How to improve your home | How to select contractors | How to complete home improvement within budget?
You’ve decided that your home needs a facelift. Maybe it’s time for some new wallpaper, or you need to revamp the kitchen Or maybe it’s time to put in a new bathroom or add on an extra bedroom.
Whatever project you have in mind, this article will help you take the right steps toward the ideal outcome of your remodeling project, something that meets your needs and feels like a fresh start.
Get clear on your priorities.
Before you start, get clear on your priorities.
- What’s the budget?
- How much time do you have to complete the project?
- What are the other factors that will impact this process, like weather or other home maintenance projects that need to be done before work can begin on your project?
Set a budget, then add 10%
When you’re thinking about your budget, remember that it’s important to add 10% to your estimates. This is a good rule of thumb for all kinds of projects and tasks, but especially when it comes to home improvement.
when homeowners get caught up in the excitement of a project, they can sometimes forget about how much time and money will be required from others.
For example, if you plan on installing new windows, then you should include the cost of hiring someone for labor and installation as well as materials.
It’s also important not to skimp on quality; low-quality products may look nice at first but will break down faster than their higher-end counterparts—and that could lead to more work down the road!
Choose what you love, not what’s in style
- You should have a vision of what you want to achieve, and don’t let trends dictate your decisions. If you want dark wood floors, for example, then go for it! Don’t worry about what other people think.
- Be willing to invest in quality materials and skilled craftsmen; this will pay off in the long run. For example, if you’re building a custom kitchen from scratch or renovating an entire home (like me), be willing to spend more money up front on high-quality materials than on cheaper alternatives that can lower costs, but increase future repairs down the line. This leads me into my next point:
Consider a contractor.
If you’re looking to renovate or improve your home, consider hiring a contractor. A good contractor can make the process easier and help you choose the right materials for your home while saving you money in the long run.
- Be sure that any contractor you hire has experience with your area and building codes, is licensed and insured, and has a good reputation among friends or family members, who have worked with them before.
- Check references from previous customers for each contractor you’re considering hiring. Get more information about their past jobs, as well as what type of work they specialize in through these references.
- Make sure that there’s a written contract between you and your chosen contractor before he starts working on anything at all! Your written contract should include details about how much work is being done on which parts of your home; what materials will be used; when deadlines are; what warranties exist if applicable; where payments need to go (including how many days after completion payment should be received); who insures whom during this project; what happens if things happen outside either party’s control like natural disasters or acts of war…and so much more!
Determine the right time of year to remodel
If you’re thinking of remodeling your home, it helps to determine the best time of year.
For example, if you live in a coastal area, spring and summer are generally better times than fall and winter. If you’re planning on working on concrete (e.g., laying a patio), it’s best to wait until warmer weather arrives so that your work area isn’t too cold or wet for long periods of time.
Another thing worth noting is that snow can affect certain types of renovation projects, like building an addition or installing a new roof, because it makes accessing work areas difficult or impossible at times during the winter months.
Identify high-value projects.
Before you start any home improvement project, it’s important to identify high-value projects and focus your energy on those.
- Things that will add value to your home: These projects increase the value of your property without adding significant costs. Examples include new paint, carpeting, or cabinets; installing a new countertop; replacing old windows with vinyl-clad ones; or adding an accent wall in a room.
- Things that will make your home more comfortable: These are improvements that improve indoor air quality and create a better living environment—for example, by eliminating moisture buildup in showers or bathrooms (or by removing mold) or fixing drafty doors.
- Things that will make your home more efficient: Energy efficiency upgrades not only reduce monthly utility bills, but also help lower the cost of heating and cooling over the lifetime of the upgrade. Improving insulation reduces heat loss in winter months; replacing inefficient appliances can cut down on electricity use by 25% or more per year; upgrading incandescent light bulbs with LEDs can reduce lighting costs by up to 90%.
Take on smaller projects first.
If the idea of taking on a major remodeling project is intimidating, take the first step in baby steps.
Instead of tackling a giant home improvement project right off the bat, start with something small and manageable that you can complete in one day.
This will allow you to get used to what it’s like working on your house and building up your confidence before tackling larger projects.
Once you complete an easy project such as painting or installing baseboards, take another step up by tackling some larger projects such as laying new flooring or replacing windows.
Use good quality materials and hire skilled contractors.
Finding the right contractor is key to getting a quality job done on time and within budget.
- Find a contractor you can trust. It’s important to find someone who will be honest with you about what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and how long it will take.
- Find a licensed and insured contractor. Your state may require that contractors be licensed or registered, but even if they aren’t required by law in your area, make sure they are insured before signing any contracts or paying any money out.
- Find an experienced contractor for your type of project; if this is your first home improvement project as a homeowner, then find someone who has experience working with new homeowners or people whose homes have never been remodeled before (or at least very rarely).
Back up your ideas with data.
The best way to gather data is by looking at other people’s projects. If you’re renovating your kitchen, find a kitchen designer who has done work in your area and ask them for references of their previous clients. You can also look online in local media sources or on review sites like Yelp! to find similar projects.
If you aren’t sure what you want yet, start with friends and family—they will give honest feedback about what looks good and what doesn’t in their homes.
Keep track of your expenses.
As you embark on your home renovation, it’s important to keep track of your expenses.
A spreadsheet or even a simple app will help you keep an eye on how much money you’re spending on materials, labor and other costs.
If you find yourself over budgeting at any point, having this info handy can help you make adjustments that ensure the project goes smoothly and within budget.
I hope this article has helped you get a sense of how to approach your home remodel. The most important thing is to first learn about the process and think about your priorities.
Once you know what you want, it’s easy to find contractors or do it yourself!
Good luck with your project!
How can I improve the value of my house?
Freshen your front yard and the entrance to your home.
Make small repairs.
Re-paint your home in neutral colors.
Re-do your kitchens and bathrooms.
Stage it properly.
Take all personal items down and put away family photos.
The more you clean up and declutter, the better your house looks, especially if you add some greenery to the porch or garden area.
What home improvements add the most value in 2022?
Adding a bathroom
Kitchen remodel or update
Solar Panel Installation
Adding energy efficient appliances