Fixing up your home is a matter of mixing creativity with good old-fashioned sensibility. Many of us dream of making our homes more comfortable and practical without having to call for an interior decorator, so this article will give you great DIY pointers.
Luckily, the access you’ll find on many home improvement websites gives lots of ideas but not a lot of information on how to pull off these tasks. Before you start doing any kind of home improvement, you do need to know some very important tips that could save you a lot of time and money.
Jumping into home-based projects is fine but having a good plan of what to target first is your best bet. You want to plan around projects that will give you less hassle while fixing up your home.
For example, you don’t want to begin a project that will overstep larger DIY projects such as replacing a hardwood floor or changing the banisters and wooden staircases. Even minor construction projects need to take place before you start repainting your walls.
Put all of the major projects at the top of your list, and work your way down, so these final touches are handled in an A-Z order.
The more complex a home improvement design will be, the higher it should be on your to-do list. This way you can plan around the tasks that are less labor-intensive but add the ultimate icing on the top of your DIY home improvement.
Set a budget and a backup plan
Planning for home improvement is not going to require taking out a loan but should be treated like a vacation fund. Start by setting money aside that is meant for your DIY design budget. Plan on unexpected setbacks such as unforeseen prices and always include a slush fund.
You would do this anyway with any vacation, so why would any home remodeling job not have room for unexpected additions.
It might take a few months or even up to a full year, but the results will be worth it. The good news is that these additions will help beautify your home and can be added to the value of your home.
You’ll need an appraisal to make this stick, so this is well worth your effort if you plan to sell your home later. Don’t forget that all upgrades for your home can be listed on your homeowner’s insurance.
And speaking of your homeowner’s insurance, you can contact them if you’re in a tight spot to inquire about HELOC (Home equity line of credit) that is used for these types of home improvement projects.
Only use this as a last resort, but it’s always best to let them know you’re doing renovations while remaining in your home. Using your own money might not affect your insurance much but it can still be claimed on your tax refund!
This can take place for the following year or when you decide to sell your home. You’ll need to consult a tax professional and your homeowner’s insurance for the best results.
Look for sale prices
As you plan for your projects to take place one after another, you can start looking for sale prices on select materials. These can include flooring and construction material, paint, and specialty items.
Look for off-season items that will be sold as clearance in the winter as opposed to the spring or summer prices. This way you’ll save much more and be able to stretch your design budget even further.
Since every DIY project is different, you may also want to look for new tools that make a specific job easier. Cordless and plug-in tools or equipment are the perfect ideas as these are often on sale around the holidays and will be essential for speeding up drilling, cutting, and even painting.
Don’t try to search for online items that are no-name knock-offs, they might be attractive pricing now, but if they break while using them, you’ll end up paying double.
Focus on DIY projects only
We can’t express enough the importance of doing home improvements and observing the standard practice of safety. All joking aside, doing any kind of electrical work will require help from an electrician if you don’t know how to rewire a lamp or chance light switches and electrical plugs. But one thing that most people forget is that working with power tools needs your attention too.
Wearing safety glasses and dust masks will add an extra layer of protection for you. So also wear work gloves, if you’re working around materials that can give you slivers, or possibly cuts on your hands.
Don’t take on a project that you aren’t prepared to do yourself or construction projects that could potentially compromise the construction of your home. Knocking down a wall is fine, but get some professional advice before jumping right into it.
Do it yourself design projects include any project that you don’t need a building permit for. Unless you are adding to your home or making some serious construction changes, you want to consult or have help from a qualified contractor. They can assist in structural changes that include framing or electrical needs.
The rest can be negotiated so you finish the work yourself. This way you can save some money on the remaining work to be finished.
Convert unused spaces
You might have spots in your home that aren’t being used to their fullest. Depending on the design of your home, you might have room within your walls to add recessed shelving and smart home devices.
There are also options for adding living space in your attic or basement which can easily be converted into great living and entertainment spaces. Even closets can be reconfigured or extended if you have room to spare.
Once you’ve determined what room you can spare, the real design ideas can begin. You will need to pick a good theme for your room. This is where the real magic will happen since you can custom decorate each room that you’re upgrading to suit the theme you want to create!
Declutter as much as possible
One tip they never mention to you is making the most of the space that is being taken up with storage areas of your home.
Consider hallway closets or built-in storage areas that really don’t serve many purposes aside from storing junk. This is a great opportunity to stretch your budget even further if you can sell off these stored items. With so many opportunistic people online today, you can sell nearly anything in forums or on Craigslist.
Most people will find it easier to advertise on their Twitter or Facebook page for the best price. Worse come to worse, you can easily open an account on eBay to get the best results.
You just need to be careful how you word your items on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t break any TOS rules. Keep it friendly and open-ended if you intend to offer something for sale by using keywords that don’t trigger automatic flagging.
Some of the better ways to advertise use words like- ‘best offer through DM’, or ‘Let’s talk privately for reasonable negotiation’, and so on.