You’ve doubtless been spending a whole lot more time at home these past months, and maybe you’ve been watching tons of DIY remodeling and decorating shows and are itching to get to it yourself. Just beware that those TV shows can make some jobs look a great deal easier and even less costly than they are. So here are some tips you should read before you jump into the project with both feet.
Make Two Lists
One should be a list of the things that need to be done for maintenance or safety, and one should be a list of the things that involve upgrading and decorating. The second list is going to be more fun, but you don’t need to be told to put the important shoulds first. While you’re at it, consider getting a home warranty plan that covers all your appliances, so they’ve taken care of. Personalized plans will let you find home warranty prices that are affordable and take the burden off your shoulders.
Draw Up A Budget
Even if you have a fair amount of money to spend, you want to use it wisely and where it will count. Before you pull out that debit card, research prices and learn where you can find the best deals. Prioritize your purchases, so you’re not putting quantity over quality. Cheap stuff might be tempting, but it doesn’t last.
Assess Your DIY Skills
Good intentions and the go-to-it spirit to do something will only take you so far. If you or your spouse has never done anything more technical than hanging a curtain rod, diving into a big project or one that requires serious power tools is not the way to begin. Those DIY shows on TV may make it look like a snap, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, swinging sledgehammers to knock down a wall can lead to a lot of complications.
Study Up Before You Start
No matter what project you’re planning, there are endless numbers of informational how-to manuals as well as resources available here and elsewhere online. If they’re available to you, it may be advisable to take a workshop at your local home improvement store or find a course at a nearby community college.
Don’t Start Something You Can’t Finish
While you’re considering your skills, think about your available time, too. If you’ve got a lot of work or family demands, don’t plan a project that you can’t complete in a reasonable amount of time. Living with a torn-up kitchen is going to wear on you and make you feel guilty and frustrated every time you can’t get back to finish things. Home and family life for the duration isn’t going to be very happy, either.
Get Professional Help When You Need It
Most projects involving electricity, gas, and major plumbing are not for novices. Neither is roofing or hanging garage doors. Hiring professionals to do that kind of work is demonstrably better for your house and safer for you. And while it might cost you more at the start, it’s going to save you money in the long run.
Consider Resale Value
Even if you’re not planning to sell your house in the foreseeable future, it’s worthwhile to keep resale value in mind when you plan your projects. Not to put a damper on your creativity, but some changes to your home will enhance its value, and some might do just the opposite. Real estate experts agree that these are the improvements that buyers appreciate:
- Kitchen Upgrades: New energy-saving appliances, solid surface countertops, efficient cabinets and workspaces, good lighting.
- Bathroom Upgrades: Water-saving toilets, updated shower, and sink fixtures, good mirrors, and lighting. If tubs or sinks look worn, professional re-glazing is an alternative to buying new ones.
- Double–Paned Windows: If you’re replacing windows or sliding doors, install double-paned glass that insulates from cold in the winter and heat in the summer to make rooms more comfortable as well as saving energy.
- Wood Floors: Carpeting is comfy for bedrooms, but wood flooring in other rooms is more durable, easier to clean, allergen-free, and buyers love it. If your budget doesn’t take hardwood, choose engineered wood or wood laminate.
- Classic Rather Than Trendy: If you’re investing in permanent improvements, don’t go for the trend of the moment. If you’ve seen it everywhere, it’s probably going to be outdated before long. The same goes for quirky personal touches; save them for decorative objects you can switch out easily when their time has passed, or your interest has waned.