Between spring cleaning and summer inspiration, it’s not uncommon to be bitten by the remodeling bug this time of year. And thanks to popular home improvement shows and the ever-growing “DIY” movement, you might be tempted to hit the hardware store and start hammering, painting, or grouting this weekend. But before you jump in with power tools blazing, Dan Fritschen, author of Remodel or Move?TM Make the Right Decision and founder of www.remodelormove.com, has a few things for you to consider.
It’s a good time to think ahead to winter. You might not want to contemplate winter’s chill while you bask by the pool, but according to Fritschen, it’s a good idea.
“Plan now for ‘winter’ remodels like replacing a furnace, adding insulation, or getting more efficient windows or siding added,” he recommends. “Most people aren’t focused on these types of projects during the summer, so you’ll have a better chance to get a good deal and to schedule the work at your preferred time.”
You can soak up the sun while adding curb appeal. You might not think about your yard when you consider remodeling, but the fact is, curb appeal is important! What your yard looks like and how it is landscaped influences how others (and you!) perceive your home in general.
“For obvious reasons, summer is ideal for landscaping, planting, putting in patios and walkways, and more,” Fritschen says.
The long sunny days can save you money and power your home. If you’ve been considering adding solar panels to your home, now’s the time. Prices for solar panels are at super low prices—as little as $1 per watt for 200-watt panels—so for $2,000 you can buy panels that can generate 2 kw of power during peak sunshine periods (like this summer!).
“Buying that 2 kw of power in the example above would cost you about 24 cents per hour according to the Energy Information Administration,” points out Fritschen. “And while installing a full solar system will cost more than $2,000, when all is said and done, with all the rebates and the benefits to the environment and your pocketbook, it is still a good investment. The lower cost of the solar panels and the long sunny days of summer make generating power from the sun smarter than ever.”
You might just dig up a sweet deal. Yes, the economy is (slowly) getting better, but it’s nowhere near the remodeling heyday of 2007, so contractors and retailers are working hard to win your business. Plus, even though summer is a busy season, many contractors are bidding their best prices in an attempt to get back to the business levels they had prior to the economic slow-down.
This could be a good time to take an interest in interest. Right now, most of us aren’t thrilled with the economy, including the fact that interest rates are at historical lows. It’s likely that if you have cash in a savings account, you probably aren’t earning very much right now. So why not use that money on a new kitchen or finished basement that you’ll enjoy every day?
“Also, if you’re borrowing to pay for your remodel, then take advantage of the lower interest rates on mortgages and other types of loans,” recommends Fritschen.
And on the subject of money, here’s another interesting thing to consider: “203k FHA loans enable you to borrow on the value of your home after the remodel is complete,” Fritschen shares. “Having just a single loan for the purchase of a home plus the cost of repair/renovation can be a huge money saver.”