Start with a plan
One of the worst things you can do when it comes to home improvements is to start a project without having all the major details already hashed out, take into consideration cost, time, materials, and design – try to be as realistic as you can from the beginning.
Having a change of heart is a costly business so make sure you know exactly where you want everything before you start and with things like tile choices, be definite that you’ve made the right choice before beginning. Design tools can help you visualise your project. Whatever time frame you give yourself to complete your project, add extra and the same applies to your financial budget that way you don’t get any nasty surprises or, if you do, you’re prepared for them.
Make sure you have insurance
You’ll always hear horror stories of someone who started a DIY project in the home and hadn’t realised that their insurance had run out, they’d forgot to renew, they didn’t check if the work they were carrying out would be covered. The list is endless and if insurance companies can get you on a technicality they will!
On to the home improvements!
Let’s start with some simple ideas that will make a difference in a short space of time;
- Add wooden floors
- Keep colours neutral throughout the house
- Have an open fireplace and if you’ve closed it off re-open it.
- Declutter to give your home an open, welcoming feel.
- Upgrade your light bulbs, energy efficient bulbs and new fittings will all enhance the ambience
- Have clean windows. This may seem obvious but there’s nothing more off-putting than looking through a dirty window.
- Stylish accessories will always add to the overall improvement of your home
To DIY or not to DIY? That is the question!
This is particularly true when talking about bigger projects. Not all home improvements are suitable for you so it’s better to start with small jobs, to begin with, and as you gain in confidence (and tools), you can move to bigger projects.
Read up – whether it’s a big DIY project or a small one, you’ll never regret getting as much information as you can about it before tackling it. The iOS app, Fountain, will have you connected to an expert within five minutes
Get the right tools – at the very least you’ll need a multi-tool kit, fill it with all the basic, necessary tools for small repairs. Your mobile phone might just become your DIY right-hand ‘man’ – the tool you never leave behind! Most important of all – never, ever, EVER run out of duct tape!
When do you bring in the experts?
There’s no doubt that DIY home improvements can save money and give you a sense of accomplishment but if you choose the wrong projects all you’ve done is waste your own time and effort and you will end up paying more to get the work done properly. It also goes without saying that some jobs are just too dangerous for the inexperienced handyman.
Here are some question to ask yourself before deciding;
Is It Worth The Time and Effort?
DIY can save you money but the cost to you comes in the form of time and effort. You need to be conscious of just how much time you have on your hands and then weigh up whether it’s worth investing that time before you begin.
Some projects can be done in a weekend or can be spread out over a period of time, these are the perfect DIY jobs
Home Advisor can help you estimate the cost of professionally done home improvement work which will help you make the right financial decision whether to hire a professional or begin as a DIY project.
What are the risks?
It’s a fact that some projects can just be ruled out immediately – the ones that can potentially injure you or cause damage to your home.
Anything to do with mains electricity or gas pipes are just NO. It goes without saying that you don’t ever want to cause an explosion or, worse, burn the house down.
You might also want to stay clear of plumbing work, the key is to know your limitations!
Some projects are a greater risk to your home itself.
Knocking a wall down sounds easy enough, right? But what if it’s load -bearing or you just didn’t know that there was wiring or plumbing behind? This, my friend, puts you in serious trouble!
Warning bells should be clanging if your town has building codes, mandated for safety purposes – a clear sign that the project might just be over your head.
You could have to get a permit for the work you want to do, which might mean having no choice in the matter, you’ll have to bring in a pro. Check local rulings on what you can and can’t do yourself.
If you have to bring in a contractor then do it right, listen out for local recommendations or, maybe more importantly, complaints. You’ll want to check their licences and permits, their insurance details and ALWAYS get references from previous work they’ve done!
Don’t settle for the first person you find, get quotes from a number of contractors and meet the one you decide to go with before any work begins.
The key to DIY is to do it right – be safe, be sensible and Enjoy!