Former Bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher may be best known for handing out roses to prospective suitors, but she’s also making a name for herself in the house flipping business (move over, Joanna Gaines!). While she might not have her own HGTV show (yet), the reality TV star and Marcus by Goldman Sachs® Ambassador certainly knows a thing or two about home improvement.
We sat down with Fletcher to discuss her best home improvement tips, including her favorite budget-friendly — and commitment-free — renovations (page 5), what she says is the most overlooked feature in a home (page 7), and when to hire a professional (page 9). Find out what she had to say, ahead.
- Always budget an addition 15-20% for unexpected scenarios.
Whether it’s a large or small project, Fletcher says budgeting yourself is an absolute must. “Because of the nature of remodels, things often end up costing more than anticipated,” she points out. “No matter how big or small the project, homeowners need to have a solid sense of what their ‘all in’ budget number is,” she adds.
With that in mind, Fletcher says to try and budget an additional 15-20% “for unexpected scenarios that might arise.”
Next: How to finance your project.
2. Financing your project
- If you need to borrow money for a project, shop around.
Next to budget, finance is the next important step before starting a home renovation project. That said, Fletcher says it’s important to shop around. “In the event you need to borrow money to finance your renovation, definitely explore your options.”
One option to consider? Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. As the brand’s ambassador, Fletcher informs that the program offers “home improvement loans that have no fees ever.” Like any loan, interest is still charged, but there are no sign-up fees, prepayment fees or late fees, you only pay interest for the additional days. “Marcus home improvement loans range from $3,500 to $40,000 and borrowers have complete control over how they use their loan without being committed to pre-approved projects or a single contractor,” adds Fletcher.
Next: Fletcher’s tip for designing the look and feel of your space.
3. Focal point
- Pick a focal point for each room
“My favorite part of redoing a home is getting to design the look and feel,” says Fletcher. “When starting the designs, I recommend picking a focal point for each room — whether it’s your sofa, a coffee table, or even something already in the home, such as a fireplace — and building around that focal point,” she adds.
Next: This could get messy … and expensive.
- Save money by leaving your plumbing where it is.
Plumbing might not be the most glamorous part of a home renovation, but it’s an important one. “When it comes to renovating, bathrooms can be a little tricky for new homeowners,” says Fletcher. “But, a home’s master bathroom, is the second-most important space in a home (it’s also one of my favorite spaces to renovate),” she adds. “For the sake of budget, try not to move any of your plumbing and keep the shower and sink in their relative places.”
Next: These tips require very little commitment.
5. Small changes
- Small changes can have a major impact on a space.
If you don’t have the time or — more importantly — the money to completely renovate your space, Fletcher says small changes can make a big difference. “A kitchen renovation can be a huge undertaking, but there are some small changes you can make if you don’t have the time or budget to take on a big project right now,” says Fletcher. “You can refinish the cabinets or paint a fresh coat of white, which instantly brightens up a kitchen and gives it a more updated feel,” she adds.
In addition to painting, Fletcher suggests replacing hardware and light fixtures for a fresh appeal.
Next: Her best advice for staying within budget.
6. Budget-friendly options
- When possible, choose a budget-friendly option that will save you money for other areas of the renovation.
When it comes to home improvement, staying within your budget is super important — especially if you end up running into costly setbacks along the way. With that in mind, Fletcher says to consider budget-friendly options (especially in your kitchen) that will save you the money you might need for something else.
“When renovating your kitchen, be on the lookout for cost-effective options,” says Fletcher. “If you’re putting in new countertops, on material I love that could be affordable is quartz. It comes in a variety of beautiful finishes, is very durable, and is a great way to add a fresh, modern look to tired kitchens,” she adds. “I put it in a lot of the homes I renovate.”
Next: Fletcher says this is one of the most overlooked aspects of home improvement.
7. Storage space
- Storage space is one of the most overlooked home features.
As far as renovations are concerned, kitchens and bathrooms are usually at the top of most designers’ list. That said, Fletcher says storage is often overlooked. “Storage is not something you may initially notice when viewing a home, but functionality of a space is critical and extremely appealing to prospective buyers,” she adds.
Next: Another overlooked space
- Landscaping can give a home the upper hand in terms of curb appeal.
In addition to storage, Fletcher says landscaping is also easily overlooked. “Landscaping can add significant value to a home and can give it that upper hand in terms of curb appeal.”
Next: When to hire a professional.
9. Hiring a professional
- Doing it yourself all depends on your skill level and commitment.
“The decision between a DIY home improvement project versus hiring a professional all depends on your skill level and commitment,” says Fletcher. “Personally, I always help demolish and clean up all of my remodels. While it’s a bit tedious, it’s not challenging — plus, I find it therapeutic and it helps me save money on outside labor costs,” she adds.
One area Fletcher suggests hiring a professional for is roof work. “If you think your roof has water damage, I recommend getting it inspected instead of trying to patch it up yourself. Water damage to a roof can quickly turn into a major problem if it’s not taken care of properly.”
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