9 Steps to Smart Dallas Home Renovation

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but 1984 called…and it wants its floral wallpaper back. Ready to bring your master bathroom or kitchen into this decade? Read on for the best way to approach that home renovation project to maximize value (and minimize headaches).

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Home renovations can add big dollars to your home’s price tag. But despite the benefits of renovating your home, no matter how big or small, these types of updates can seem like a huge undertaking. So what’s the best way to approach your renovation?

In a nutshell: Make it comfortable and customized to your needs, but invest in renovations that will increase your home’s attractiveness to potential buyers.

These 9 steps will steer you in the right direction for renovations that will add value to your home while making your life easier:

9 Home Renovation Tips from a Dallas Real Estate Pro

  • Always hire a contractor — don’t do it yourself. A good contractor will take all the guesswork out of your project. They’ve typically spent years vetting good subcontractors, they can offer expert advice on the best way to solve issues that arise, and they’ll be there to handle all scheduling needed to complete your project. It’s plain and simple; contractors are experts and have the experience and know-how that you don’t. They are well worth the premium that they charge.
  • Prioritize the best return on investment. The kitchen should be the first undertaking, then the master bath. Lower-return areas of the home include kids’ bathrooms, utility rooms, and garages. And don’t underestimate the power of paint. Re-painting the inside of your house can be a simple & cost effective way to give it an upgraded look.
  • Invest in a good architect (and designer).  If layout changes are going to be made, space planning and layout design are crucial elements to increase home value. It’s worth investing in a trusted, vetted home renovation architect. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown a home for sale, and the seller spent a fortune on updates, but the layout was all wrong. Most often my buyers wish they had never done the updates in the first place. Plus, enlisting the help of a good home designer to advise you on fixtures, colors, paints, and other details is well worth the investment. 
  • Make a budget, but have reserves. Work with your contractor to come up with a budget…and then add 30 percent to it for extra time and unforeseen costs. And don’t forget to add in your offsite living expenses if you decide to move out during — which leads me to #5…
  • Live off-site if you can. It will save time, money and sanity. When someone is still living in a home, the renovation team must work around them. This means they’ll be spending valuable time moving items, cleaning up, and maintaining the living space. Plus: Your contractor will thank you for it. 
  • Take before, during & after photos. Not for a sweet Instagram post, but to document throughout the process where important components like outlets, wiring, pipes and other little details live behind your walls. Before sheetrock and flooring is installed, take photos of each wall, ceiling, and floor.  This will pay dividends later.

  • Do not assume your contractor will be there every day. You should plan on stopping by the site often (if not every day) to see how things are going. This way you can stay abreast on the progress, discuss specifics, ask questions, and correct issues early. If your contractor isn’t there but the subs are, it’s a good idea to ask them is they have any questions for you. This can help avoid mistakes and ensure things are done right the first time.
  • Save cost on paint (where you can). The cost of paint can add up. And despite what your designer says, you don’t have to use Benjamin Moore everywhere. The quality of paint does matter, but one cost effective method is to use Benjamin Moore on the trim and a less expensive paint (Sherwin Williams) on the walls.
  • Don’t cut corners on doors & cabinets. Should you spring for solid core versus hollow doors? Custom cabinetry or MDF pre-made? It depends on your budget, but for high-touch items like these, we recommend investing in solid core doors and soft close, non-MDF custom cabinets. These are some of the first items buyers notice as it pertains to quality of construction. Plus quality cabinets and doors will last you decades.

Fall is the best time to undertake a home renovation project, especially if you’re looking to list your home in the spring (the best time to sell in the Dallas real estate market). But remember—home renovations don’t have to cost an arm and a leg and are often well worth the investment.

Of course, if you need assistance figuring out where to start with your home updates, we’re happy to offer our 40+ years of experience and advice.  Whether you’re looking to sell your home soon or make upgrades to live with for years to come, we can help you decide on renovations that will add value to your home. Give us a call today.

Ready to get a jump on selling? Call The Rhodes Group.

Block by block, home by home, we know these neighborhoods — how values change, the importance of pre-listing advice and how the right marketing can drive a successful sale. We grew up here. We live here. We’ve been buying and selling real estate in the area for two generations, immersed in the ebbs and flows of the local neighborhood markets. It’s not just a slogan… WE KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.