If you own your own home, you know that there is always a to-do list of home improvements, whether it is of small projects like cleaning the windows or painting baseboards, or of large projects like building a deck or remodeling your master bath. In any case, many homeowners are now rolling up their sleeves and doing projects at home by themselves. It saves a load of cash, allows the work to get finished on your terms, and gives you a sense of pride when its all said and done.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Read up on the particular project you would like to accomplish. If you’ve never refinished hardwood floors, you’ll want to research the ins and outs of that topic!
- Purchase (or borrow!) the right tools for the job. Using the right tools will make your job a whole lot easier, and if you borrow from a friend or neighbor, that person will likely give you some advice on how best to go about your project… and might even lend a hand!
- Go to a free workshop at Home Depot, Lowes, or the like. The folks that teach these mini-classes have the experience and expertise to get you started. And they are always available to answer questions along the way.
- Pick the brains of your friends and neighbors. Have they worked on a project like this? You’d be surprised how many people you know that have worked on their own home improvement projects.
- Take your time and do it right. Remember, a lot about owning a home and improving it is to make it desirable to those who will be looking to buy when you are looking to sell. Adding a bathroom might be a great idea, but if it is in a weird location in the home, it might deter future buyers. Just think, “Would I want to buy this home if I were buying again?”
- Get ideas from showrooms, friends’ homes, magazines or online photo galleries. It will get your creative juices flowing and you’ll likely be able to find some sort of inspiration for your project.
- Come up with a plan and a budget. It is really easy to have your project get away from you. Make sure you stay on task (no one likes an unfinished project!) and stick to your budget. While you are planning, you will want to see how much tools and supplies are going to cost you so you can come up with a reasonable budget — and to determine whether or not you can actually afford to finish the project!
- Finally, take before and after photos of your project. You can use these for motivation to move on to the next project, to show your friends what you’ve done (it doesn’t hurt to gloat sometimes, right?), and to show future buyers when you sell your home. It will show that you have added value to the property.
Have you worked on a DIY project? How did it turn out? What was it? Do you have any more tips for getting started… and finishing? Let us know!