Whether you just bought a new home, a condo in a maintained community, or fixer-upper there are always improvements you do to make your home better. I am sure that all of you who own a home get it; the home improvement itch that needs scratching every time you see your empty backyard, your unfinished basement, or unkempt garden.
Home improvement doesn’t have to just be a personal pet project either. HGTV reports that most home improvement projects yield 90-100% return upon selling the home, sometimes even netting a profit! So why not give that itch a scratch and get working. Here are some tips to get you started.
Choosing the most valuable improvements
As I previously stated, most home improvement projects do yield a sizeable return in the end. However, some do have better returns than others. Despite what I said about returns on investment, try not to think of your home as an investment. That can lead to spending excessive amounts of money and time on improvements. Pick the ones that you and your family would value the most first, then from that list consider which has the greatest investment. If nobody is going to use that attic bedroom, don’t bother making one.
Also remember that additions that everyone can appreciate like wooden decks and fences are more likely to add value than replacing floors boards or bathroom remodeling.
Pick the projects you can realistically complete
Don’t fall into the trap of starting huge multi-facet projects only to stop mid-way through. This can be costly and disappointing so stick to quicker projects when you can. Remember to not only consider resell value but also repair value when choosing what to work on. Sure, resealing your wooden fence is not as exciting as building a new deck but the cost to repair or replace a fence if it rots and falls down is not something you want to deal with mid project.
Home improvement does not always have to mean replacing or building, it can just be maintaining. Even if you just weed your garden every so often so it stays beautiful is home improvement.
As previously mentioned, don’t fall into the trap of biting off more than you can chew. Even if you are the do-it-all Dad with his own workshop, not all home projects are suitable for you alone to tackle. If you do want to add a deck or build a fence, you may want to get some help. This can mean hiring professionals, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are technically minded enough, you can simply get family or friends to come help you out. Know your limits. Its better to get the job done right with help, than do it wrong alone and have to start over again.
Get the right tools
Before you start any project make sure you know exactly what tools you will need. Don’t try and make do with what you have if it is not the right tool for the job, the last thing you want is to break something vital to the project or hurt yourself. Factor in tools when considering the cost of your project.
When you are making your part list try to consider every poissiblity so you don’t need to spend valuable daylight making return trips to the hard ware store. Also do not neglect the most valuable tool; knowledge. As cliché as it might seem, knowing the right way to go about your project before you start can help you make better use of your prep time. Maybe the project is a lot simpler than you thought, or maybe its more complicated and you’ll need more time. Its is good to have access to these resources during your project as well, so purchasing a home DYI book or printing out some helpful websites can be helpful.
Look for ways to save money
Even though many home improvement projects yield a good return, you won’t see this return for years to come when you have sold your home. There are ways that you can save money in the short time however. Check your local, federal, and state tax laws to see if you can get deductions for home repair or improvements to get some money back for your effort. Additionally, if you are paying down a mortgage, home improvements that increase the value of your home can eliminate part of that cost. While these methods do not raise money for your project they can soften the blow of bigger projects.
Other ways you can save money include knowing what you need to spend a premium on, and what you can skimp on. You don’t want to be cheap when construction a deck for example, as cheap wood or poor construction can be expensieve to fix and a dangerous to your family. However, you can buy cheaper funerature for your deck or shop for used items. Or spend more on things you know will last, such as a stove or washing machine but save on things like light fixtures that are likely to break eventually anyway.
Hopefully this has got you in the mood for some home improvement projects. Now that you are prepared to do the best job you can, why not check out some of our articles on how to make your home a better place to live!