The idea of completely gutting your home’s interior and rebuilding from the studs up can be so tempting. You get to create the home of your dreams without having to build or buy a new home. But gutting your home is a big job and there are some things you need to strongly consider before you take that sledgehammer and slam it into the first wall.
Determine Your Living and Storage Arrangements
Gutting your home means that at least some parts of it will be under construction at all times until the renovation is done. This might look like literally gutting the home, so there are no liveable rooms, or deciding which rooms to gut at which times so you can still live in other parts of the home. But you need to make these decisions before you start the work. Remember that you’ll need to store the contents of the rooms you’re working on as well. Consider whether you’re staying in your home, with friends or relatives, or signing a temporary lease somewhere. Don’t forget to think about what happens if construction takes longer than you expect.
Know What You Can DIY and What Requires a Pro
There are a lot of things homeowners can DIY when gutting your home. And then there are things that you really need to leave to a pro. Wall repositioning is one of those things best left to a pro. There are walls in your home that can be torn down with no problems, while others will be load-bearing and can’t simply be torn down. Some walls you might simply want to move. But because you won’t know which ones are load-bearing, which ones aren’t, and which ones can be moved even if they are load-bearing, it’s best to leave all the wall repositioning to a pro.
Allow an Extra 20% Above Budget
Home renovations almost always cost more than you think they will. Whether it’s simply because you didn’t budget well enough in the first place or because materials costs suddenly spiked, chances are you’re going to spend more than you planned. You might even spend more just because you need to correct some mistakes. It’s a good idea to allow at least an extra 20% above what you’ve budgeted for these extra expenses.
Check Your Building Codes
Every area has its own building codes. These codes can dictate everything from the materials you use to the space between different elements. It’s important to be aware of and follow these building codes not only to do a safe home renovation but also to save money. If you use the wrong materials or otherwise violate a building code, you could spend thousands fixing the mistake and paying fines for the violation. Additionally, if you hire contractors, make sure they are familiar with your area’s building codes too, especially if they’re not from your area.
Gutting your home’s interior is an excellent way to give yourself the beautiful home you’ve always dreamed of without selling, buying, or moving. But it also can turn into a money pit that you can’t climb out of. By understanding the risks and knowing what to do to reduce or eliminate them before you start, you stand a better chance of coming out of your renovation satisfied and proud of what you did.