By ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN
Scripps Howard News Service
If you're considering remodeling, but can't decide if it's worth going ahead with or not, here are some things to consider.
Remodeling isn't cheap by any means, but you knew that.
Is your house pretty functional as is? Perhaps just a little sprucing will do.
But what if the remodeling is truly necessary? Let's consider what "truly" means. Are you trying to keep up with the neighbors, or do you really want to upgrade for yourself? Perhaps a little of both? Sometimes a big remodeling job is so expensive you might be better off moving to a new home that is newer and already upgraded. Consider all the possibilities.
Think about the cost of remodeling. Can you afford it? Is the house income secure and steady enough without worry of layoffs or cutbacks? Remember that once you start, you can't turn back, so be sure your finances are secure. A good architect and a good building contractor are worth the money, so don't skimp when it comes to choosing them.
Consider how long you intend to stay in this house. If you plan to stay there for the rest of your life, then remodeling it is a good idea. But if you only plan on staying for, say, another two to five years, you might consider simple improvements or simple remodeling for your enjoyment and for resale value.
So let's say you choose to remodel, and skip a vacation for now. Realize that the remodeling process will be messy, inconvenient, frustrating and filled with disappointments - some small and maybe some not so small.
The process will take longer than estimated, so don't expect the "six-month" project to actually be completed in six months. It will be longer. Unforeseen costs are sure to appear also. Be ready for all of this.
And now the good news: If you do choose to remodel and are willing to put up the money and endure the inconvenience, you will really enjoy your "new" home for many, many years.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, is author of "Mystery of Color."