With an ever-expanding network of home improvement television shows and DIY magazines, the do-it-yourself home improvement sector has taken off. Homeowners everywhere are rushing to their local hardware stores, ready to rip out their bathroom tile or tear down old kitchen cupboards.
As excited as you may be to get started on your first DIY home improvement project, there are a few considerations you should first take into account. You need to plan, understand your project, budget, and be aware of your space. To learn more about these basic, but crucial, DIY home improvement tips, keep reading.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Before you even begin a DIY home improvement project, you should have a full plan in place. And prior to making that drive to the home hardware store, put together a folder with all your measurements and a complete list of everything you intend to buy, right down to the last nail.
People get excited about projects and don’t want to get right to it instead of “wasting” time planning. However, By planning out the phases and details your project, you’re less likely to overspend on unnecessary materials or find that you need to backtrack over already-completed work.
Planning prevents mishaps such as needing to stop work and call a plumber because you forgot to verify whether there were pipes running where you wanted to put in that door. Planning also decreases overspending, such as buying three cans of paint when you only needed two.
Meanwhile, researching your project will help to avert the more costly mistakes. By reading books, watching relevant DVD’s or researching online information about the project you want to tackle, you’re less likely to botch a job and more likely to complete it with a professional finish.
Along with planning, comes budgeting. As you plan the details of your project, keep a running tally of the expense for each material. If you don’t know how much something costs, check the Internet or call your local retailer to obtain a price ahead of time.
Once you have your budget, add 10-20% extra. Almost every home renovation project, DIY or not, runs up against unexpected expenses – it’s just a reality of life’s uncertainties. Whether it is materials that cost more than you expect or a surprise problem that needs to get fixed, you’ll need to have the money ready to take care of it. Every good DIY’er knows to have a little extra on hand.
3. Understand Your Project
Before you attempt to tackle a major home improvement project, make sure you know what you’re doing. Use resources like books, your local hardware clerk, the Internet and how-to videos to get a good grasp on the project you will be undertaking.
If you feel like the project is out of your league, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.
4. Know Your Space
This tip is related to planning, but make sure you have enough space to take on your project. Don’t try to fit a new island in your kitchen if there isn’t sufficient room for it. Try to live by the old carpenter’s adage of “measure twice, cut once.”