before and after home renovation

HGTV’s Matt Blashaw Shares His Best Spring Renovation Tips

What is it about springtime that makes us want to tidy up our closets and refresh our homes? Maybe you’ve been admiring spaces on Pinterest and Instagram. Maybe you’re flipping through home design magazines and dreaming about the perfect master bathroom, an updated kitchen, or a new patio to enjoy this summer.

In fact, according to a recent SoFi survey* of 1,023 people ages 25-73, we found that the majority (45%) of people get their home renovation inspiration from HGTV and DIY Network, followed by friends or family (44%) and home blogs and websites (29%), Pinterest (25%), home decor and community websites like Houzz, and then Instagram (15%). Maybe it’s finally time to tackle your dream renovation project, once and for all!

SoFi partnered with HGTV’s Matt Blashaw , host of the popular show Yard Crashers, to help you achieve your dream home renovation without breaking the bank—or your budget. Here are a few of Matt’s tips to consider before your next home project gets underway:

Before You Renovate, Sit With Your Space

Many new homeowners are eager to get a jumpstart on their home renovations projects. But before you jump right in, try making tiny adjustments and living with the space you have. Blashaw recommends pausing first to clean up the space, whether that’s throwing on a fresh coat of paint or spending time organizing.

So you don’t get overwhelmed with the possibilities, focus on one space at a time. “As the days and weeks pass, the house will start to speak to you,” explains Blashaw. “From there, you’ll be able to simplify your project.

“You may even begin to realize that you can actually live with your existing floors and instead need a different paint color or new drapes to change up your space. This means saving some money in the long run.”

Where to Save vs. Splurge on Your Next Project

More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. When completing a remodeling project, there are some things to save on that can still add value—and others that may be worth the splurge. Our recent survey found that an open kitchen is at the top of people’s wish lists (24%), followed by more square footage (22%), a huge yard with a firepit (13%), followed by high-tech or smart appliances (12%).

To save some of your renovation budget, Blashaw recommends installing engineered wood rather than solid hardwood floors for you living spaces. “Engineered wood comes in a variety of colors, and the tops can be sanded a few times for repairs. The ease of use will also save you some serious money on installation costs.”

Backsplashes are another area where you can cut costs. Blashaw advises the simpler, the better. “You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars on something that’s supposed to blend in and not be the focal point.

“The function of a backsplash is to be moisture resistant and reflective enough to bounce light back into the space,” he adds. Instead of spending money there, you could spend it on stone countertops that are durable and eye catching to really help boost your value. Want to get an idea of the value your next home improvement project will bring? Use our Home Improvement ROI Estimator.

He also warns that cabinets can quickly skyrocket a budget. To save some money, only splurge on the “good” cabinets for the kitchen and primary bathroom. “In other areas that don’t tend to see as much use, like guest bathrooms and dens, opt for the more cost effective cabinet. They will look nice but you don’t have to pay the cost that comes with durability.”

Areas where it is worth shelling out the extra money? Blashaw says high end light fixtures will add the “wow factor” to any space. “As a REALTOR®, it’s one of the first things my buyers notice when they enter a room.

“So the dining room and kitchen are the best areas to bring in designer lighting,” says Blashaw. It can also pay to invest in natural stone for the master bath as a way to pump up the value of home. “Spending the extra money to install the stone all the way up to the ceiling is important.

“It will give the shower a grander look and show off that beautiful stone you just ponied up for.” Lastly, it’s usually worth going top-of-the-line for your kitchen appliances. Blashaw explains, “These are appliances that you will use everyday and get your money out of in the long run.

“Some high end gas ranges even gain value over the years if taken care of properly. Plus, in my experience of showing homes to clients, people love to see a high end chef gas cooktop in a kitchen. If you can pair it with a matching set of double ovens, then it’s really a win.”

Keep up With the Trends or Increase Your Home’s Value?

When renovating a home, people tend to be evenly split between keeping up with the latest trends or opting for classic options to increase the home’s value. Our survey found that when people renovate they do so to increase their home’s value, followed by making their home functional then modernizing outdated trends to improve the overall look of the home.

Blashaw cautions that you shouldn’t plan to gain your value back right away. “Typically if a homeowner invests $50,000 or more into a renovation project, they won’t see that return immediately. You’ll see it five or six or years down the road.”

But that doesn’t mean you should put off your dream renovation. Blashaw recommends molding the house to your family’s needs and taste. “You want to set your home apart but make it functional to what will best suit you so you can truly enjoy your home. Reimagining a space into something new and different may actually entice a buyer down the road,” says Blashaw.

According to our survey, quartz countertops (33%), a bright paint color (21%), a bold tile choice (20%), barn doors (18%), and wallpaper (7%) are the popular trends people are looking to try in their next remodel.

About SoFi

Now that you’re inspired and ready to take on a home improvement project, you may be asking yourself how you’ll fund it. Over 35% of survey respondents told us they’re willing to spend anywhere from $11,000-$20,000 on their next big project. Once you determine the cost of your project, you may consider looking at a home improvement loan instead of charging the project to a high-interest credit card.

At SoFi we offer personal loans of up to $100,000 with low rates and no fees required. Applying is easy and takes only minutes. Once your project is underway, fixed rate payments can help your project stay on track, without racking up credit card debt.

Learn more about home improvement loans with SoFi!

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*Based on a SoFi Home Improvement survey of 1,023 people from 3/14/19 to 3/18/19.
The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners, and any pages linked to and from this one are subject to change without warning. SoFi does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendations. Matt Blashaw and HGTV are solely responsible for their products and services. Opinions expressed by Matt Blashaw are not necessarily held by SoFi—and are for purely educational purposes only. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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