Tips for Planning Your Next Home Improvement Project

One of the biggest thrills of having your own home is the ability to do what you want with it. After all, living in an apartment comes with less flexibility when it comes to painting the walls or truly making your home your own. When you have a house, you have a yard to landscape and spend time in without having to worry about other tenants crashing your gathering. When you own your own home, you can add a room or refresh your bathroom without having to find a new rental property or break your lease. You even have a laundry room that doesn’t require quarters!

All of these benefits of homeownership are certainly exciting, but they often necessitate some money and planning. Even if you’re considering hiring a contractor to help you with your home improvement project (which is a good idea for the peace of mind that comes from using professionals for major home projects), you’ll want to have a clear strategy of what you’re looking for the contractor to accomplish and what sort of timeline you’re working within. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you plan your new home improvement project—no matter how large or small that project may be.

Find a place to store your belongings.


If you’re doing some major renovations on your home, it’ll be important to have a place to safely store your belongings while you wait for the contractors to finish their work. Finding the right storage facility or storage unit is relatively easy if you don’t have a garage or basement you’re comfortable storing your items in. Many self-storage options offer 24/7 access and even offer climate control to ensure that your belongings stay safe and sound. Even if your primary goal is to find cheap storage units, it’s important that you find a storage unit that meets your needs. At the very least, the storage unit should be conveniently located near your home and offer you a good amount of square footage to fit your belongings. Having enough room for additional storage containers themselves or a coffee table and offering 24-hour access may also be important factors to keep in mind.

Consider making small tweaks that have a big impact.


Sometimes during home renovation projects, what you really need is a refresh. Especially if you have a good amount of sunlight in your home, putting a few indoor plants around your home can add a pop of color and brighten things up a bit. Houseplants don’t just need bright light, however, as there are plenty of plants to consider that do just as well in low light, too. Some of the most popular house plants for homes are easy to care for, too, such as the ZZ plant, succulents, aloe vera, and jade plants. Having low maintenance plants is a great way to update your decor without spending an arm and a leg on extra amenities.

If you feel like you don’t have enough space in your home for houseplants or aren’t sure about hanging snake plants or spider plants, it may be worth considering some table top plants for your coffee table or side table. A few of the best tabletop houseplants to consider for your home include the classic money tree and the colorful red and green peacock plant. It’s even possible to get a smaller, potted ZZ plant to place on your coffee table if you’d like. Just make sure to read up on whether or not the houseplants you’re buying are pet-safe if you have dogs or cats.

Know when to DIY and when to call in the professionals.


If you have a lot of different projects you’re interested in doing as a homeowner, sometimes the best way to go about completing these jobs is to do them yourself. After all, part of homeownership comes down to learning how to maintain your house, so upkeep like fixing a leak under the sink, unclogging a toilet, or replacing the showerhead in your shower are all tasks that come with the territory. At the same time, there are certainly home-related issues when it makes more sense to call in an independent contractor who has years of experience to handle your problem.

A great example of this is replacing an old roof. Roof replacement is a crucial task since the inspection of your roof and selection of the appropriate roofing materials have a big impact on how durable your new roof is. A new roof should protect your home from inclement weather events, preventing leaks, and even animals from getting into your home. As such, it makes sense to find a roofing contractor to assist with the replacement of your roof, especially if shingles need to be replaced due to storm damage. The best way to find a roofing contractor for residential roofing issues is by heading to Google and searching for a local option. For example, if you don’t have any referrals from friends or family members and live in the Pennsylvania area, a quick search for “White Hall roofing contractor” can help you find an experienced professional to help you get the job done right. They may even offer free consultations and inspections so you can better budget for the process.

Have a realistic budget.


Speaking of using a free consultation to understand the price of your project, it’s important to look into different options as you’re planning any home renovation project. Generally, the rule of thumb is that any home maintenance or construction project is going to cost twice as much as you anticipate, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for an affordable price and only considering what you’re quoted. Remember that doing a good job isn’t just dependent on the work getting completed well, it also has to do with the work coming in under or on budget.

During large-scale renovations like additions or conversions, especially, you never know what you might uncover in the demolition or renovation process. Mold, outdated piping, termite damage, or electrical wiring that’s not up to code can all contribute to additional, unanticipated costs during your home renovation project. Particularly if you’re a homeowner living in an older house, it’s important to have a contingency fund for these sorts of issues. As you’re starting conversations with a contractor, make sure to bring up these possibilities with them, too. Ask questions about how often they find these sorts of issues, how they go about disclosing that information to you, and whether they have relationships with other independent contractors to help address the issues.

Match your timeline to your budget.


Just as it can take twice as much money to complete a construction project, any of the aforementioned obstacles can also add time to your renovation. That being said, sometimes the weather plays just as much of a role in delaying your renovations. If you’re doing exterior work or roof repair, for example, snow or rain can cost you a few days in your initial timeline. As such, it’s a good idea to always have more flexibility in when you need a project completed by, or, better yet, just make sure you’re starting it earlier than you normally would. Make a list of all the projects you need to be done and how long they’re projected to take and make sure that your budget matches the projected timeline.

Written By
Carrie Anderson
Financial Analyst | Contributing Writer
Carrie Anderson

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