There are a lot of things you need to think about before you start small home improvement projects. They almost always involve huge sums of money, so there is a lot of pressure to get it right. This article is designed to help you decide which project is the right one to start with.
One of the first decisions you need to make is whether you are going to try to do some or all of the work yourself, or leave it to a professional. Do-it-yourself is usually a lot cheaper. Your labor costs could be as much as two-thirds of your total costs. If you do everything yourself that means that you will only have the material costs to worry about. Unfortunately, this is not always the best choice. Many projects can only be done by a pro because of regulations. Other projects, like major plumbing changes, can cost you many times what you saved if you make even small mistakes. Balance your need to keep under budget with the realities of your skills.
Tour your house and make a list of things that are broken or dated. These are the things you need to be focused on. Start with things that are broken, then follow up with items that need sprucing up. Consider changing out old carpet for modern hardwood floors. Replace kitchen appliances that are old and failing. If any of your plumbing is leaking, you need to get it repaired. Broken items can end up costing you money you could be using to continue with your updates.
Keep in mind that some home improvement projects generate a far better return than others. Statistically your first focus should be your kitchen and bathroom, as they will add the most dollars to the price of your home. They are the rooms which get used most, so they must be right. Landscaping can also be an important factor, as it will draw in more buyers. Items like swimming polls are not good investments. They are expensive to install and maintain. Since a potential buyer must factor in the cost of maintaining the pool, it can actually hurt the value of your home.
Do not only consider the financial impact of your decisions. This is the home you live in after all, so you need to be able to enjoy your improvements. If a pool is something that you really want, go ahead and get it. Something you will enjoy every day is far more valuable than a few extra dollars when you sell the house. Use money as a way to guide your actions, rather than forcing yourself to always do what makes the most financial gain.
Hopefully these guidelines will help you make the right decisions. By thinking carefully about what you are doing, you can make the right decision. Home improvement can either be a nightmare or a dream come true. Keep at it, and may all your dreams be pleasant.