10 Smart Remodeling Tips From Amy Matthews

Ready to tackle a home improvement project? Before you begin, learn how to add the most value for the least money and avoid costly mistakes from Sweat Equity host Amy Matthews.

Related To:

  1. Remodeling

Work With What You Have

If your cabinets need an update, consider refacing or resurfacing them rather than replacing them. They're probably good quality if you live in an older home, and getting brand-new cabinets of the same quality can be costly. Refurbish what's already there, and you'll get a whole new look while saving a bundle.

Plan Your Demo

While it may be tempting to just grab a hammer and let loose during demolition, it's important to plan your demo just like every other phase of the project. As you're tearing things apart, know what's going and what's staying. If you just start ripping things down without a plan, you might trash something that you could have reused.

Weigh Your Options on Energy Efficient Updates

Adding energy efficient features to your home is a great investment, but don't assume you have to make major upgrades to cut energy costs. New windows, for instance, can take up to 20 years to recoup the cost from energy savings, so it may be smarter to simply fill in air leaks around your existing windows. Consider how long you're going to live in the house to decide what will work best for you in the long run.

Remodel by the Rules

If you live in a condominium, the types of remodeling projects you can tackle might be limited. For instance, you may only be able to install a hardwood floor if you live on the lower level. Before you start remodeling, check with your condo association so you don't make any updates you'll have to replace in the long run. And no matter what type of home you live in, be sure to adhere to local building codes.