Home improvements and renovating are a big thing these days, a trend that’s not likely to diminish in years to come. We all want our homes to look their best and whether we plan to make the improvements ourselves, or call in professionals, it’s always handy to learn a few new tips and advice to stay on top of the game and get the best results for your home.
This list is in no particular order of importance. Let’s see what we’ve got.
#1 – Always Have a Budget Worked Out
It doesn’t matter whether you plan to buy a new rug for the living room or are planning an entire kitchen renovation, it’s always wise to have at least a fair idea of how much you can spend on an item or a project.
There’s no greater stress creator than money when it comes to home improvements of any kind, so giving yourself a budget to work within will vastly reduce the stress levels.
#2 – Make a List of Things To Do
Just like having a budget is always a wise idea no matter what your plans are, so is having a to do list. Nothing will keep you as organised as you navigate your way through your home improvement projects than keeping a list to refer to, add to and mark things off.
A list will make you think about what needs to happen and when. It also helps you to remember things, as forgetting stuff along the way is another major stress creator.
Take note of anybody who always seems to be organised and you’ll invariably find they always keep lists and write memos to themselves.
#3 – Have Somewhere To Put the Junk
If you’re doing some renovating or building, you’ll want some handy containers close by to put all the junk and trash into. It’s far easier to clean up as you go than be faced with one enormous clean up session at the end of the day or end of the project.
Have buckets and garbage bins located at various points around the room or rooms you’re working on and make a habit of tossing things into them as you go.
It also makes it easier (and safer) to navigate around the work space. Less chance of injuries and less to do all in one go.
If you have the budget for it, and the renovation project is fairly large, then you might want to rent a skip bin to toss all the trash into.
#4 – Focus On Home Improvements That Add Value To Your Home
It’s not a hard and fast rule, but if you’re going to spend time and money on a home improvement project, then it might as well be something that literally increases the value of your house once it’s complete.
Updating kitchens and bathrooms will definitely add value if done right, but repainting the walls in the bedroom a different colour won’t necessarily make a difference to the sale price.
#5 – Should You Call In Professionals?
This really depends on your experience, skill level and whether the kind of task you plan to undertake can be performed by an DIY unqualified person.
If it involves plumbing or electrical, you might be able to tackle certain non-technical portions of the job to save money, but even these should be under the supervision of a trained and qualified professional.
Other projects that don’t necessarily require a licensed contractor you could handle yourself, but only if you’re confident you can do a professional looking job of it, and that the build quality will be sound.
#6 – Seek Out Inspiration and Ideas
For any kind of successful home improvements – whether it be buying furniture, decorating or renovating – it’s always helpful to look for ideas rather than having to try and dream everything up with your own imagination.
If you venture online then you have an endless supply of websites, text and photos that can inspire all sorts of ideas. The possibilities are endless, and there’s really nothing you can’t find on the internet.
Magazines focused on beautiful homes, decorating and home improvements have always been a favourite if you don’t fancy sitting in front of a computer or your smartphone.
Next you could take inspiration from the homes of people you know, or go and scope out some prize homes in the local area.
Even if you have a vivid imagination, it’s always inspiring to see something that’s already been created and looks great. All you have to do is put your own personal spin on it.
#7 – Ways To Improve Your Skills and Learn
If you’re looking to improve your skills as well as gain new ideas for home decorating and improvements, then YouTube is often your best friend.
There’s not much you can’t find on YouTube these days. There seems to be a video for just about everything, and explainer videos are always super popular.
You’ll discover everything you need to know, no matter what task you’re trying to achieve when it comes to making improvements around the house.
Need to learn how to lay tiles? There’s a video for that. Want to know how to build an outdoor table? There’s a video for that too. There are videos that’ll show you, step by step, how to do just about anything.
Even if you don’t want to watch videos, the internet is a wealth of written tutorials with pictures demonstrating how to accomplish all manner of tasks.
#8 – Always Get a Few Quotes When Hiring Contractors
If you plan to hire contractors for any part of your renovation, then always get at least two quotes for the same job from different companies to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Any contractor worth hiring won’t mind coming by and offering a quote on the job.
Once you have a few quotes, you could either choose to go with the lowest quote, or use the lower quote to get a more fancied contractor to negotiate on their quoted price.
#9 – Do Your Research On Contractors
It’s not advisable to choose a contractor based on price alone. While the job needs to fit within your project budget, you also want the job done right, and you want to work with a company that’s good to deal with.
A good way to guarantee a contractor is worth hiring is word of mouth referrals.
Do you know someone who recently had a similar task done at their home? If you do, and the results were great, find out who they hired.
Failing any personal recommendations, the internet is once again your best friend. Do some background research on any contractors you’re interested in hiring and see if you can dig up any independent positive reviews and testimonials on them.
Ignore any testimonials that appear on the contractor’s own website, as there’s no guarantee these are from real customers. Instead, focus only on independent reviews from third party websites.
#10 – Be Prepared To Be Flexible
Sometimes plans have to change, as you can’t always gaze into a crystal ball and see exactly how the future is going to unfold. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a degree of flexibility in whatever home improvement project you decide to undertake.
At times you might have to adjust and tweak your ideas a little along the way to achieve the desired results. After all, there’s no point trying to bash that proverbial square peg into a round hole if it just doesn’t want to fit.
It’s good to have a plan and it’s wise to have designs, but you also need to be able to make some decisions on the fly and be willing to make any necessary changes as they come up. You’ll end up with far better results if you adopt an attitude of flexibility, and it’ll reduce project stress too.
That doesn’t mean you just change your mind halfway through on a whim; only if something is absolutely necessary to get the task completed satisfactorily.
#11 – Always Adopt a “Safety First” Approach
No home improvement project is worth anybody getting injured or killed over, whether it be members of your family or the contractors you hire. With everything you do around the home, peoples’ safety must be the number one priority at all times.
If you’re using a certain power tool for the very first time, learn everything you can about that tool first before putting it into operation.
Ensure power cords are placed in ways so people won’t be tripping over them, and make sure no plugs are anywhere near water or other moisture.
Keep tossing that junk into bins as you go so no one trips on stuff.
It’s all a matter of keeping the little things in mind at all times and remaining diligent.
#12 – Home Improvements Don’t Have To Involve Remodelling
When many people think about doing things to improve the look of their home – either inside or outside – they think it means tearing things down and rebuilding them. Sure, sometimes this is what’s required, but not all improvements to the home need to involve ripping and tearing and rebuilding.
For example, adding new curtains or blinds or a new rug on the living room floor can help transform a room. So can updating some old furniture that doesn’t match the rest of your decor. Even hanging some artwork, photos or mirrors on the walls can really brighten up a room or space.
Just search online for some home improvement ideas that don’t involve renovating.
So there you have some handy home improvement tips to keep in mind. At the end of the day, whatever helps deliver your project to fruition safely is what it’s all about.
Most of all, have fun on the journey.