It doesn't matter if you've bought a newly-built home, a tiny apartment or a fixer-upper > -- owning your own place brings out the home improvement itch in us all. Here are 10 pieces of advice to help turn your dwelling into a better home.
10. Choose Improvements That Add Value
If you were offered $100,000, no strings attached, what home improvements would you do? Chances are, a long laundry list of changes come to mind, from refinishing the hardwood floors to adding a new bathroom. Some home improvements, however, are more likely to increase your home's value than others. With limited home improvement funds, it's good to consider whether a renovation has a decent return on investment.
9. Tackle The Quick Projects That Are Most Timely
Some home improvements are more urgent than others -- saving you money immediately or preventing devastating damage. Sometimes it only takes ten minutes or less to make simple changes around the house that boost your living space.
8. Decide To DIY Or Not
Even if you're a weekend warrior with a well-stocked workshop, not all home improvement projects are suitable to do yourself (or at least, without the help of a professional). Know your limits, start small if you're a beginner, and then keep calm and DIY on (if you so wish).
7. Hone Your Home Improvement Skills
Big projects or small, probably all of us could stand to learn some decent home repair or home improvement skills. (All around the home, there are things we should never have to pay others to fix for us.) Learn new skills and help others at the same time by volunteering or through free clinics and other resources.
6. Find Inspiration For Your Next Project
5. Get The Right Tools
You can't really improve your home much with just your bare hands (you'll need a multi-tool at least!). Equip your toolbox with the essential tools for any minor repair or major project, such as basic plumbing tools. Don't forget your smartphone might be the best DIY tool in your kit.
4. Find Money For Your Home Improvement
Unfortunately, most home improvements do not pay for themselves. Doing it yourself will cut down costs, and you may be able to redraw from your mortgage if the improvement significantly increases value (such as additional rooms or a more modern kitchen).
3. Choose The Right Tradespeople
About as important as finding a good dentist and finding a good therapist: Finding a responsible tradesperson. Horror stories of homeowners being scammed by contractors or having work done so shoddily that it cost thousands of dollars to redo (not to mention the money already spent) give me the shivers. Vet your choices carefully: get recommendations from friends and neighbours, and ask for examples of their work.
2. Save Money on Your Home Improvement Projects
The more money we save on one home improvement project, the more we have left for all the other ones we want to do. In addition to knowing the remodeling projects that offer the most bang for your buck, know which elements of a project you can splurge or skimp on. You could spend more on items that are hard to replace, such as the bathtub, but can spend less on the taps, for example.
1. Have A Plan
One of the worst things you can do when it comes to home improvements is to start a project without the major details -- cost, time, materials, and design -- as realistic as possible from the start. Nothing costs more than having to change your designs mid-stream. Use design tools to conceptualise your project and add a healthy buffer (10-15% more) to your time and financial budget to account for the inevitable surprises.