The intro to this contributed post made me giggle so much. Because I used to happily entertain friends at home but as it’s become more and more in disrepair I’ve become more and more embarrassed to have people over.
So it’s not just me who feels this way before a home improvement project?
Our house desperately needs a coat of paint but what’s the point in painting when you’re planning to renovate? Our garden desperately needs attention but what’s the point of gardening when all your beautiful plants die during the drought? So we’ve done nothing all year and it shows.
Oh, and by the way… if you’re wondering why we’ve been talking about these renovations for months and yet haven’t started on them.. the post below explains it perfectly. I’ll throw in a few editors comments in italics within the post.
Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Home Improvement Project
Your home is your castle. The place you come back to after a hard day’s work. The place where memories are created as you spend time with your beloved family. It’s your little corner of paradise away from the outside world.
However, sometimes that paradise is lost. You can fall out of love with your home for any number of reasons. Or it may no longer suit your needs.
The answer to both of these issues? Well, you could move house, but most of us know how stressful that can be.
On the other hand, and the crux of this article, you could make home improvements instead.
By focusing on those all-important home renovations, you can transform the place you live into something worth spending time in again.
But where to start and what to do?
That’s entirely up to you – we don’t live in your house and we have no idea what you need (you never did invite us round for that cup of tea you promised) – but despite our grumpiness at not getting that invite into your humble abode, we are generously going to give you a few do’s and don’ts if you decide on a home improvement project yourself. Perhaps then you’ll welcome us in. Don’t forget the chocolate cake if you do!
The Essential List Of Do’s And Don’ts
as you don’t want to start a project and then run out money down the line. Your home probably won’t be worth living in as a result. Doors missing from your bathroom extension, windows absent in your bedroom (brrr), and entire chunks of your home missing because of your bad financial planning. Oh, the horrors! Exactly!
Therefore, work out what you can afford before you take the plunge. Sit with your bank statements and figure out how much money you can invest into any renovations. Have an honest conversation with your bank manager and ask if he might consider an extension to your housing loan.
Begin a savings fund, and commit to starting the project when you have hit your targets. Do some or all of these things, and don’t bankrupt yourself in the process.
DO BE CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT
as you don’t want to begin with some half-baked idea and then change your mind later on.
Not only will you annoy any contractors you may be hiring for the project, but you also run the risk of wasting money too. So, sit down with your family, and throw some ideas around.
Compromise with each other when needed, and remember your finances. We sometimes have ideas for creating a dream home, but it’s important to be practical too. Think carefully, talk to the people who matter in turning your ideas into a reality (architects, building firms) and work out a reasonable plan of action.
DO TRY ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME
as this will be of great benefit should you decide to sell your property later on.
There are all kinds of things that home buyers are looking for, from…
- eco-friendly additions
- to the very latest in smart home technology.
- An extra bathroom is a much sought-out feature for some buyers
- as is an extended kitchen
- or a loft conversion.
Not only will these additions add value to your home of course, as you will be able to benefit from them too.
However, if your home improvements are designed to aid a future house sale, then don’t get carried away with too many personal touches. Remember to let your head take precedence over your heart.
You may have some wonderful ideas that are specific to your interests, but the average home buyer may have no interest in the designs, colour schemes, or cosmetic touches that you have included during the home improvement.
So, be careful with your choices, as you may well end up driving future home buyers away if you overindulge your personal tastes. Oh yeah, we looked at a house once that was really great except for the son’s bedroom which he had chosen to paint a bright royal blue which looked very tricky to remove.
DO HIRE A BUILDING FIRM TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU
unless you are fully confident in your skills with a hammer and a chisel (other tools are available).
Considering the dangers inherent in any home improvement projects – you may cause structural damage if you knock down the wrong wall, burst pipes, and cause yourself an injury – you don’t want to take on any tasks you are singularly unqualified to manage.
