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Educational Consumer Tips

Home Improvement

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Home Improvement

Home improvements can vary from a variety of different jobs with some being too difficult for a homeowner to tackle. When making a renovation, there should be a well-thought-out plan before any action is taken to avoid mistakes. Renovations should be customized to the specific needs of the homeowners.

Tips for Home Improvements:

Set a Budget.  Decide the amount that can be spent for the total cost of the project, as well as, the cost of all separate jobs. It is important to be upfront about the budget in order to get the most durable materials to give you the best bang for your buck. It’s reasonable to spend extra on an improvement that will increase the amount of return if the house will be sold in the future. If you can’t afford to finance your home improvement projects with cash upfront consider other financing options such as loans and credit lines.

Carefully Think About the Improvement.  Since time and money will be invested make sure the improvement is a practical upgrade. If the renovation is being done outside, think about the weather conditions in the specific location. If the renovations are to improve a house on the market, focus on changes such as painting the exterior, re-siding, or refurbishing a bathroom. These changes that will give the house more value.

Make a Plan.  Come up with a plan for the improvement before renovating. Look to houses of friends and family, magazines and online websites for inspiration.  A clear layout will prevent quick decision making and changing ideas, which will save money and time. If possible, hire a professional architect or designer to draw the blueprints. This will prevent mistakes while maximizing space, money and design. If you do attempt home improvements on your own, be sure to equip yourself with the right tools and look into workshops at your local home improvement store.

Hire a Contractor.  As a homeowner it is beneficial to hone some of your home improvement skills but if part of the home improvement becomes too challenging, hire a professional.  Although this will add costs, it could save money down the road by preventing mistakes that have to be fixed or redone. Read “Tips For Hiring a General Contractor” for more information about hiring a professional.

Keep the Records.  After the project is completed and satisfactory, save all records. Keep all contracts, bills, and other paperwork from the architect and contractor. Save a record of the types of material used, how much was used, and the colors.  This will provide easy access to information later if another home improvement is desired or a repair is needed.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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