Ideas and tips for helping people to successfully remodel their house to improve their home’s comfort and utility or seek a good return on their investment.
Home improvement is the process of adding to or renovating interior or exterior rooms of a home. Typically these renovations and remodeling projects are completed by professional contractors or a handyman; however, many people prefer to make these improvements themselves. These people are called do-it-yourselfers because they have enough basic skills or ability to learn the necessary skills to complete improvements themselves.
Often homeowners confuse home improvement with home repair. A home repair is a process of fixing or correcting problems within a home. Home improvement is the process of upgrading and improving things in a home. Examples include:
- Turning a basement into a family room
- Adding a sunroom
- Upgrading kitchen appliances
- Wallpapering rooms
- Installing new carpets
Budgeting: A Crucial Step to Save Money
Home improvement can be quite expensive; however, budgeting avoids wasting money on unnecessary or costly items. This is a critical step to avoid running out of money before a home remodeling project is completed. Budgeting helps keep track of where the money is spent, along with making sure the cost of all necessary items for renovation is identified. One example is purchasing or renting the required tools for installing tile or carpet.
This does not mean that purchasing the most inexpensive items is the best method for staying within budget. Budgeting is best used to ensure funds are not wasted and are available for purchasing the best items where possible. One tip is that price is not everything, quality is critical to long term happiness with a home improvement project.
Obtaining estimates from contractors for a home renovation project is a good way of preparing a budget. It is important to obtain at least three estimates from potential contractors to ensure the best deal possible. Even for someone who plans to do-it-yourself, contractor estimates provide a good idea of expected costs. Another tip is to allow an extra 15 to 20 percent of the renovation cost for unexpected expenses.
Research: Finding Ideas and Materials For A Home Remodeling
Often home improvement projects result in unhappy homeowners and confused contractors. This is best avoided by ensuring the homeowner and contractor are on the same page regarding what is expected. Tips for reducing confusion include:
- Home Remodeling Magazines – use these magazines to find ideas for designs and colors.
- Catalogs – use supplier catalogs to find the exact materials wanted for the project.
- Books – remodeling books provide ideas, designs, and colors.
- Internet – use the Internet to find a wealth of renovation ideas and materials to complete a project.
Use pictures found in these resources to give to contractors so they can view exact designs, colors, and materials desired for completion of the project.
For the person who plans to do-it-yourself, these resources are great for helping determine what is needed and finalizing project ideas.
Remodeling Tips: Additional Ideas And Recommendations For Success
The following tips help take the worry out of starting and completing a successful home improvement project.
- Computer Programs – there many reasonably priced computer programs available in stores that carry software. These programs provide three dimensional and two-dimensional views of a renovation project. Good programs include design specifics, colors, and cost estimators.
- Contractors – always verify that a potential contractor is licensed and bonded. Ask for references and to see previously completed remodeling projects. Also, do not forget to check the Better Business Bureau for complaints and lawsuits regarding a contractor.
- Do-It-Yourself Videos – home improvement DVD and online videos provide lengthy and intricate details on the way that home improvement projects should be carried out and offer the best advice regarding project completion.
- Tools – investment in tools is expensive. Limit tool purchases to those repeatedly needed for a remodeling project and used in future projects. Rent tools that are only used for specific tasks, such as cutting tiles or laying carpet.
- Best Return on Investment – although many projects add value, not all home improvement projects increase the value of a home.
Home improvement projects are sometimes challenging depending on the level of renovation being attempted. Budgeting, selecting the right contractor, purchasing the right materials, do-it-yourself remodeling, and communication are all critical to a successful remodeling. Planning and research are critical to success and long-term happiness.