Home improvement is no different than any other type of improvement. You have to start with what you have and try to make it better.
You love your home. Home improvement projects are ways to love your home even more. Even with a heart full of dreams, you want to approach your project with wisdom.
Take Notes and Notice Opportunity
One home may have a great need in the family room. Or, perhaps your home requires work on its foundation. You need a list of priorities.
You can get this list created with the “walk through” approach. Walk around your home with a notepad and create a list of areas where your home could be improved.
Then, after you’ve got your punch list, it is time to rank your priorities. Be sure you share your prioritizing efforts with other decision-makers. These could be family members, tenants, or roommates.
Rank your Options by Budget and Need.
Sure, your kitchen remodel dreams may be at the top of your “wish list” but you also must be reasonable. Weigh your planned home-improvement budget against the estimated project cost for each need. Once you have all of this information in a single location, you’ll be able to make the proper decisions.
You may wish to start with something big like a new kitchen, a garage conversion or a finished basement. Or, you may wish for a handful of smaller improvements, such as a chimney repair thereby spreading out your budget. Each home is different and each individual affected by the decision will have a say in this.
Open ears and an open mind will prepare you for compromise and agreement.
Speak with a Real Estate Agent about Property Value
Are you hoping your property value will increase after your work is complete? Depending on where you live, this might be quite possible. A trusted real estate agent will be capable of predicting your home’s future value. Let your agent know what you plan on changing and they can tell you what you should expect.
Proper Contractor Vetting: Best Practices
- Skip any provider who is not registered as a business entity. Be sure you’re vetting your providers on sound reasoning. You’re not the judge of a popularity contest. Rather, your home is on the line. Pay special attention to your needs and any possible legal ramifications.
- Seek referrals from neighbors. The old saying about re-inventing the wheel applies here. Neighbors are a treasure-trove of information about so many things. Knock on your neighbor’s door and see what recommendations you may find.
- Begin work after you have a signed contract, vetted by a lawyer or legal secretary. You might be wondering what you should include in your contract. Your contract should detail the budget, timeline, and legal aspects. Depending on your project cost, you may invest in a lawyer to draft your contract. Otherwise, you may find contract templates which you can modify to your liking.
A home improvement project is exciting, risky and rewarding. The emotions you face along the way will challenge you. Yet, you’ll also find excitement at the possibilities of what is to come. Take proper precautions and you’ll love your results.