You know how the saying goes: the home is where the heart is, but that heart can’t really call a ‘shack’ home. For most, home improvement’s that time of the year when all the family gathers around for some good, old-fashion brainstorming.
Yes, I know that most of the time, this turns into some sort of feud, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
With a bit of planning, the right tools, some research, and, of course, my awesome tips, home improvement will be a breeze. So, without further ado, here are my ten life-saving improvement tips for your house.
DIY doesn’t always cut it
To DIY or not to DIY? That is the question. Admittedly, it’s very entertaining to try and build stuff around the house or to fix broken appliances on your own. However, DIYing doesn’t always work the way it should.
My advice to you is this – if you want to make minor improvements, let’s say a new coffee table or a mirror frame, then, by all means, go ahead and knock yourself out.
There are plenty of downloadable schematics on the internet, so it shouldn’t pose much of a problem.
On the other hand, if you plan on making radical changes around the house, say a new garage door or breaking down a wall to extend the living room, it would be for the best to buy or call for reinforcements.
Hit the books before doing something you might regret later on
Just like any other skill, home improvement can be learned. Don’t worry about not paying too much attention to your mom, dad, uncle, or aunt when they tried to teach you how to do stuff around the house. It’s never too late they learn.
In fact, I very much encourage you to do so before you break out the toolbox and fixing or building stuff. Here are some of my favorite books on home improvement:
- Black & Decker’s The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair and Improvement
- The Home Depot’s Home Improvement 1-2-3.
- Gene and Katie Hamilton’s Home Improvement for Dummies.
- Mark Frauenfelder’s Made by Hand: Searching for a Meaning in a Throwaway World.
- The Family Handyman’s 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know.
Every self-respecting handyman needs the proper tools if he or she is going to turn that house around.
As for basic kits, every home needs a hammer, a set of screwdrivers (flat-head, single slot, and Philips), an adjustable wrench, a utility knife, a putty knife, a handsaw, pliers, tape measure, a flashlight, nails & screws, duct tape (as much as you can find), a toolbox, cordless drill, level, stud finder, circular saw, and safety gear (gloves, goggles, and dust mask).
Hammering your piggybank to Kingdom come for home improvement money
If you really are committed to making your home more, well, homey, you have to realize that everything costs a pretty penny. Yes, I know that these things were supposed to be pre-planned, but shift happens all the time.
Want to beef up your home improvement fund? That’s easy – prepare your coffee at home instead of buying one on your way to work, cut back on the booze, invite your friends over instead of going out, and give up smoking. You can also put some money in a special savings account. The possibilities are endless.
Out of Home Improvements ideas? Hit the Internet
There’s no shame in admitting that the idea well has run dry. Not to worry; there’s always a website or two out there with plenty of home improvement ideas, tips, tricks, and step-by-step guides.
Every time I’m out of ideas, I always like to visit Pinterest and The DIY Network. Remodelista also has great tips if you’re into more modern stuff. This Old House is outstanding if you’re looking for that rustic touch. Go and check them out. You never know what you may find out there.
Choose home improvements that add value to your home
Stylish knobs and brass-plated switches are nice, but they really don’t add that much value to your home. When drafting your improvement plan, always aim for those additions or refurbishments that boost the house’s value.
For instance, a brand-new attic bedroom costs around $50,000. If you plan on selling your home, you can get up to $42,000 on the resale value.
Other jobs that add value to your house: deck addition, entry door replacement, a bathroom addition, basement remodeling, and installing a backup power generator.
Early permit seeker
Bear in mind that you will need the proper clearance before you can start a job. Moreover, these permits take time, and, in most cases, it involves running around the city and standing in line for hours at an end. If you want to save yourself the trouble, see out a professional general contractor – they know on which doors to knock and who to talk to. Yes, I know that they don’t come in cheap, but it beats standing in line.
Be realistic about job estimates
Remodeling jobs are time-consuming. If you think that your dream bedroom or basement addition are going to ready and functional in a couple of days, then you’re dead wrong.
For instance, bathroom remodeling can take anywhere from 5 to 12 weeks, depending on the job specifications, contractor, transport, materials, and workers. Set realistic estimates and be ready to put in for overtime.
Don’t overspend on your home improvements projects
Improvements are costly, without a doubt, but you really don’t need to spend every last penny on home additions. DIY whenever you can, get in touch with multiple contractors and ask for quotes, and aim for mid-range if the job is not that important.
For instance, you would want to purchase premium materials for flooring or insulation but can save plenty on decorations.
Purchase a dehumidifier
If you don’t want to spend tons of cash changing wallpapers or redoing upholstery, consider investing in a good dehumidifier. Keeps mold at bay, not to mention the fact that it makes the air more, well, breathable.
That’s it for my list of best home improvements tips. How did your project go? Hit the comments section and let me know.