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    calculating home renovations

    Do you guys every calculate what home renovations cost you? Do you ever think about the return on investment? Do you ever think it's a bad idea to do a home renovation or addition or remodel? How do you guys think about it and decide to do it or not? What are factors you look at and consider?

    I am thinking about adding A/C to our house. I am going to get quote but based on my neighbors probably between $10k-15k. Also depends if we have to upgrade our electric panel. A big issue is I"m not sure how long we are going to stay in this house. I think 2-3 years. I also think that it's possible our furnance could go because it is 20+ years and I've been waiting since 2017 for it to break and just being forced to replace the whole system with a new one with a/c. Just adding ac for $5k doesn't make sense.

    Thoughts?
    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

    #2
    Gosh, if your furnace is 20+ years old I wonder if the newer furnaces might be more energy efficient? That might make it worthwhile.

    I live on the east coast, so we get plenty of hazy, hot, hot, hot, hot, humid days. So, if our A/C didn't work I would not do too well.
    But, I think even if I wasn't in such a hot climate, I would probably prefer to have A/C if I could easily afford it.
    Last edited by Like2Plan; 07-15-2021, 06:46 PM.

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      #3
      Frankly, no. I view reno, repair, mx, updates, upgrades, etc. as sunk costs. If I can justify a $20k renovation to myself as being worth the greater comfort, utility, appearance, and enjoyment of whatever it might be, I'll do it. If I don't see us getting $20k worth of appreciation (emotional, not monetary) for that upgrade, then I won't do it, or I may find a way to reduce the cost to something more palatable. That may not be the smartest viewpoint, but it's how I've been selective about what money I put into a house.

      As a couple examples... I'm considering pouring a concrete curb around my yard & planting our fence into it. Probably an $8k project, but I'll be grateful for it every time I mow the lawn, and plus it'll keep the fence more sturdy than being sunk into the dirt. I'll be in the house for at least another 2 years, and will be grateful for the improvement most every weekend. I have no problem dropping that coin. Would I drop $5k for a tankless water heater, when my current one is only a few years old & in good working order? Likely not, because what I've got does a good job, and I likely wouldn't notice a dramatic difference. Not worth it. If the water heater were to rust out & break, then maybe I'd consider it, because it would be a distinct improvement to the current situation of cold, cold showers.
      "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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        #4
        For us, part of it is comfort. Part of it is resale. Part of it is good maintenance on the home.

        Replacing an old furnace while it is still operational is a good thing. You don't want to be selecting contractors or equipment when you're under duress and need heat or AC. 20 years for a furnace is a good life. It's also a big ticket item to a potential buyer to have a newer, modern, efficient setup that is early in its serviceable life. If you stay, eventually you will see ROI from the energy savings. The comfort is hard to value, but when we did this exercise a few years ago (replaced furnace with new, and added a heat pump) it was worth every penny.

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          #5
          I've heard that material cost times 3 will get you in the ballpark for most projects.
          Most of the reno that I've done at my cabin I did myself, so I just had cost and my time in the job.
          I've definitely added some sweat equity into the place.
          Talking with a realtor, he told me that I could sell the place for triple what I paid for it in 2018.

          Brian

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            #6
            I never think of repairs in terms of return on investment because our home is not an investment. Repairs are just part of the ongoing cost of owning a home.

            Now if we were contemplating selling it, that might be a different story. Then I would think about if certain things were worth doing and were likely to help the home sell faster or bring a significantly higher price.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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              #7
              I was on the phone waiting till september and october to get an estimate for furnance and a/c install. I was told new furnace would be $3k and $7k for AC
              LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                #8
                Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                I was on the phone waiting till september and october to get an estimate for furnance and a/c install. I was told new furnace would be $3k and $7k for AC
                that's probably a fair deal.
                you might be able to save a little if you call around, but you are in the ballpark
                Brian

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by bjl584 View Post

                  that's probably a fair deal.
                  you might be able to save a little if you call around, but you are in the ballpark
                  It is SO difficult today to get multiple estimates for any sort of contracting work. People simply don't return your call. Or they return your call and can't come. Or they say they'll come and never show up. Or they show up and say they'll get back to you with an estimate and you never hear from them again.

                  Then there are the estimates themselves. If you do manage to get 3 or 4 estimates, they will all be wildly different in price and in the scope of the work they are recommending to do the job "right". It's virtually impossible to compare the offers and totally impossible to know who to trust. Sometimes the cheapest offer is the best because they're not trying to rip you off. But sometimes the cheapest offer is using shoddy materials and skirting employment laws to cut costs (paying people under the table, etc.). Sometimes the more expensive offer is best, but sometimes it's more expensive because of all of those TV and radio ads and billboards the company has, and their sponsorship of the local NFL team. You can seek recommendations, but that's of limited value because most people only have experience with one company - the one that did their job.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    UGH. I don't have a clue but I had also considered that having a newer furnace might be more energy efficient
                    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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