Getting Your DIY Home Improvement Project Started

Countless television programs and design magazines on do it yourself home repair may have inspired you to head to the local hardware store with dreams of remodelling the bathroom, upgrading the kitchen or creating a backyard paradise. DIY can save you thousands of dollars, increase your property value and improve your lifestyle, but before you get out your tools and start hammering, understand that something as simple as changing out the light fixtures could be a potential nightmare. In order to reap all the benefits you must thoroughly plan your project, whether big or small, and it all begins the moment you decide to turn your dreams into reality.

Start by sketching out your ideas and if drawing isn’t your thing then a home design software program can help do the trick. You’ll need to fully visualize your project right through to the end, keeping in mind how the changes are going to affect your home and your family. For instance, how will the space be used? Will traffic patterns be altered? Will the plans you draw today fit your family’s needs in the future? Most importantly, will the money you spend return in value? You don’t want to waste money or time working on vinyl siding when it may actually decrease the price of your property.

Next is finding skilled tradesmen your confident with. As much as you want to do it all on your own, realistically you’ll need to hire helpers for the bigger jobs, but finding reliable people isn’t always easy. You must go beyond a simple reference check and properly research qualified, licensed and insured professionals. Begin by speaking with your neighbours, looking on message boards and contacting the Better Business Bureau. Once you have your team in place, you’ll want to draw up contracts to ensure everyone is on the same page. Make sure you outline the work to be completed, how long it will take and the types of materials that will or won’t be used. Remember, you’re the one held responsible for complying with all building codes and safety regulations so be sure to have all permits and paperwork in order before the project takes off.

Last but not least, money and often times plenty of it. The expenses add up quickly from paying for supplies, permits, helpers and any issues that arise. Something as simple as rain can blow out a concrete budget so be sure to have a cushion against overruns. Speak to your bank about home improvement loans or look into government tax credits. Cutting corners to save cash will only cost you more in the long run so always do everything right the first time!