Picking and Planning Home Improvement Projects

If you’re trying to decide on which home improvement you need to make, it’s important to cover all the angles in your planning.

By finding the most appropriate project, you can make sure that you spend your time and money productively on one that’s going to address an important problem in your household. Frittering away time and money on sundry projects when a home has specific needs is a good way to ensure that you don’t have the resources to take care of the big things when they happen.

When choosing a home improvement project, consider the following criteria:

– Can I do this? Let’s face it, not all of us are Mr. Handy. When choosing a home project, consider your ability in the skills that the project will require. If it’s something bigger than you can handle, you should instead call in a professional – or come back to the project later when your budget allows.

– Budget. Most of us don’t have bottomless bank accounts, so undertaking projects we can afford is important. Make sure you understand all the costs involved before getting involved with a home improvement project.

– Safety. Projects related to home safety should get your first priority. If you’re living in an older home, you may have carcinogens from old asbestos insulation or cladding, or there may be lead-based paint present. Removing the presence of these illness-causing substances is very important, and should be done by a professional.

Less dramatic safety threats include malfunctioning fire safety equipment, unstable steps or stairs, a leaky roof, bad wiring, loose handrails, slippery floors etc. These needs should be at the top of your priority list for home repair.

– Comfort. This is a key concern for homes, as the average Australian spends a large portion of his or her time inside. Making your home as comfortable as possible is an important quality of life issue. So if you have a leaky tap, noisy appliances or flooring that could benefit from carpet, those home projects need to move to the front of the line.

By understanding which home improvement projects need attention first, you can choose a project that isn’t a distraction from more pressing matters, and improve the quality of life at your home. Assess the impact on you, you family and your lifestyle before beginning, and don’t start until you have your desired outcome in mind.

Home Improvement Projects – Plan Ahead to Go Without a Hitch

Few people who have experienced a major home improvement project will state that the whole thing went as hoped for, or was completed on time and without difficulties. There are simply too many individuals mixed up in this kind of task, and so many different factors can go wrong. You will be able to steer clear of the majority of home improvement problems by getting ready beforehand, to help make certain work goes along as smoothly as possible.

To begin with, you should find one single person to oversee the entire task. A general contractor or builder is often the best person to put in charge, as they will know about all the steps that need to be performed to complete the project.

Developing a good budget can’t be stressed enough. Having a good spending plan will make your life much simpler. If you don’t work everything out beforehand, and establish a budget that you will not go above, you can easily start adding things that you have not set aside funds for. You may discover that you can’t afford the project after all, if you don’t restrict your spending. Before you engage a general contractor to work on your project, make sure that you discover one that agrees to a fixed price contract. That way you will know exactly what the construction will cost you, regardless of how long it takes them to completely finish your home improvement project.

This can keep you from getting a nasty surprise when you get the total bill, and will also help to motivate them to complete the work as quickly as practical. It may possibly take just a little time for you to find a builder who will consent to these terms, nevertheless they are out there. Just be positive that you are prepared to give a reasonable price for the completed. Be sure to call around and obtain several estimates before you sign any contract.

To refrain from having too many people working on the job at one time, keep from hiring too many specialists for each part of the project that needs to be taken care of. Have your general contractor to hire subcontractors for the specialized areas of the undertaking that need to be accomplished by a person qualified in that area. They will normally have subcontractors that they get to do this type of thing on a normal basis.

Your builder or general contractor will already be aware of who is certified, does the best job, and is least difficult to work with. Let your builder hire their favored specialty contractors, rather than becoming involved and undertaking it yourself. The people you retain may not be very good ones, and could take an extremely long time to complete the work.

The more you can refrain from having to be involved in the day to day progression of the building project, the less difficult it will be for you. Don’t get in the way, and allow your contractor to handle scheduling, and the completion of the different areas of the job as they need to be done.

