homes are great and create many memories…but they are also a lot of hard work.

Pick the Right Projects

Some improvements will involve mostly repairs. When the roof leaks or the foundation fails, you really have no choice but to perform the necessary work. Other projects are more discretionary in nature, and these are the endeavors that need to be selected carefully.

Some examples of renovation projects that are well known to create a good return on investment include:

Front doors. Replacing the front door is estimated to bring about a 96 percent return.

Deck addition. This upgrade will create an approximately 87 percent ROI.

Converting an attic to a bedroom comes in at 84 percent return on investment.

Garage door replacements are in fourth place at 83 percent.

Minor kitchen renovations will usually secure about an 82 percent return.

It is important to note that this formula is predicated on how long you intend to stay in your home. People who are planning for the long haul may get more mileage out of replacing items such as the roof, siding and windows than by adding a sun room.

Have a Financial Plan

How can you stack the odds in your favor for a successful project?

1. Estimate overall cost

In this stage, you come up with a ballpark figure for the upcoming job. A good rule of thumb is to add 10 to 20 percent to this number in order to hedge against unforeseen circumstances.

2. Know how much money you have to work with

Once you have an estimate of the costs, you will need to reconcile this figure with how much money you actually have or have access to. If you are cash poor, you may have to take out a loan of some kind. These can include home equity loans, cash out refinances, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

3. Get quotes

For best results, get quotes from at least 3 different contractors. It doesn't hurt to use individuals who have been well recommended by friends or family. You will also get some good ideas from the different professionals that you may incorporate into your final job.

4. Stick to the plan

This is the final stage. It will be tempting to continue to add things as the projects moves along. With most projects, making a change (not just adding things) will cost you more money. It is very easy to increase the price tag. Believe me, I know from personal experience!

Yes, home renovations can seem daunting. But, with a little planning, patience, and hard work, dreams can and will come true.

Byron Ellis

Byron Ellis

United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (“United Capital”), is an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiaries of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management and financial services organization. Investing involves risk and clients should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions.

The information contained in this blog is intended for information only, is not a recommendation, and should not be considered investment advice. Please contact your financial adviser with questions about your specific needs and circumstances. This blog is a sponsored blog created or supported by United Capital and its employees, organization or group of organizations. This blog does not accept any form of advertising, sponsorship, or paid insertions. Certain authors of our blog posts may be influenced by their background, occupation, religion, political affiliation or experience. It is important to note that the views and opinions expressed on this blog are that of the owner, and not necessarily United Capital Financial Advisers. As a Registered Investment Adviser, United Capital does not allow any testimonials on their blog, and any comments deemed as such United Capital will remove.

United Capital does not offer tax, legal, or accounting advice; therefore all articles should not be taken as such. Readers should obtain their own independent legal, tax or accounting advice based on their particular circumstances. All referenced entities in this site are separate and unrelated to United Capital. Any references to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by United Capital.