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Making the decision to renovate your home is a big one. Not only do you want to redesign the area to fit your tastes, you want to ensure that the work you’re doing will also pay off when you go to sell. While dramatic renovations might seem like a tempting idea, be sure to keep in mind these tips and avoid these costly mistakes when you set out to spruce up your space.

Choose a minor over a major kitchen or bathroom remodel.

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling are two of the most popular and common home renovations. While putting in new cupboards or upgrading your sink or bathtub are reasonable renovations to make, be wary of over-renovating. Take a look at the neighborhood in which you reside. What kind of kitchen styles are popular? What is the standard for bathroom remodeling in your area? Keep in mind that the return of what you’ll spend on a bathroom or kitchen is just over half, so whether you want to earn back half of a $10,000 renovation or half of a $100,000 renovation is something to keep in mind. Take a look at this list of Dos and Don’ts for remodeling your kitchen or bath for more tips.


Opt for a wood deck over an upscale composite deck.

If you own a property with a nice yard, you’ll definitely want to spend some time enjoying the great outdoors you have at your disposal. However, when it comes material, there’s a cost-sensitive difference in what will make a nice addition and what will end up costing you. Adding a wooden deck to your residence can earn up to 75% of your cost recouped, while an upscale composite deck will likely be closer to 55%-60%. This doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality – while it may seem tempting to go with whatever price is lowest, make sure that the materials you’re using are high-quality. Shoddy materials will end up costing you after the renovation is complete.


Don’t skimp on windows.

Windows are expensive but can drastically pay off in the long run. According to David Pekel, (MCR, CAPS and UDCP, national secretary for NARI and the president of Milwaukee-based Pekel Construction & Remodeling), spending $26,000 on new windows for a whole house is “conservative but realistic.” While this may seem like a big number, take into consideration all of the money replacing windows will save you in the long run. Newer windows can cut down on heating and cooling costs during the winter/summer months and can reduce that overall drafty feel of a house. They can also help cut down on electricity costs as natural sunlight can reduce the need to use overhead lights during the day.


Make a decision and stick to it.

If you begin a renovation and then change your mind about it 5 times in the process, you’re going to wind up costing yourself a lot of money, even if the final project wouldn’t have been costly in the first place. Make your plan and stick to it. You can fill out a form for a free Kitchen/Bath Planner from the National Kitchen+Bath Association to help guide you step-by-step through the decision-making process.


Do your homework.

The best way to prepare yourself for any sort of home-makeover is to make sure that you have a firm grasp of what all will go into your renovation. Consult the internet. Research what people have done to make their renovations successful and look for useful tips to help you during the process. The best defense against an unnecessarily costly makeover is preparation.