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Realtors will tell you that if you’re going to spend money on a home remodel, the best return or “bang for your buck” is to put the money into the kitchen and bathrooms. If you’re looking to sell your home, updated kitchens and baths will increase your selling price and shorten the time your home is on the market. If you’re planning to stay in your home, remodeling these rooms will still increase the value of your home while you enjoy living there.

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As with any process, there are smart and not so smart ways to approach it. Smart means you save time and money. Not so smart means delays and costly mistakes. Let’s take a look at some smart and not so smart ways to go about the process of upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms.

Smart: Take time in the planning. A remodel isn’t something to enter into quickly or hastily. Take time to look at the magazines. Get ideas. Look at other kitchens and bathrooms to see what you like and don’t like. Remodels are a “measure twice, cut once” project. Planning includes examining the existing layout of your home, cost of new materials, any potential changes in location of appliances, availability of contractors and timelines.

Not So Smart: Not pulling the necessary permits. No one likes red tape or government regulation. But not following the rules on building codes will create problems for you in the future. My brother-in-law in California put his home on the market. In the process, it was determined that the previous owner added a bedroom without the proper permits. Before he could sell the home, he had to take the bedroom down.

If you sell your home in the future, prospective buyers want the confidence that they are not buying any problems. Being able to document the changes made to your home follow local building codes takes care of that.

Smart: Planning an efficient layout. Imagine yourself working in the kitchen. Ask yourself, “Does this plan make sense? Is it efficient? Does it allow us to work in a time saving manner?” For example, it doesn’t make sense to have the dishwasher and sink on opposite sides of the room. They should be next to each other for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is shared plumbing. You don’t buy a refrigerator only to find out it doesn’t fit the opening. Or get excited about finally having a gas stove before realizing your home doesn’t have an accessible gas supply line. Proper planning will save you a lot of time, lots of money and a lot of headaches.

Not So Smart: Ignoring your plumbing. It’s not nearly as much fun to look at what’s under the sink than what’s on the walls. But to remodel without considering your plumbing is a mistake. Plumbing ages, too. If your pipes are copper and have quite a few years on them, you may consider installing PVC piping. PVC is sturdy, less expensive, resistant to mineral buildup and are quieter than copper.

A remodel is also the time to upgrade your bathroom fixtures. Don’t just focus on the obvious sink faucets and shower heads. Make sure the water piping to the toilet and the shut off valves are in good condition. If not, replace those, too.

Smart: Running your plan and project past a professional plumbing expert. A remodel may be a once or twice in a lifetime for you and me. Professional plumbing experts work on these projects every week. They have advice based on experience, both of what works well and what not to do. Consulting with a professional plumber is your best step in making sure your remodel is well-planned and well-executed.

The pros at Sinclair have years of experience in remodel projects. Call us today with your ideas and plans and we’ll be happy to help make your dream a reality. 806-749-2665

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