The long answer? Yes! But like anything else, you need to do a little bit of research to make an informed decision and avoid the common mistakes that homeowners often make. Here are a few pointers that can help you make this difficult and often rewarding decision:
Know your neighborhood
When Franklin Studios was asked to come out and look at a house in the Hollywood Hills (pictured above), the home owner was stressed out because they had continuous water leaks in spite of having a number of previous repairs made. They just wanted the water to stop! But after looking at our portfolio, they were also tempted by the idea of increasing the value of the house by giving it great curb-appeal. And they also like the idea of living in a cool looking Hollywood Hills home!
They knew they had bought the house slightly under the median price for similar houses in the area. (This information is public and can be found on Google or by asking your realtor. ) So they knew they could invest in a home remodel without pricing themselves out of the neighborhood. You want your house to look great, but you don’t want to be a 1M house on a 200k street. The ideal situation is to buy the ugliest house on the street and keep your remodel cost at or below 20%-30% of your home value.
Separate business and emotion
It is easy to get carried away once the beautiful Ann Sacks tile gets put on the table, and you fall in love with the complementary sleek, modern sink and fixtures, but you will be happier if you have a budget and you stick to it. Tell your designer and your contractor what your budget is and that you don’t want to spend more. And always get multiple bids for everything.
Demand more for less
When Franklin Studios first visited the above Hollywood Hills stucco box, they immediately got excited where others would have become depressed. It is a unique quality of good designers that they can see through the ugly box and almost instantly tell you what the exciting possibilities are: can we open up this roof deck to the city views? A single window here would completely change this bathroom, etc. The beauty of hiring resourceful designers is that they actually can spin straw into gold. With their experience, visual abilities, and the necessary tools, they can take a small space or dead wall and bring it to life, and they can do it within a reasonable budget.