How to Choose What Room to Remodel First


You searched through all the Chicago houses for sale and finally moved into your place, and while it was the perfect size in the perfect location, remodeling is a must. Or maybe you’re just overdue to remodel a home you’ve lived in for years. Either way, when it comes to such a big project, where do you begin? Figuring out what to redo, revitalize or rip up, and in which order can be a challenge on top of determining the style, color palette, and your budget.

A remodel can cost a pretty penny – $15 to $60 per square foot – and after saving all your hard-earned money to buy that new home, you may not have a whole lot left. If you work in the incorrect order, the results can be disastrous as you’ll risk wasting both money and time by having to make repairs. But the good news is you don’t have to do everything on your list at once, making it easier on your budget and your sanity.

Here’s what you should consider to make the best decision.

Look at the Overall Picture

What room to remodel first is highly personal. Go through your entire home as if you’re looking at it with fresh eyes. Is there any space that feels, or is, unlivable? Are they any rooms that make you cringe when you walk in? Or maybe appearance isn’t the only issue, there are safety problems too. Obviously, safety should come before aesthetics.

What Your Priorities Are

One of the first things to think about is which room you and your family tend to spend the most time in. Assuming you’ll be living in this home for many years to come and selling it in the near future is unlikely, the most important thing is that it works well for those who live there. If you or another family member loves to cook and the kitchen tends to get a lot of use, that might be the place to start. Or, maybe most of you are so busy you tend to let someone else do the cooking. What you might need is a spa-like bathroom to relax in after a long day instead.

Functionality Issues

If there’s a room with functionality problems, for example, the master bedroom has one tiny closet, and you don’t have enough space for your clothes, that might be the place to start. Try to focus more on needs rather than wants, making it easier to prioritize that to-do list.

Consider Your Guests

While the No. 1 thing is how you and your family feel in your home, it can also have a big impression on your guests. Another factor to consider when deciding which room to tackle first is your home’s layout. For example, which space will your guests enter first? Which rooms will they spend the most time in? While some can be closed off to guests like a spare bedroom used to store your junk or an extra bathroom, rooms like the kitchen will be at front and center.

The Inconvenience

Another important factor is the inconvenience that a remodel brings. No matter which room you start with, there’s going to be some disruption caused. Which room is going to be the most difficult to live without for an extended period? You’ll have to weigh the inconveniences of remodeling against your desire for an improved space.

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