Lots of us are choosing home improvement these days instead of the problems of selling and relocating. It costs less, you don’t have to pack, move, and unpack, and there is a certain comfort in dealing with the known problems and assets of your old home, rather than the unknown surprises of a new one.
However, home improvement projects can end up running amuck if you don’t plan them carefully, stay within the constraints of a reasonable budget, and start and complete them within a reasonable amount of time! Living with a torn up, half-done bathroom, kitchen, bedroom (you get the picture), can make everyone in the house miserable.
One of the secrets of successful do-it-yourself projects is to plan the extent of renovation assuming that everything than can go wrong will. If you think you only need to add a length of pipe to your bathroom plumbing, price replacing all of it. If you think that old bathtub faucet will be just fine in the new Jacuzzi tub, add the cost or a new one to your budget…just in case.
Try to use recycled materials whenever possible, including preused cabinets, shelving, bathroom essentials, furniture, and so on. Check out the vintage stores for wonderful fabrics and accessories. Estate sales can net you quality goods at “quick sale” prices.
Before you start adding a room to your home, make sure that you don’t have usable space that is just there gathering storage and dust. Attics can be finished to make darling playrooms, study rooms, offices, or craft rooms. An unfinished basement can become a recreation room, spare bedroom, office, or even a small private apartment, for a grown up child, an elderly parent, or visiting company. It can also be rented out for some much needed income!
Don’t forget to add any subcontractors you may need to your budget. When you get bids on the job, make sure they understand that you want the bottom dollar price…NO surprises. If they come in lower than the bid, you will be delighted to recommend them to all your friends.
Don’t be so quick to replace items because they have a bit of damage. It is far cheaper to paint or replace kitchen cabinet doors than it is to replace the cabinets. A chip in your bathtub can be painted to prevent further damage and then covered with an appliqué. You now have repaired, added no slip patches to the tub, and the accessorized your bathroom for a pittance! By the way, changing the handles and knobs can give you a brand new look, too, and what could be easier than that?
Lamps that you’ve grown tired of can be sprayed another color and with a new lampshade will look as good as new. While you’re at it, you can change the appearance of your wall hangings just as easily by spraying them a new color. Picture frames can be had for pennies at garage sales and flea markets.
Home improvements are a good idea…as long as you plan carefully and stick with the program!