Home interiors and gardening

Think it, Plan it, Do it

You’ve decided the time has come to finally get serious about the home improvements you’ve been half-heartedly considering for some time now. Admittedly, this is a very exciting time, but it can also be a daunting venture that has the potential to overwhelm you. By being honest and realistic with yourself about what you want and what is within your grasp, you are already halfway through the planning process. You must then consider what resources you are willing and able to invest; budgeting is imperative.

Everyone has different motivations for wanting to make home improvements. Going forward, you should consider what brought you to where you are. Did you skimp on routine maintenance and find yourself now having to invest money that could’ve otherwise be saved? Being a homeowner is no small responsibility when you consider how much of your money you are investing in your home; surely staying on top of protecting that investment should be at the forefront of your mind.

Take pest control, for example. Termites alone cause an average of $5 billion dollars in damage per year; that’s money you can save by having your home safeguarded from pests by a company like moxieservices.com. To put things into perspective, $5 billion in damages is more than the combined cost of fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

Be Realistic

Decide which home improvements would be the most practical and attainable for the budget you have allocated yourself. Once you start deviating from your initial plan and have contractors take on unplanned jobs, your costs will increase and you may find yourself unable or unprepared to absorb the additional costs.

Consider if the renovations you want to complete make financial sense. It is a waste of your resources to spend the money to make changes that will not increase the value of your home; in fact, it’s counter-productive. Most projects will increase the value of your home, but often not as much as they will cost to make. Be sure these are projects you want to complete because they will make your life better, not just for the financial gain.

When you’re thinking about how much you are going to spend, you should also consider how much you can save, and not just in terms of money. Instead of letting your discarded housing materials take up space in our landfills, consider donating them to a non-profit organization that can repurpose them.

Donating your discarded items can be written off on your taxes if they go to a non-profit such as Habitat for Humanity; not only are you gaining a tax write off and helping to sustain the environment, you are also helping others who are in desperate need because your ‘trash’ will be repurposed.

Sweat Equity

When taking into consideration all the costs and planning involved in your renovation, you should also consider investing some of your own sweat. Yes, you read that right; sweat. You’d be surprised how much money you could save by pitching in and doing some of the work yourself.

Instead of relying on your contractors to clean up the mess that will inevitably be created, do a daily clean-up yourself and you will save between 3%-5% of the overall job cost. Removing items you are replacing instead of allowing your contractor to do it will also save you money. Speak with your contractor and let them know that you are willing to pitch in and have your them quote the job based on both you providing some of the work and also if he does all the work. Seeing in black and white how much you can save by not having the hired help complete every last aspect of the job will prove rewarding. Sometimes it takes seeing the difference in your bottom line on paper for it to manifest exactly what an impact your having on the project in hand.

Making home improvements is a great feeling. You are providing an enhanced living situation for yourself and your family. If you are sure to go about it responsibly, the process can be very rewarding.

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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