Ah, home improvement. For those of us who can’t exactly afford a new home entirely, it’s a way to make your home feel like new once again, letting you relive those first moments you spent in your home after buying it. Home improvement can breathe new life into your living space, reinvigorating everything in and around it.
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So, you want to do a renovation project in your home. You’ve got your tools organized, your materials purchased, and everything is ready and raring to go. Whether the project is large or small, you’re prepared to go above and beyond to make this home renovation one for the books. There’s only one problem. It’s a lingering, persistent thought that tugs at the corners of your mind: what if I mess it up?
First off, we’ve got to point out that no home renovation turns out perfect. Unless you’re a tradesman who specializes in this type of work, chances are you’re going to muck it up in places. That’s ok! Home renovation isn’t about achieving perfection, it’s about making your living space look more like what you want it to be.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to avoid mistakes and unnecessary headaches! While you shouldn’t let the fear of messing up stop you from improving your home, there are definitely things you should do when renovating your home, and other things you should probably try not to do. Curious to learn more about these do’s and don’ts? Read on!
Do: Plan things ahead of time
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As with many other things in life, home improvement goes a lot more smoothly when you’ve got a plan. A plan will help you save time, money and heaps of unnecessary backtracking, enabling you to make the improvements you want to make and enjoy the finished results, instead of getting caught up in a never ending loop of ceaseless repairs.
By planning ahead, you’ll be able to buy all the tools and materials necessary for your renovation beforehand. This can save you quite a bit of money, and will further reduce the time you spend on the renovation by eliminating unnecessary trips to the hardware store or construction supply. Make a list and check it twice!
A solid game plan will also help you itemize the renovation process and do everything in logical order, so as to cut down on backtracking and redundancy. Failing to plan can result in damage to your home and days or weeks spent undoing what you’ve already done to fix problems you only catch towards the end of the renovation process. So remember: do have a plan!
Don’t: Be afraid to ask for help
“Hey man, do you need a hand with that?” “Nah, I’ve got it. Nothing to worry about. “I’ve got everything under control!” You’ve likely experienced this exchange at one point or another, perhaps with a hypermasculine man-child struggling to load a refrigerator in his truck or an overconfident teenager assuring you that they have done a kickflip before.
Whatever the case may be, we’re willing to bet you don’t want to be this person. Everyone needs help sometimes, and there’s no shame in that! If you need advice or a helping hand, just ask someone; chances are they’ll be more than happy to help! The work will go faster, and you might just strengthen some relationships along the way!
You never know when one of those pesky old-timers will show up and enlighten you with some tried-and-true wisdom that makes the job easier and saves you a ton of work; so ask around, and see who’s willing to help. Friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances are all fair game, so remember: don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Do: your research
No matter how simple the task at hand may seem when doing improvements on your home, it’s never a bad idea to read up on the process and figure out how to best go about it. Whether you’re repainting a room to achieve a more airy color scheme or replacing the flooring in the living room, spending a few hours in research will make everything go more smoothly.
Whether the process you’re about to undergo seems intuitive or not, chances are there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Take the replacement of flooring, for example. It seems simple at first, just tearing out the old floor and securely laying down a replacement layer. But how are you going to measure it? What materials are best? How will you deal with baseboards, if you have them? These questions and others like them are the reason you should research beforehand!
Research is a lot easier to do these days, thanks to the internet. With thousands of pages of instructional material and just as many tutorial videos available for free, reading up on the latest news in the world of home improvement is hardly a challenge. Believe us when we tell you, once you do your research you’ll be surprised at how much you didn’t know!
Don’t: put the cart before the horse
When doing a home improvement project, it can be easy to jump the gun and get ahead of yourself. Halfway through the project, you might feel like you can see it all coming together, and think that now is the right time to buy new furniture or decor to match the newly renovated room. Don’t do this!
For home improvement projects like this, it’s always best to wait until the renovation is complete before purchasing the finishing touches. They’re called “the finishing touches” for a reason, after all! If you buy them too early, you could be in for any number of unpleasant surprises, like damaging them or having to move them unnecessarily.
We know how hard it can be to restrain yourself, but trust us: you’ll be glad you did. Think of it like a reward, something to keep your spirits up when the work is hard. When you’re done, you can head down to your local furniture outlet or antique shop and buy all the furniture you need. It will be unbelievably cathartic!
Do: buy quality materials
While it may be tempting to save a buck or two wherever possible when renovating, believe us when we tell you that is not a good idea. When you cheap out on materials, you instantly increase the chances of your renovation falling apart months or even weeks after it’s just been finished. If you want to avoid this happening, don’t skimp when it comes to hardware, lumber and other essential supplies.
This isn’t to say that you must always buy the most expensive materials available either. Sometimes the most pricey option isn’t actually the best! If you want to find out what the best choice is for your situation, simply ask one of the attendants at the home improvement store for their advice; chances are that will be all the advice you need!
For the most part, the best cost-to-quality ratio can be found with medium-price materials. These are usually robust enough to go the distance, but inexpensive enough to not tank your entire renovation budget. If you’re still not sure, do some research online; with a little bit of reading, you might just be able to save yourself a ton of money and effort!
Once you get your feet wet in the waters of home improvement, you’ll quickly see that there are a lot more ins and outs to navigate than you might think. As with anything else, there are things you should do, and things you shouldn’t do. With this article, we hope that we’ve shed some light on the difference between the two!