They will have done this sort of thing many times before, and will recognize exactly what needs done and the best time to get it done. They can make certain that the home improvement project advances as well as possible.

By adhering to your budget, and not attempting to add all kinds of extras to your home improvement project, and by letting your general contractor or builder handle all the scheduling details, you are not likely to think back on your home improvement project with an unfavorable taste in your mouth.

Home Improvement Project Planning

Home Improvement Project Planning and Design

Where to begin

So you’ve decided to make some home improvements. It is an exciting prospect to upgrade and bring your home closer to the image of your dream home. Begin by considering the changes you want to make. You may already have an idea of the things you want to improve, but now’s the time to fine-tune your ideas.

Think about how your home already supports the way you live, and which existing elements you really like. Write down each item you want to keep, and what you want to change. This will not only help you prioritize the projects you take on first, it will also help you better define the details of each project. No matter how large or small your project, planning is crucial. Developing a detailed plan will insure that your project runs smoothly forward and that your results will be a success. Having a clear image in your mind of what you want to achieve will help guide you in the steps you must take to attain your goal.

Determine your goal

Once you know the project that you want to take on first, you can begin to make decisions about what you want to change. The more clearly you can envision what you want to achieve, the better prepared you’ll be in making necessary decisions;Think about traffic patterns, furniture placement and size, colors, lighting and how you plan to use the remodeled space. Draw out your completed idea to get a clear picture of what you hope to accomplish.

Cost Estimation

You probably have a basic idea of how much you want to invest in your home improvement project, so base your estimate on that budget. Nothing is more disappointing than not having enough money to finish the entire project, so plan well, beginning with the most costly or most important items. To get a good idea of material cost, simply check out your neighborhood home improvement center. If you have any questions or concerns, most of their employees are able to either give you answers or guide you to someone who can. When pricing your necessary materials, remember to include any hardware and finishing products you might need. Don’t forget nails, adhesives, tape, stencils or paint.

Gather your tools

Be sure that you have the proper tools available before you start. If your current toolkit does not have certain specialty tools to do the job properly, you might have to invest in them to complete your project. You could also consider borrowing or renting them. Some jobs might also require two people for safety reasons, so you will need to line up additional help before you work on that part.

Consider Eco Friendly Building

Green remodeling is a sound choice, for both, a healthier life and as an investment in your home. Currently, in traditional construction, indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air, due to various building materials, inadequate lighting, and a variety of other variables. Some eco friendly choices do require purchasing special equipment or materials, but many upgrades are just a matter of knowing the most environmentally conscious choice to make. Using recycled materials where available, (glass, stone, plastics), choosing carpet low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and installing more efficient, low water plumbing fixtures are a few Green options that cost little or no more than the non-Green.

Anticipate your needs

Most home improvement projects require a variety of different skills. If there is a task that requires more skill than you have and you would feel more comfortable with expert guidance or proficiency, a contractor can usually do just the portion of the job that you are unable to handle for a portion of the cost of the entire project. You might consider hiring a plumber, electrician or heating specialist, or even a general handyman for a job that requires additional manpower.

Hiring a Contractor

If you do plan on hiring a contractor, you must get a written contract. A good contract includes a detailed description of the project, start and expected completion dates, labor and material costs, and any warranties of workmanship. Including a right to cancel clause of three business days is a good idea. The more detailed you make your contract, the less room for problems you will allow.

Building Permits

Before you actually start tearing down walls or running electrical wire, check with your local or state building department to learn if your project requires a building permit. A building permit is a license required by city code that grants legal permission to construct, enlarge, alter, repair or demolish a structure or equipment installed in a building. If you are working with a contractor, find out if his services include obtaining permits.

So now, you know where to begin. Following these guidelines will help insure that your home renovations will advance without any unnecessary hitches or unfortunate surprises, whether you are doing internal remodeling and upgrades, or external maintenance and repair. With the correct preparation, and taking it a step at a time, your dream home will not be just a dream!