A renovation or home improvement project can be a small one such as painting your bedroom walls or adding new bathroom fixtures. Sometimes, however, it may also include notable alterations such as replacing your old roof with a new one or changing the wooden flooring.
Irrespective of its size, a home improvement project requires careful planning and execution. Abandoning a project halfway through the process or changing your ideas frequently can lead to endless expenses. Stick to these 5 home improvement tips to add beautiful and functional upgrades to your humble dwelling.
Prioritize the Things You Want to Do
The most common mistake homeowners make when renovating their house is not prioritizing the things they want to do. Let’s face it, none of us have the budget to make virtually all the upgrades we have on our minds. In other words, you have to fit as many changes as you can in your limited budget. That’s the reason you must prioritize the potential home improvements.
The purpose of your renovation will define your priorities. You may have to think about the home improvements that are more likely to increase your house’s market value if you are planning on selling your house soon. According to the 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features survey, an overall landscape upgrade, adding a new patio or a new deck, and softscape upgrade, all rendered roughly 100% in cost recovery.
If you are planning on using the place for a few years, your personal preferences might take the priority. For example, if the number of burglaries in your neighborhood has gone up recently, you may want to install a burglar alarm system with security cameras and reinforce your doors, windows as well as the compound wall. Perhaps, you would like to renovate the kitchen, change the bathroom fixtures or add new carpets in the living room before the winter.
Talk to an Expert
Make sure to consult an expert irrespective of whether you want to leave the project in to a professional contractor or the renovations yourself. You can invite a contractor, realtor or even an interior designer to check out your house.
Make sure the concerned professional has the appropriate license and relevant experience. You will have to pay a standard consultation fee, usually charged on hourly basis. However, spending a few hundred bucks right now may save thousands in future. You can still check out several professionals in your area to get the best deal.
You should also know when to hire a contractor or go DIY. Usually, small upgrades such as painting, rearranging furniture, fixing windows, and changing leaky faucets can be managed by do-it-yourself enthusiasts like you. You should, however, leave big projects such as adding a new bathroom or replacing the wooden flooring to the pros.
Remember, taking up major renovations by yourself, especially if you lack appropriate experience, can lead to considerable financial losses. It is, therefore, necessary to recognize when it is the time to hire a professional.
Tackle One Task at a Time
When it comes to DIY home improvement, you should undertake one task at a time. If you have a significant DYI overhaul on your mind, divide it into several smaller tasks. For example, if you are planning on renovating your living room, try rearranging the furniture first. If you are still not happy with the new look, try painting the walls. Alternatively, you can also replace a few pieces of furniture such as carpet, sofa or the corner wall shelf to add a fresh look.
You may also need to sharpen your DIY skills as you may have to handle potentially risky equipment such as a nail gun, a power saw or an electric drill. Make sure to wear proper safety equipment as well. You can shop around a little to find best deals on renovation supplies. However, you should avoid buying cheap materials for hard-to-replace items such as the bathtub or bathroom flooring. You will also need to dispose of the home improvement waste properly.
Think Smart If You Have a Tight Budget
Just like most people, you will also have a small budget for home improvements. However, you can still manage to hook your residence with small renovation projects, adding an instant curb appeal and chic interiors if you think smart. For example, instead of upgrading your entire kitchen (which may cost you tens of thousands of dollars), you can think of adding a new kitchen countertop or replacing the old cabinet doors with new ones.
Modern and fashionable lighting fixtures can also add a refreshing look and warm feeling to a room. You can also replace old lighting with energy saving fixtures to reduce your energy costs in the long term. Small bathroom upgrades such as replacing dated wallpaper with a faux or textured finish can also add significant value to your home.
You can also make several landscape changes for just a few hundred dollars to improve your home’s curb appeal. You can decorate your entrance with potted plants. Planting shade trees (if you aren’t planning to sell your house soon) can save your cooling costs significantly besides adding a fresh look to the exterior.
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Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Home energy performance is fast becoming a mainstay in the real estate market as people become increasingly conscious about global warming. Adding various energy efficiency upgrades such as solar water heater, rooftop solar, LED lighting, programmable thermostats, and energy-saving appliances can increase your home’s market value. Alternatively, you can also make small upgrades such as fixing your air conditioning, central heating system, and electrical wiring. Both buyers and sellers can benefit from these improvements.
California has set a statewide goal for all new residential buildings to have Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020. The updated building energy efficiency standards issued by the state went into effect on January 1, 2017. The new regulations are expected to cut regulated energy use in new homes by 28% and save consumers around $31 a month.
Other state governments are also taking up energy efficiency measures to cut power consumption and reduce global warming. Considering many such developments across the country, you should also consider making your home more energy efficient.
The right home improvements not only make your house attractive but also increase its market value. Though undertaking a renovation project sounds exciting, without proper planning, it can turn into a financial nightmare. You will also have to consider emerging market trends such as home energy performance when upgrading your house. Hopefully, these 5 home renovation 101 tips will turn your next home improvement project into a triumph. Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section below. Happy renovation!