How Spring Training Is Like Selecting A Home Renovation Project

The best part of March for me is the start of spring training which means the baseball season is just around the corner. The Toronto Blue Jays are not only in Dunedin to get ready for the long marathon called the Major League Baseball season, but also to make decisions on who makes the team. The foundation for the Blue Jays is there, but no team succeeds just on the foundation, there are other components to add to make the team win. Your home is the same way, the foundation is just the starting point. Homes are like sports team, everything has to work together in order for there to be success. Here are some tips on how to narrow down which renovation project should be completed this summer, and which project can be reassigned to the minors for a chance to make the team next season. These are some home renovation selection tips from a home inspectors point of view. 

Don't sign a designated hitter if you need pitching: 

The biggest concern for home owners is budget. Some projects are quite costly, but if a home owner has saved enough money for the big en suite renovation there might be some reasons to put it off. Lets say, the Blue Jays sign one big name player for 500 million over ten years, that money comes out of the overall budget. That one player, although great, forces the Jays to trade Tulo and Martin leaving holes at the short stop and catching positions. The team is no longer functioning as well overall. If the roof is leaking, then that must be fixed first, because it will damage the new en suite. 

Health of the players is the biggest priority: 

Keeping the team healthy is important. Great care and preparation goes into keeping athletes on the field . Your home is no different. A failing air conditioning unit can cause mildew, water damage, increased energy expense, and discomfort. Have a look around your home to see what might need repair. This might affect your budget, but it will help the team (your home) functioning and operating the best is can. 

What the team really needs: 

The biggest priority for a home owner should be there safety. Fix anything that might have health and safety concerns first. This might include a collapsing deck, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, loose railings, and leaking furnaces or gas lines. 

There is a philosophy in baseball that you build the team from the middle out. Catchers, pitchers, centre field, shortstop and second basemen. All positions require more defensive skill, and a harder to fill with good players then corner spots. A home is not different. Begin from the outside and work your your way inside. No point in renovating the kitchen if the roof is leaking. No point in finishing the basement if the gutters are allowing water to get into the foundation. No point in putting in designer trim if the windows are leaking. This includes non living spaces. I would heavily recommend addressing any attic problems before renovating the living space. The last thing you want is a contractor stepping on new hardwood floors to blow in insulation because the bedrooms are to cold. Now work from bottom to top. Start in the basement looking for foundation leaks, the furnace and move up. Taking care of functioning problems will protect any cosmetic changes you make to the home. 

Beware of the hot new rookie: 

Every year in spring training, a rookie or journeyman minor leaguer will put up monster numbers creating great buzz and promise. The only question is track record. There are many new home renovation products available every year. Be wary of what you put in your home. Do your research, look for track records of similar products, and if you have any questions about a the latest greatest product wait for it to prove itself. 

Don't wait till a contract year: 

Renovations are affected by the season. Roofing for example requires certain temperatures and weather conditions to be completed. However, in door projects can be completed during the winter. Generally contractors are less busy at certain points in the year, and you can save money by having work done at less peak times. The season should also act as an indicator to get moving on booking a contractor. Good roofers, window installers, concrete and paving companies are booked quickly. To make a baseball metaphor, don't wait to a player is in a contract year to sign the player to a contract extension it will cost more money. If you wait till the last minute and need work done quickly you will probably be charged more money and might not get the quality of work you want. 

To summarize, take care of maintenance and safety first, consider your budget, work from outside to inside and bottom to top, be aware of new products and choose a seasonally appropriate project. Enjoy the upcoming warm weather, and Go Jays Go.