One of the best things about home ownership is that it’s yours and you can do with it as you please.
But the downside is that things change: your life needs change, design trends change, technology changes, and the layout just gets dated.
What was once a revolutionary approach to home architecture becomes something that now needs to be replaced.
This is especially true if you’re planning on selling your home soon.
So, how often should you remodel your home?
According to the American Real Estate Society, if your home is in a good state, you should remodel it every 15-20 years, so you can keep your home up to date with the latest developments, building technology and architectural trends. Remodeling may include redesigning, extending, or redecorating your living space to improve the entirety of your home living environment.
Several factors account for when your house needs remodeling.
Before you jump into a decision to renovate your house, consider when was your house built, when was the last time there was any renovation or remodeling work done, and what areas of your home need immediate attention.
But how often should remodeling be done in specific areas in the home?
Are there any signs that indicate that your home is in need of remodeling?
Is it better to remodel everything all at once? Or should you start with your attic and slowly move towards the kitchen and bathrooms?
How much time and money does a home remodeling project require?
Let’s get into it!
By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to connect with other home owners and builders and get more great ideas for your home to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality here.
How Often Should Home Improvements Be Done?
About 2 years ago, we were planning on moving to another state and put our home on the market.
Our home, which was built in 1980 had some updates, the kitchen and half bath had both been updated in the early 2000s, but other parts of it were still very dated.
And we quickly found out from the feedback we got from those interested in our home that the consensus was that it was too dated to get what we wanted on the market.
So we shifted gears and changed plans and decided to stay in Tallahassee.
And sure enough, our life changed in a big way when my mom moved in with us and that brought with it a need to make some substantial renovations to our home to accommodate its newest resident.
Different areas of your house have different lifespans.
The kitchen, for example, may need to be renovated every 20 years, as its functionality fades and the technology and overall style become outdated.
Kitchen cabinets and countertops are where you see the most dramatic changes.
For example, in the early 2000s Corian countertops were all the rage – everyone wanted to have them.
But then they disappeared as natural stone took over as the dominant material used in modern kitchens.
These surfaces can also show considerable wear after two decades.
Cabinet faces get handled a lot – literally. Not to mention that the styles change.
And countertops are where you do all your work in a kitchen so it should come as no surprise that replacing these items can be a central plart of any planned kitchen renovation.
Bathrooms might need to be looked at a little more frequently. It’s not uncommon for renovation work to be done on a bathroom every 10 years or so because of frequent dampness, plumbing, and staining problems that can be common in that space.
Or it could be a matter that you just want to remodel your bathroom according to get your home updated to the latest trends.
But it will always be true that “trends” come at a cost. While it may be wildly popular to install a XXX design in your bathroom, there is also such a thing as timeless style that can endure for even longer periods of tim.
This includes elements like muted colors and neutral tiles to create a timeless design.
And when you’re changing the layout of a space, or just renovating the space that currently exists, don’t forget that your furniture might need to be updated too.
Most living room furniture needs replacement every 20-25 years because it it can and out of style. Metal and high-quality wood might survive even longer but it requires paint and polishes every 5 years.
Now don’t get me wrong – there is such a thing as heirloom quality furniture that can last for generations. However, most of us don’t have furniture of this quality, and it’s extremely expensive.
Most modern furniture has an expected life-span of 20-25 years.
While replacing your furniture, make sure that you take the material and the square footage space available into account.
The following table summarizes how frequently you should renovate your house.
|Part of your house||How often should you remodel it?|
|Living room||15 years|
|Average (for whole house)||15-20 years|
Signs That Your Home Is In Need Of Remodeling or Renovation
Home deterioration can be slowed down and prevented if you remodel it at the right time. If your house shows any of these signs, the time to act would be sooner rather than later for a remodeling project before it turns into a major nuisance and a very expensive problem.
- Roof leakage: The average age for a roof is roughly 25 years for a standard 3-tab shingle roof. Keep in mind though, your results may vary due to the climate you live in. How much it will cost depends upon the area of the roof, and the quality of material you want to install.
- Termite infestation: termites are a major problem for home owners. These small pests sneak their way into your home and can cause extensive damage. They may also find a place in dirty and messy corners. If you’ve got termites getting a solution to your problem is extremely urgent because left unchecked, they can destroy your home.
- Detaching wall and floor tiles: Usually, it takes 20-25 years for tile grounding to begin to deteriorate. The most common places where tiles detach easily are the bathroom and kitchen due to the increased likelihood that there can be water damage in these places. If your tiles are coming lose and they’re dated, it could be a big indicator that it’s time for an upgrade.
- Aging and chipped exterior paint: As your paint ages it loses some of its original luster and begin to look dull. A good pressure-washing every 3-4 years can solve the problem of dirt and debris obscuring the paint beneath, but the only way to get it really looking fresh again is a new coat of paint. Repaint your house with different neutral colors using modern more UV resistant paints will not only provide a fresh look, but can also provide you with more enduring more hassle-free finish.
- Outdated build: Houses that were built in the ‘90s had a strikingly different outlook than the ones built after 2010. And how much more for houses built in the 80s and 70s? For example, gold fixtures, handles, and bathtubs were a trend back then, but currently, they are nowhere. If your house is too old, you probably need to consider remodeling it according to the current style.
Is It Better To Remodel All At Once?
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, however, there are a couple factors that may help you decide whether to get it over with all at once, or take it slow.
If you decide to do it all at once, your life won’t be disrupted for long and you don’t mind having someone working in your house every day.
Better still would be to move out and let the builder have full access to do what needs to be done.
This will require a sufficient budget and a well-thought plan and time away from your home.
You will also save yourself from a long unpleasant transitory phase of moving your belongings from one room to another.
However, renovating one area of your house at a time will be budget-friendly and you won’t have to move somewhere else while the renovation takes place.
If you want to remodel all that once, you just need to be prepared with the appropriate budget and plan to get it done right.
How Much Time and Money Does A Home Remodeling Project Require?
It depends on the square footage of your house, and whether you want a structural change or a cosmetic update.
A smaller full-house renovation may take 5-10 months to complete given that there are no unforeseen delays. A larger house may take up to 12 months or more to complete if all goes according to the plan.
Similarly, if you want to change the structure and design of your house, you should budget between $150-$200 per square foot.
However, if you only need touch-ups, you can renovate your entire house for under $10k. That should include paint, new gutters, landscape updates, along with some concrete repairs that are needed on so many older homes (I’ve got a cracked driveway that still needs to be fixed!).
Is It Worth It To Renovate An Old House?
Of course, renovating our old house reaps numerous advantages. It’s almost always a cost-effective option to remodel than move to an entirely new place.
But of course, that depends on your needs too.
Sometimes you simply outgrow your space.
But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do any remodeling/renovation to get an older home updated so you can sell it and move to a new home that better fits your needs.
Updated homes in my neighborhood have virtually doubled in value due to the updates! And while this an old 80s neighborhood, it’s a fantastic neighborhood with large yards, backing up onto a small pond and beautiful live oak trees everywhere that are over 100 years old.
If you want to put your house on sale, remodeling it before selling can give you better returns on investment.
Another one of the reasons you may want to remodel an older house is that you want to use it as a rental property to attract a very specific type of renter, and therefore make the property even more profitable.
Renting premium properties brings premium rent fees.
Renovation can increase the value of your property like crazy and restore the spark of your old house.
You may also contribute to the environment by making eco-friendly renovations.
Set up a garden, install low-flow shower heads, and power-saving lighting systems, they will eventually cut your utility costs.
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