23 Jul Indoor or Outdoor: Where to Spend Your Renovation Budget
Renovating your home is really exciting as you can let your imagination run wild. A new deck? Hardwood flooring? A rose quartz bathtub with real gold faucets? Okay, maybe that last one is a bit extravagant, but you get the idea – it’s fun to fantasize about what your dream home could look like.
The only way to make your dreams come true is by taking initiative. At the end of the day, very few of us will ever have the funds for a rose quartz bathtub, but it’s quite possible to get enough money to renovate in many other ways.
The trick is determining what your budget is, and how to renovate within that budget.
Here, we’re going to look at whether you should renovate indoors, outdoors, or opt for a combination of both. We’re going to dive into the meat of the subject soon, but a brief detour is necessary first.
You have to ask yourself: why are you renovating?
In this blog, we’re going to address where it’s better to spend your renovation budget in terms of return on investment (ROI). The reason we’re opting to take this angle is that it’s impossible to account for personal taste. Are you looking to host big parties outside, year-round? Spend your budget outdoors. Are you looking to create a peaceful sanctuary in your bathroom? Indoors is the way to go.
You might opt to make renovations that don’t provide a great ROI, and that’s completely fine – it’s just not what this article will be focused on. For example, you might opt to renovate your pool. That’s not a very high ROI move, but if you love pool parties, it could very well be a worthwhile investment for you. Life isn’t all about what nets you the most money.
When looking at ROI, outdoor renovations are generally preferable to indoor renovations, though there are some exceptions. Keep in mind that there’s no law saying you must spend all of your renovation budget in one place – you can renovate a little bit indoors, and a little bit outdoors.
The logic behind this is pretty straightforward: many indoor renovations require a lot more labor. Want to gut your entire bathroom to make room for new fixtures and flooring? You might need plumbers, electricians, and a whole host of other laborers to make it happen. Kitchens have the same problem. Conversely, you can change your home’s siding and landscaping with relative ease. You don’t need a professional plumber to build a deck.
The major exception to this rule, then, is when making less intensive renovations indoors. Replacing cabinets and their hardware can be relatively inexpensive, and has a decent ROI. Painting your home’s interior can have an excellent ROI if you’re confident enough to do it yourself. Keep in mind, however, that a bad paint job is going to reduce the value of your home, so you need to have a steady hand.
One of the main advantages of renovating outside is that you get an instant boost to curb appeal. When you’re trying to sell your home, first impressions matter a lot. You want people to drive past your house, stop, and picture themselves living in your home. There are several ways you can go about this, from a fresh coat of exterior paint to a new front porch.
Looking for incredible bang for your buck? Stone veneers and garage doors are the way to go. They both have about a 95% ROI, which means you’re basically recouping their costs when you sell. When looking at ROI, it’s important to keep in mind that people buy the whole home, not just pieces. The better your home looks overall, the more it’s going to sell for, so doing more than one renovation is likely to increase your resale value.
When you plan on selling your home in the near future, the most important renovations to make may be on essential systems. Let’s say, for example, you’re in a home with knob and tube wiring. The renovation to replace it may cost a lot, and it may not boost your ROI significantly. On the flip side, you probably won’t be able to sell a home with knob and tube wiring, so in some sense, the ROI is infinite. Other important renovations include HVAC systems – by replacing your furnace and getting a central air conditioning system, you may be able to significantly increase your chances of successfully selling your home.
Let’s try to summarize things: For the most part, exterior renovations bring better ROI than interior renovations because there’s less skilled labor required, and enhancing curb appeal starts you off on the right foot. Exterior renovations can include flower beds, new landscape/xeriscaping, porches, decks, new doors, and new sidings – among other things. The exception to this rule is interior painting (which isn’t labor intensive) and other minor renovations. These things bring about the same ROI as some exterior projects. You’ll also need to tackle essential interior renovations before trying to sell your home.
With all that in mind, take a look at your budget, along with the costs of various renovations, and put a plan together. Always remember to consult with a number of contractors – ask them for referrals, get quotes, and look at their previous work. Once you’ve found a team that can do everything you need them to, sit back and watch your dream home come to life.