7 Things to Know Before Renovating

So you've recently become a homeowner, but your new home requires some fixing up. Or maybe you've had your home for a while, and you've finally decided to refurbish your outdated kitchen.

If you're thinking it's going to be a big job, you're probably right. Home renovations can be quite an ordeal. New homeowners can make a whole list of mistakes when renovating. Don’t be one of them. 

It can be a little easier if you know what to expect. So, to help you get started, this article will cover seven things to consider before remodeling.

1) Expenses

How much will it cost?

This is, without a doubt, the most critical factor to consider before embarking on any large renovation project. Make sure you have a reasonable estimate for the total cost of the job.

Will you need to take out loans? Do you have enough saved up?

If you need a loan, consider seeing if you qualify for a Housetable Home Renovation Loan.

You should also consider the timeline. How long do you think it'll take? Can you live in your home during the renovation process, or do you need to find a temporary place to stay?

Make sure you factor in both the cost of the actual refurbishment and any additional costs like temporary housing.

2) Planning

When it comes to home renovations, you need to have a solid plan in place in order to avoid any stressful surprises or unexpected expenses. Make a planning process and stick to it as best as you can.


The first and most critical step is to determine how much you can afford to spend on your home renovation.

Once you have a number in mind, add at atleast a 25% buffer to account for any unforeseen costs that may pop up along the way.

Whether it's a hidden structural issue or an unanticipated design change, be prepared to deal with the unexpected and have some contingency funds set aside.


It's also important to be realistic about how long it will take to complete your home makeover project. Remember that most renovations tend to take longer than initially planned, so it's essential to give yourself some flexibility in the timeline.

There's always the potential that something unexpected will arise during your home renovation, regardless of how carefully you prepare.


During a home renovation, it's easy for things to get chaotic. Be sure to stay organized throughout the process by keeping track of all necessary documents, contracts, and deadlines.

This will help minimize any stress and keep your home renovation on track.

3) Contractor Estimates

While it may be tempting to choose the first contractor you speak to, getting multiple estimates is crucial to ensure you're getting the best possible price for your project.

Make sure you're comparing apples to apples. When you're getting estimates from different contractors, it's important to ensure that they all include the exact same scope of work in their prices.

Don't just ask for an estimate of how much the labor will cost — be sure to get an estimate for the entire project, including materials. This way, you'll have a better idea of the total cost and be able to budget effectively.

4) Living Without Certain Amenities

You may need to live without certain amenities while your home is being renovated. This could include not having running water or only having limited electricity.

Be prepared for this possibility by planning where you will shower, use the restroom, and cook your meals.

Food that will not spoil, bottled water, and a first-aid kit are all essential items to have on hand. Also, make sure you know how to reach out to your contractor in an emergency.

5) Research

It is important to read and research how to renovate properly so you can avoid any mistakes that could cost you more money in the long run.

There are numerous resources available online and in libraries that offer the knowledge you need for renovations (for free!).

Also, even if you're planning on tackling the renovation yourself, this doesn't mean you can do everything. There are some tasks that should always be left to professionals, such as electrical work and plumbing.

It is illegal to attempt these things without a license, and it's also incredibly dangerous.

6) Permits

If you're planning on doing any type of renovation work, it's important to be aware of the permit requirements in your area.

You may need to seek a permit from your city or county authority, depending on the nature and location of the work.

Failure to do so could result in hefty fines or the outright cancellation of your project.

Types of permits

Some common types of work that may require a permit include:

Before starting any renovation project, be sure to check with your local building department to see if a permit is required.

7) Noise Level

Home renovations can be pretty noisy. If you have young children or are particularly sensitive to noise, you may want to make arrangements to stay elsewhere during the renovation process.

If that's not possible, try to plan your renovation projects for a time when the noise will be less disruptive.

For example, avoid renovating during naptime or bedtime. And make sure you warn your neighbors about the potential noise in advance.

How to Get Started

Renovations can be a big headache, so you'll want to make sure you get everything done all at once. You don't want to finish your renovations only to find a month later that you forgot a couple of key things.

