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The popularity of channels like HGTV and DIY has led to a home upgrade frenzy. All around the country, couples are making major changes to their homes, but this remodeling is not done lightly. There are a few things to put on your checklist before any major home renovation is started.

If you’re preparing to remodel or renovate your home, there are some short, simple steps that you can take to ensure the process runs smoothly and affordably.

Consider the Importance of Utility Systems

Many people dive headfirst into their renovation while only thinking about the aesthetic decisions they are making, but this thought process doesn’t account for more practical considerations. If you’re renovating your home, you’re giving yourself a perfect opportunity to improve utility systems such as your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

These components of the house are often unthought-of because they can’t be seen, but they need attention like any other area of your house. You should have them thoroughly inspected before you started any renovations, in order to include their costs and materials in your budget and shopping list. These systems can be expensive to fix, so take them into account before you move forward with your other projects.

Regulatory Standards May Have Changed

Another consideration that often surprises people is that their homes may not be up to code anymore. What’s considered “up to code” changes every few years, especially in major cities and more politically active states. On top of renovation and utility system costs, you may need to spend some additional resources and time making sure your house meets city and statewide standards.

Of course, it’s entirely possible your home is already up to code and you won’t need to worry about spending the extra cash, but you should always double-check to make sure. Whether you’re in the clear or not will largely be determined by where you live and how often natural disasters occur in your area.

The Bottom Line

The home renovation craze that’s currently sweeping the country is more expensive than many first-timers realize. Renovating an old or dilapidated home can be a costly and complex process. The rewards and results are well worth the efforts, but keep in mind the hidden costs and headaches inherent in fixing up any home.  Always make sure your hire professionals to assist you in the process.