Planning Is Everything

Planning Is Everything

If there is one piece of advice I would give every homeowner, regardless of the circumstances, it’s this – Plan first, then do. Careful planning on your part is a prerequisite to undertaking any home improvement project, be it major or minor.

In fact, the quickest way a minor project balloons into a major one is when you haven’t thought things through in advance. I’ve seen more people get in over their heads because they didn’t think things through before starting work.

Whether you hire someone or do the work yourself, expect to spend more time and money than you initially anticipate. But by choosing well, you can ensure that the work you do adds the greatest value at the lowest cost.

Be methodical; try breaking your list into exterior and interior projects, then break it down further by room or outside area. And decide which projects you’re going to take on yourself, and which will require outside help, and then do a rough cost estimate for each job.

One rule of thumb to keep in mind is if you do the work yourself, you’ll probably recoup more than what you pay out for some improvements. You will most likely save anywhere from 10 to 30 percent by removing hired labor from the equation. On the other hand, you may pay more for work done by professionals, but the improvements can speed the sale of your property.

Whether you should tackle the work yourself or hire professionals depends on several things –   Do you have the time? Will friends or relatives help, or will you do the work yourself? How skilled are you or your helpers on the tasks at hand?

You may decide to split the job; the contractor will do the major work and you will do the finishing. Doing at least some of the work yourself can save you money. Whatever you do, the key lies in doing it well. If that means hiring a professional, then hire a professional; a poorly done job can do more harm than good.

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