Doing a Home Improvement Project Yourself-Yes or No?

After you have defined your home improvement project, the thought of doing the project by yourself or with a “HANDY” friend or neighbor may cross your mind. DO-IT-YOURSELF projects are a popular trend in the Home Improvement Industry. However, before you put on your tool belt, you should look at all aspects of your project and ask yourself the following 10 questions.

1) Do you have reliable work habits? Do you tend to stress out easily, lose your temper, or become confused under pressure?  Will you have the patience and persistence to complete the project in a timely fashion? What will happen if it is not completed in a timely fashion? 
2) What will you do if your project goes awry? Remember most contractors are wary about completing and/or redoing someone else's mistakes, including yours. 
3) Are you attempting to do the project yourself for financial reasons? If so, have you looked at the entire cost, including the cost of materials, your time, and the tools you may need to purchase, and then possibly never use again? 
4) What happens if you make a mistake and have to spend more time and effort to correct it? How much money are you really going to save then? 
5) Do you know all the construction steps involved in the project? For most projects this is not the time to be using an installation manual. 
6) How many projects of this type have you done? I hope at least 1 project.        
7) Do you have the skills to complete this project? For most projects this is not the time for on-the-job training.  
8) Is it safe for you to do the project? Some projects can cause serious injury or be fatal if proper precautions are not taken. 
9) Are you familiar with the local building codes and permit requirements? If you do not follow the building code you may be forced to tear down the project and rebuild it to meet the proper code specifications. 
10) Do you have the time to do the project?

If your answers to these 10 questions still leave you feeling comfortable about doing your project, than I would say go ahead! However, if time is of the essence, it normally takes a “Do-it-yourself” project longer to complete because most people are not familiar with all the “nuances” that one would learn from doing the project more than once. Think long and hard about doing a project yourself, especially if it is a large project. Large projects require more time and effort and are usually best left to a professional.

Selling Your Home? Home Improvement Projects to Avoid

Many homeowners each year make the mistake of thinking that any home improvement project is a good one in terms of adding value to their home. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. There are some home improvement projects you can take on which will not improve the value of your home in terms of the money you spend on the project and there are even other home improvement projects which can detract from the value of your home. If you think you may sell your home at some point in the future, it is imperative to make sure you know which home improvement projects to tackle and which ones to avoid.

The first thing to keep in mind when considering any home improvement project is that you do not want to outdo the neighbors. While the old adage of keeping up with the Joneses is certainly true to a degree, you do not want to exceed them. A home that is largely out of the price range of its neighbors is usually going to be more difficult to sell than a home that is in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood.

Two of the biggest mistakes you can make on home improvement projects is spending money on highly individualized projects and technological advancements. Avoid spending money on items such as saunas and steam baths. Such improvements might add to the value of your property but if the buyers viewing your home are not interested in these items you may find it more difficult to sell the property.

The same is also true for swimming pools. Many homeowners make the grave mistake of believing that a pool with add to the value and desirability of their home. This is definitely not true. Many buyers, especially those with small children, avoid homes with pools. Even if a buyer does not have small children they may be concerned about the maintenance issues that go along with having a swimming pool. The simple fact is that homes with pools generally tend to take longer to sell than homes that do not have a pool. If you are considering adding a pool to your home make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, because you will enjoy it, and not because you want to improve the value of your home. Otherwise, the addition of a pool should be avoided.

In addition, it is imperative to avoid spending a lot of money on technological advancements which will usually quickly become outdated. This is a waste of money that will usually not net you a large return.

Ideally, it is usually the simplest things which will bring you the highest rate of return in terms of home improvement projects. Simple projects such as ensuring your home has a fresh coat of paint or improving your landscaping can add a lot of value to your home and make it more desirable. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal; particularly in homes that are considered to be luxury properties.

This has become increasingly popular today when more buyers are beginning their property search on the Internet. Statistics indicate that some 80% of buyers actually begin looking for properties online. A photograph is truly worth more than a thousand words in these circumstances. If your home lacks curb appeal this could mean that it will the house that languishes on the market for months while other homes with more curb appeal sell much faster.

There are certainly some areas in which it makes more financial sense to focus your money if you are considering selling your home. Staging is one of them. Studies indicate that homes which have been professionally staged are selling faster and for more money than homes that have not been professionally staged. Luxury homes may even be able to sell for up to 20% more with staging than homes that are not staged.

You should also keep in mind the features that are most popular in homes right now. Kitchens and master bedrooms continue to rank high in importance with most buyers. Buyers are looking for master bedrooms which can serve as sanctuaries and have features such as vaulted ceilings and fireplaces.

The main key is to make sure that regardless of what types of home improvement projects you take on, you do not go too far. There is definitely something to the old cliché ‘too much of a good thing’ and that is certainly true in the case of home improvement projects.

How to Get the Best Return on Investment for Your Home Improvement Remodeling Projects

A home improvement remodeling project can actually make you money in the long run. Also, there are returns on your investment that have nothing to do with financial gains. The most important thing about remodeling your home is that you should have something in the end that is more valuable to you than it was in the beginning. There are several ways to improve your ROI.

1. Choose the right home improvement remodeling project.

Select a plan that will make a big difference in the value of your home. The two most profitable changes are updating your kitchen and remodeling you bathroom. These are the rooms with the most cabinetry, fixtures, and appliances.

When someone wants to buy your home, they will be impressed by a modern, beautiful kitchen. They will also pay strong attention to a well-designed and nicely-appointed bathroom. Not only will these two home improvement remodeling projects add to your home’s money value, but they will increase its intrinsic value to you as well.

2. Do not make mistakes.

If you spend extra time and money doing the job, you may end up with a huge investment in the project. Your home improvement remodeling job will only improve your situation financially if you spend less doing the project than the value you gain from the results. Sometimes extra costs can run up when you make mistakes in doing the job. You might buy the wrong supplies, break the supplies you get, or install them incorrectly.

However, hiring a home improvement remodeling company will assure that the job gets done right the first time. It may appear that you are getting the job done for less when you plan it out to do it yourself. Yet, if you have many false starts and wasted materials, you will probably profit more from using skilled remodelers in the first place.

3. Make sure you finish.

Many people start home improvement remodeling jobs only to leave them half-completed. Perhaps they do not have the spare time to do the work required. They might not make the financial commitment to getting the job finished. Maybe they just lose interest in the project.

For whatever reasons, there are large numbers of homeowners who have partially done projects making parts of their homes nearly unlivable. If you have started a project and do not see an end in sight, it is probably time to hire a home improvement remodeling company to finish it for you. They can put their full concentration on the job rather than having to think about it after work like you do. There is no shame in seeking help; the only shame is in leaving your home in chaos indefinitely.

Your home will bring more money on the market if your home improvement remodeling projects are completed, and completed meticulously. If you have the skills, ability, time and desire to plan a project, start it and keep it going through to the end, you may be able to make that return on investment a reality. If so, you can make it better, both in the increased price your home is worth and in the value you get from you home while you live there. If not, it is a good idea to think about hiring a home improvement remodeling company to help you out.