This means you'll need to be systematic about deciding what you want to upgrade. One way to do this is by going through your house room by room.

Check that the house is clean and clutter-free before deciding what needs to be changed. Then go through each room and list anything you want to upgrade or remove.

Renovations checklist

A renovations checklist will help you decide which renovations to prioritize and ensure you don't miss anything important.

Plumbing, heating, roof leaks, and electrical wiring are the first items to take care of.

Begin by addressing any leaks in your home. At a later stage, these can impact many other areas of your home.

If your house's siding is cracked, this will need to be replaced to avoid more leaks and further damage.

If the windows are severely broken, they can be repaired now, ensuring that the structure is sound in the future.

Trim, drywall, hardwood floors, and insulation should be in the second phase of renovations.

Once you've covered these basics, you can then proceed to additional aesthetic replacements and enhancements. Whether you want to make home improvements on a budget or boost your home's value, there are plenty of little tweaks you can do.

What to Renovate First?

If you know your home needs some sprucing up but you don’t know where to start, here are the most common home renovation projects to give you some ideas:

The kitchen

People often begin with their kitchen renovations because it is one of the first places visitors see when they come to your home. However, new appliances can also help you save money by conserving energy and lowering your utility bills.

Countertops, flooring, and appliances are the items you're looking for, and if you're going to open up a wall to make extra room, start there.

Even though remodeling your kitchen is one of the most expensive projects you'll ever do, there are still ways to save money. For example, see if you can refinish your cabinets rather than buy new ones.

The bathroom

Determine if any pieces can be repaired, repainted, or simply replaced with a new fixture, instead of replacing everything.

Hire a professional when there is genuine plumbing or electrical involved. You don't want a significant problem a few years down the road because you saved a few dollars.

For example, changing the vanity closet, toilet, and tiles can make a substantial difference.

Your restrooms, like your kitchen, make a favorable (or unfavorable) first impression on visitors. 

The floors

Before putting in new furniture, your flooring should be repaired and completed. Wood flooring is substantially more expensive than vinyl, synthetic, or laminate.

It's a good idea to keep in mind that some of your furniture designs may need to change after your flooring is finished.

The outside

Having a great yard makes a big impression on neighbors and visitors. Consider investing in some landscaping work in addition to your renovations.

Just make sure you don't go overboard! Examine the area around you. Check to see what types of landscaping are typical in your area. Examine your neighbors' yards to see if they inspire you to create your own.

Putting down grass and plants will provide a significant return on investment for many years to come, both during your stay and if you eventually decide to sell the house.

Other areas

Of course, there are many other areas that you may choose to renovate. These include the dining room, family room, bedrooms, and basement. And if you plan to sell your home later, consider hiring an interior designer to make your home more attractive for prospective home buyers.

What's Next?

Once you've considered what remodeling work you want to do, it's time to think about where you will get the money from and if you will need a loan.

Several different loan products are available, each with pros and cons.

Types of loans

Home equity loans are one choice. These can be used for various purposes, including home improvements, debt consolidation, and more.

Personal loans are another common choice. Personal loans can be utilized for a wide range of purposes, including home improvements. Personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards but still tend to have high-interest rates overall.

Finally, there are also government-backed loans available for those who qualify. These loans, such as the FHA 203K loan, can be used to finance both the purchase and renovation of a house.

Contact Us

Unlike other lenders, Housetable analyzes not just the current property value of your home but also the value it will have after the remodeling project.

We provide you with an estimate of how much your property will be worth following renovations, as well as estimated costs and timelines and a curated selection of upgrades most likely to boost your home's value.

See how much you can borrow, your expected monthly payments, and how that changes depending on which improvements you choose to make, all without hurting your credit score.

Keep track of your contractors' progress reports, manage scope adjustments, and approve payment releases with our mobile app.

Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with your home renovations. We would love to help you make your home remodeling dreams a reality!

Request a Call

Thank you !

Your request has been sent, we will call you back
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.