Top Five Home Improvement Considerations


Before you start your next home improvement project, there are five major considerations you must take into account. These include budget, skills, labor, foundations, and design. So, prior to your first trip to the hardware store and long before you even pick up a hammer, go over in detail each of these five considerations one-by-one. Keep reading to learn how to evaluate the five critical home improvement project factors.

Budget

Before you begin planning, set out a budget for yourself. Once you have a set amount in your mind, then start generating ideas and getting price quotes. When you're drawing up your final budget and cost estimates, always add at least 10-20%. This "slush" will cover most of your unexpected expenses including extra labor, weather delays and additional materials. Almost every project goes over budget, so it's best to accept and plan for it from the start.

Skills

If you're planning a do-it-yourself home improvement venture, take an honest inventory of your skills ahead of time. Make sure you understand what you're doing and know the work involved. Little is worse on a home project than wasted materials and a job that has to be redone by a professional because a do-it-yourselfer got in over his head.

Labor

If you think the project is more involved than your level of competence, give serious consideration to hiring labor. Before bringing on a contractor or even a day laborer who is simply there to help you paint or pour concrete, check the person's references. Also, conduct a brief interview to make sure you're working with someone you can trust. When hiring labor, try to be on-site as much as possible. It keeps the work moving forward and makes you accessible to answer questions or solve problems. Your presence also provides additional motivation and accountability for the worker you hire.

Foundation

There is the actual foundation of your house, which for most homes is the underground, concrete foundation that holds your home in place. However, there are also foundational, or core, functions that go into a house - structural, plumbing, electrical and ventilation. When starting a major home renovation, that is a good time to look into revamping or updating those four areas. For example, while you're ripping down walls anyway, consider this an opportunity to install better insulation and tight-seal windows.

Design

Before you begin a home improvement project, especially one that's going to be done in stages, verify that all your pieces fit together. If you're updating the kitchen in a modern and contemporary style, for example, check whether it will fit with your country barn plans for the living room. If you're stuck for ideas, one option is to hire an interior designer for a consulting session and ask that individual to come in for an hour or two to provide ideas about the best way to use your space. Interior designers are not normally cheap, but in the end their expertise is well worth the cost.

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