Yes, your skills at changing a light bulb may be second-to-none, and what you can do with a paintbrush is nobody’s business, but trying to manage the home improvement with no real idea of what you’re doing, may end up with an impromptu demolition project instead! Haha… we have NO INTENTION of attempting this on our own.
DO SHOP AROUND FOR A BUILDING FIRM
as you don’t want to end up with a cowboy builder, or somebody who won’t give you real value for money.
Ask friends and family for recommendations, look for any online reviews, and keep an eye on the local media for any news stories that may have broken out about them.
Don’t always go for the cheapest firm, as you need to adhere to the principle that you get what you pay for.
When possible, get a fixed price contract too, as you don’t want to be hit with unexpected costs down the line. Yes, you will need some extra cash as there may be changes within the work being done, but you don’t want to be subject to a building firm’s hidden and possibly unfair fees that were hidden in the fine print of a contract.
And yup, this is the other major reason we haven’t started building yet. Choosing a builder has been far trickier than anticipated.
DO GET ANY PLANNING PERMISSION NEEDED
as you don’t want to get halfway through the project and discover you are not legally allowed to make the improvements you have embarked on.
Speak to your local council offices for advice, and fill out the requisite paperwork to make sure you are adhering to rules and regulations.
Don’t forget to speak to your neighbours before work commences, as while you don’t necessarily need their permission to do work on your house, it’s still polite to let them know that there may be some ongoing noise for a prolonged duration.
Ooh, good advice! Will do. Thanks for the reminder.
Perhaps a home-baked cake or an invite to your home (we are still sore we didn’t get one) after work has been completed may appease anybody prone to grumbling (take the hint).
DO THINK ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
as there will be a considerable disruption to their lives during the project.
It may be wise to live out of the property while work is being done, as your home may become a health and safety nightmare, especially if you have children and pets roaming around.
Note to hubby: Pllllleeeease can we move out during the build?
If you are staying in the home, section off those parts of the house that are unsafe, and proof surrounding areas to make sure no harm is done to anybody.
Think about the timing of the project too. If you have school-age children, you don’t want to disrupt their schooling, especially during exam season.
So, make sure you have a start and end time in mind for the project and don’t forget to schedule it when there will be the least amount of disruption for every member of your family.
DO REMEMBER THE ENVIRONMENT
as regardless of any green additions you may be making to your home, you may still run the risk of causing more harm than good to the environment if you aren’t eco-aware.
Consider the building firm you are hiring for starters.
- Do they use sustainable materials?
- Then think about the mess that will be made on your property.
- What are they going to do with the rubble?
- What do you intend to do with the stuff you are throwing away?
Think about the environment in everything surrounding your home improvement project, and don’t neglect eco-friendly practices through ignorance or laziness.
Oh, goodness, another very important consideration that I’m ashamed to admit, hadn’t crossed my mind.
DO FIND TIME TO RELAX DURING THIS PERIOD
as a home improvement project can be stressful. With dust flying through the air, the sound of drills and hammers, and workmen dragging their muddy boots through your home, your stress level is liable to rise at regular periods.
Get out of the house when you can, live life as normally as possible during the project, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Mishaps may happen, the project may run past your schedule, and your bank balance may take the occasional knock.
But remember the end game; that moment when everything is completed and how your home will look when the dust has settled. Keep reminding yourself of that when your nerves are understandably frayed.
So, there we have it. The do’s and don’ts for a successful home improvement project.
If you are about to embark on something on your property soon, we hope our tips were useful to you. They were super useful to me, THANK YOU!
Of course, you may have some ideas of your own. If you have any titbits of advice for our readers from your experiences, be sure to let us know. YES! I second that.
Thanks for reading, and if you are about to begin a home renovation soon, we wish you every success.
Just don’t forget to put the kettle on and call us over when all the work has been done! Hehehe. Okey dokey!
Do you also have an upcoming home improvement project planned? Or have you been through one recently? Share your experiences below…