Is your home in need of a bit of attention? Paintwork looking marked and faded, décor a little tired? Maybe you’re just bored living in the same environment after a few years and feel like a change. Or perhaps you’re considering putting the house up for sale and want to present it at its best. There are many reasons why you might be thinking about home improvement projects, but you need to think carefully about what is important and what you wish to achieve. Home improvements can be a costly business, so prioritizing the work you have in mind and looking for low-cost alternatives is a good place to start.
Selecting your project if you’re thinking of selling
The kind of project you want to take on will depend on what you are looking to achieve. If you’re thinking of boosting the sales potential and asking price of your house, then decorating right through in neutral colors is the best way to begin. Tidying, cleaning, and generally smartening up every room is the best way to maximize your return when you sell. If you’re thinking of major projects like a new kitchen or bathroom, don’t assume that the cost of the work will be reflected in the asking price. Such projects may add value, they may make no difference, or they may cost you a considerable amount without giving any return. You need to ask for some advice from realtors who know the local market as to what projects are worth undertaking.
Selecting your project if you’re not selling
Adding value to your home may not be such a priority as when you are selling, but it’s still something to consider. If your plans are going to cost considerably more than any value they might add, you need to be sure that the benefits to you in other forms will be at a sufficient level to offset any financial losses. If you will improve your lifestyle and the quality of your home life significantly, then the investment is worthwhile. Home improvement projects can take many forms, from simply redecorating and/or furnishing, to changing what a room is used for, or even enlarging and adding rooms. Open plan living areas have many advantages, and if this concept appeals to you, your project will involve an element of demolition and a rethink of the layout to make the new open space work well and look good.
How good are your DIY skills?
When it comes to costing your project, you might be considering doing some or all of the work yourself. This can be a cheaper option than getting tradespeople in, but the savings you make will only be worthwhile if you have the skills required. If you make a mistake when working on your project, you could end up having to get a professional in any way, or at the very least end up with a job that isn’t as well-done as it could have been. There are some tasks that most people can master with a little tuition and practice, such as painting and decorating. You don’t need to be a master craftsman to sand down floorboards or put up shelves for instance. Other tasks are much harder to do well, like plastering walls, and some are potentially dangerous – it’s not a good idea to interfere with your electrical systems if you’re not an electrician for example.
DIY versus professional
Your best bet is to make an honest appraisal of your skills, and see what you could realistically do within your skill set and the time you have available. Missing out on extra work or overtime because you’re struggling with tiling the bathroom isn’t a very cost-effective approach to home improvement. You could well be better off earning the extra money and paying for a skilled tiler to come in and do the bathroom for you. Once you’ve determined what you are capable of and want to do yourself, you need to draw up an outline plan listing what needs to be done, when and by whom. You can then look at getting quotes for the professional work you need doing, and will be able to give the businesses a better idea of the timeframe and when you will need them. If the cost of employing tradespeople will take you over your available budget, then a home loan could be the answer. You can find out more about loan options for home improvements by searching online for the deals that will work best for your situation.
Making a plan for your project
It’s always best to make a plan before starting work so that you won’t get any surprises along the way. First of all, you need to be decided on what you want the room to look like; the color scheme, the purpose of the room and how that is changing, the layout of the furniture, and whether you want any new items to be added in. There are also practical actions to take into account, for example where you will put the contents of the room you’re making over, and when your tradespeople are able to fit you in. You’ll need to purchase all your materials in preparation, and you may need to book time off work – or at least check your diary to see what availability you have, so you can accurately predict how long the project will take.
Completing the project
The plan you’ve made should include a realistic time schedule, which you should try and stick to and revise if necessary as you progress. Sometimes projects can be started with great enthusiasm, only for work to tail off for various reasons. The room then doesn’t get finished, and you will be trying to work around the disarray engendered by the start of the project. Get all the family members involved and lending a hand, in any way that suits them. The more help you get at the right time, the quicker the project will be completed.
Home makeovers can be a lot of fun if you stick to these golden rules and get everything ready before you start your project.