PRIORITIZING YOUR NEEDS
In terms of both budget and material resources, it is a good goal to do more with less. The list below is good approach to prioritizing your remodeling needs:
Make sure to keep up with Routine Home Maintenance to minimize remodeling needs & expenses.
Create a list of remodeling needs vs. remodeling wants. Anything that is degrading the physical condition of your home should be a high priority; these issues are often the most financially beneficial investments.
Invest in energy efficiency. With rising energy costs, payback on these improvements will offer the most bang for your buck. The Efficiency Pyramid, developed by the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program, diagrams the most cost-effective way to lower your energy costs and improve efficiency. Always consult with your local electric and natural gas utilities prior to a remodel project to check for available rebates or grants for energy efficient upgrades to your home or appliances.
Determine if you need a to hire a professional or if the project is a Do-it-yourself improvement. Be sure to select a remodeling contractor wisely.
Budget accordingly. Remodeling has a price tag; invest in quality products for performance, environmental impact, and warranty.
Consider payback periods when investing in remodeling products & technologies. Simple payback is the time it takes for a return on an investment to pay for itself. A very basic way to think of it is as follows:
Initial Cost ÷ Savings per year = X years for payback*
*Keep in mind that the simple payback calculation does not factor in any inflation, interest, maintenance or operating costs which effect the long term value of your investment. A more in-depth payback analysis addresses these factors.