Pandemic home renovation is on an upswing. There’s a 58% increase in outdoor home renovations. Most homeowners would like a pool and a sauna. They are converting their basements into man caves and home offices. Others are putting up rooftop gardens while many are finally installing a deck and a swimming pool in their backyard. The idea is to live bunker-style so their homes can feel like a sanctuary when and if restrictions are imposed again.
The interest in home renovation amid this time is so intense that even Wall Street bigwigs are looking into investing in pool companies. Landscape contractors are also cashing in, as well as home gym designers and deck and patio professionals. So is renovating in the middle of a pandemic a practical thing for you to do?
Think of What You Want
The first thing to do is think about what you want. Do you want an extra room? Do you want to install solar panels? Is it a pool that you’re planning to have installed? How about a sauna, home office, home gym, etc.? Once you know what kind of renovation your home needs, that’s when you can ask yourself: is it worth it? The answer should be a definite yes. Since there could be future pandemics on the horizon, it’s nice to know that your home is ready for another stay-at-home policy by the government. Making your home a sanctuary amid the craziness outside should be your top priority now.
Arrange the Funding
Where will you get the money for the renovation project? Surely, you’re not thinking of using your savings. Now more than ever, you need to have money in the bank for all kinds of emergencies. You’ve seen how the pandemic hit families hard. You should always have an emergency fund ready for these circumstances. You should be practical with how you’re going to afford the project.
Consider your credit history and record. Make sure it’s viable for a home loan. Don’t borrow too much money. Borrow enough to afford the renovation. Find the best rates by shopping around. Timing is of the essence here. You have to borrow when the interest rates are low.]
Find a Contractor
This is a bit tricky. You need to find a contractor who will turn your vision into reality. This contractor should understand your vision for the home. There could be some problems selecting one amid the pandemic since not all are operational today. But the thing is that since there were many canceled projects in the past year, contractors are more dedicated than ever. You should also take advantage of their discounted deals since they want to get as many projects as they can accommodate.
Contractors have fewer clients now, so that allows them to focus more on their existing projects. However, make sure that the contractors meet the current health standards of distancing and wearing masks if that is still enforced. Like with loans, compare and contrast local contractors and meet with them before picking one.
Apply for Permits
Whether it’s a minor or major renovation, local rules and regulations will require certain documents such as zoning permits. Make sure you have all those before any contractor starts the job. Your contractor can help you apply for these permits. You might need certain documents and licenses from the contractor, so you can get the approval of your local zoning office. If it’s a minor renovation, ask if you still need to apply for any permits. Lucky you if there’s no need to pay for fees and permits.
Get the Job Done
You might think this is the easiest stage, but it’s actually the most difficult. You will be surprised that it’s taking longer than you expect. There will be extra costs, too, so you need to prepare for those. Usually, the contractor will give you a pretty good estimate of how much you need to spend for the whole project. As much as possible, try to lock in the cost of the materials early on, so you don’t get surprised that you have to pour in extra money into the renovation.
A home renovation in the middle of the pandemic sounds like a lot of work. However, if the past year taught you anything, it is that your home should be a place where you’ll be okay to stay for weeks and months. It should be your sanctuary. There should be a space for you to decompress and get away from work and personal stress.