Remodeling, updating, and re-finishing your home can be great ways to increase its value and livability. Whether you have just purchased your home or have been in it for a while, making custom updates can be a great way to personalize your home and make it work for you. By focusing on the highly visible areas of your home, you can maximize your return on your investment.
Once you’ve decided to undertake a home improvement project, take time to do a little research. Look for images of homes you like. Take note of the styles, trends, and finishes you would like to incorporate in your own project. At this point, you may want to start discussions with a licensed contractor or someone who has recently completed a project that is similar to yours–they may have money-saving tips and ideas to help you plan your project.
Consider the way you intend to use the space during and after the remodel: you can replace a mantle in a matter of hours, but if you’re gutting your kitchen, you may not see a home-cooked meal for several months. It’s a good idea to discuss your upcoming project with other members of the household, so everyone knows what to expect.
In addition to planning the function and design, have a clear idea of your budget and schedule.
Sometimes it helps to think about your project in phases. By beginning with the end in mind, you can ensure that the finishes you select at the beginning of your project match the finishes that you will be selecting as you complete it.
As with any construction project, it helps to begin with a measuring tape and a notepad. By measuring the size of your project and familiarizing yourself with the existing materials and surfaces, you can begin to formulate square footage and calculate a budget. Take note of plumbing, electrical, and other things that could be hazardous. Consult local building officials or licensed tradesmen in your area to ensure the work is done properly. If you are ordering materials, be sure to allow time for them to be manufactured and delivered. Natural products like wood for wood floors may need to acclimatize in the space for several weeks before they’re installed, otherwise they may warp or bend.
It’s natural to want the project or remodel to be done quickly, but it’s important to take your time to make sure things are done correctly. Remember the adage “measure twice, cut once.” By carefully planning out each cut and double checking your measurements, you can avoid costly mistakes that may delay your project. Set up a good cutting station, and leave yourself plenty of space to work. Give yourself time to do the job right–paint won’t fix a crooked handrail. Projects such as stairs, doors, and flooring require expertise, precision, and patience. Invest in quality tools and materials to make sure you’re happy with the final results.
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