The phrase, “home improvement project,” conjures feelings of happiness and excitement in some people. In others, it evokes feelings of dread. Perfectly understandable! After all, there is no shortage of home improvement nightmares. However, they do not have to happen. Here’s a look at several tips to make these projects easier.
1. Expect to Spend More Money Than You Budget
Whether you plan a DIY project or want to outsource the work, go into it expecting to spend more money than budgeted. This is especially true if you’re tackling the project yourself and are inexperienced. However, build a cushion no matter what. For example, the contractors you talk with may offer well-thought-out estimates and spout confident projections. Still, things will go a lot more smoothly if you set aside a few hundred or thousand dollars, depending on the project. That way, if or when complications arise, they won’t derail the project. In case your renovations go swimmingly, you have additional money to put toward decor or a fun trip.
2. Plan for the Personal Side
Home improvement projects can wreck relationships and marriages. A family can tolerate only so much noise, stress, and expense. Talk with your partner and children ahead of time about the potential issues you all foresee and how to work around them. Common problems are related to delays, noise, loss of privacy and unexpected dust and dirt throughout the house.
- Get everyone in your family on board with the renovations. Shared sacrifice goes a long way.
- Consider having renovations done in steps or during a vacation (depending on project type).
- Avoid projects during sensitive times such as exam week or a family member’s first week at work.
- Get a hotel room for a temporary break if you need to (another reason it’s nice to have money set aside!).
3. Prep a First Aid Kit
Be prepared in case you or someone else gets injured during renovations. Heavy materials and power tools cause their share of injuries, even if people are careful around them. Include ointment, gauze bandages and disinfectant in the kit.
4. Inspect Your Tools Beforehand
Take stock of your tools before beginning the work. Check for signs of damage and disrepair. Fix or replace tools if needed. Never proceed with faulty tools.
5. Dress Properly
Wear safety goggles/glasses, earplugs/noise-canceling headphones, closed-toe shoes, gloves, headgear, and long pants to protect yourself during a DIY project.
6. Safeguard the Rest of Your Home
Dust and dirt are prone to spreading throughout your home. Use plastic to protect your carpet, couch and other upholstered furniture. Securely store fragile or valuable objects to reduce the likelihood they get damaged.
7. Anticipate the Steps Involved
What exactly does renovating your bedroom involve? It could mean a relatively simple recarpeting and wall repainting, or it could entail tearing down walls to their studs. Walking yourself through the steps involved helps you set an accurate budget and timeline.
8. Use Precision Measuring Tools
Home improvement projects require precision, but the measuring tools you have on hand might not be up to snuff. You may need inclinometers, measuring rod rulers, area planimeters or other specialized tools. You would use inclinometers to measure driveway, pipe and ramp slopes, among other types of slopes. Meanwhile, an area planimeter measures irregularly shaped rooms on plans and drawings. With area planimeters, you don’t need to do calculations by hand or via grids and charts. Shop today for a variety of high-quality measuring tools.