Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or just want to learn the basics of home improvement, read on for our top five picks of tips you need to know.
Plan Things Out Before You Begin
One of the biggest – and most annoying – issues that the DIY homeowner can run into is discovering that their brand-new range doesn’t fit in the space they purchased it for. Not only can errors like this be costly, but they can add to the time it takes to get a job done. Careful planning, thankfully, can help eliminate this issue. There are loads of apps out there which will help you get the job done right, with 3D imagery, accurate measurements and the ability to test out many different plans before you decide on what you want.
When creating a virtual mock-up of your room or project, be sure to get every measurement as accurate as possible, including room dimensions and the measurements of objects. Don’t forget to include things like doors which will open into a space and the room required to easily open a window. Creating an accurate plan will not only help you streamline the DIY process, but gives you much more creative control and flexibility.
Know Your Limits
Whether you’re a seasoned DIY’er or a total beginner, it pays off to know your own limits. Yes, those amazing makeovers look awesome on TV – but keep in mind that they’re pulled off by skilled professionals with a lot of time (in most cases). Never get discouraged, but realize that even the best DIY’ers in the world had to start someplace. A few great ways to improve your skills include starting with small, easy projects (these build skills and confidence), taking free workshopsat local home-improvement warehouses, and watching free, educational videos.
As you progress, keep in mind that there are some home improvement jobs you should never, ever DIY. Not only can they be very dangerous, but they could destroy your home if done improperly. Plumbing and electrical work are perhaps the biggest and most obvious, but there are others. Leave these to the professionals.
Get the Right Tools
Before you begin a project, plan it out and determine which tools you’ll need to get it done right. Many DIY websites offer tool checklists, and you can always ask your local hardware or home improvement store if you’re not sure. When buying tools it’s usually wise to get a slightly higher priced but also higher quality option – cheap tools are notorious for failing in the middle of a job and can actually be dangerous.
Keep Overall Value in Mind
Nearly all home improvement projects add value to your home, but some can actually come close to paying for themselves. This is particularly important if you know that you plan on moving someday. If you’re reasonably sure that you’re in your “forever home,” it still pays to keep an eye on added value – that value could translate into obtaining a larger bank loan in the future. Another aspect of added value is lowered bills. Energy efficient appliances, solar panels and other “green” additions usually come with lowered energy bills and tax breaks.
Work for Yourself – Not Your Neighbors
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that this is your home! Do what you want with it – without concerning yourself with what the neighbors are doing or what they might think. Far too many people get into a sort of competition with other DIY-savvy neighbors, trying to outdo each other. Not only is this unproductive, but it can lead to spending money on projects you don’t even really want. Stick to what will benefit you and your household the most, in both exterior and interior projects.