According to Remodeler magazine, consumers will likely spend well over $300 billion on home improvement projects in 2015. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University says that spending may even exceed the amount spent during the peak of the housing boom 10 years ago — $324 billion. The report estimates that over 30 percent of remodeling dollars in 2013 (the most recently available breakdown) went toward inside remodeling like kitchens, bathrooms and additions. Another 32 percent went toward inside and outside replacements, and the final third was spent on system and property upgrades.
So, if you’re among the big spenders this year, where should your remodeling efforts focus? The answer lies within your own finances and reasons for remodeling. First, consider what’s driving you to spend your hard-earned cash. Are you remodeling for resale, for want, desire or need? If you’re remodeling for resale, make sure it’s a sound investment. Be sure your efforts will be recouped at resale – otherwise, it’s probably not worth it. If your bathroom or kitchen is completely outdated, then it’s a consideration – an updated kitchen or bath will help your home to sell more readily and at a better price than if you hang on to that retro 1970s bathroom. Also, keep in mind that any remodeling done for resale won’t be able to be enjoyed by you and your family.
If you’re remodeling because you want to, then first floor additions, bathroom remodels or kitchen renovations are all good choices. These are key areas that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. Baby Boomers who want to age in place should remodel with forward-thinking in mind for easily accessible rooms, non-slip flooring, wide hallways and other principles of universal design.
The most important thing about remodeling choices is just that – the choice. Know your reasons for wanting to spend your treasure, then make the best choices for your needs.