Knowhow-Now Article

Bringing Home Improvement Costs Down

We all want our home to be beautiful and to be a place where it is a joy to spend time. We can envision how we would enjoy a new deck or the addition of a kitchen island with new, state-of-the-art appliances. Then we think about what it would cost, and our enthusiasm may be dampened. When it comes to upgrades on our home, we need to distinguish between the possible and the impossible, often based on cost. Let these tips guide you on figuring out what is possible for you.

There is a lot of emphasis these days on improvements that lower energy costs. Investments in high tech windows that seal out those winter winds and summer heat are popular. Especially when they offer tax credits, they can be real cost savers, lowering your heating and cooling bills. This is one of the first places to look for improvements that will pay for themselves in the long run, even if initial costs cause you to catch your breath. The same is true in regard to adding more insulation.

Tip: Prime your walls if you are painting over a glossy paint. The primer help the new paint adhere better and prevents it from peeling.

If the project is one you can reasonably do yourself, you may be able to bring down the materials costs as well as eliminating labor costs. Check out the stores that sell construction supplies. You will sometimes find an appreciable difference in the cost of the same item at different stores. Also find out if there is a local recycling center that offers building supplies at low cost.

If you are unsure as to how to go about your project, you can get a lot of help online. There are instructional videos done by experts for almost any project. There are also home improvement shows on television. Even if you think you know what to do, these resources may give you many tips that save you time and money.

Tip: When you decorate, use this rule: 60/30/10. This simply means that 60% of the room should be the primary color with 30% of the room being your secondary color and the remaining 10% should be your accent color.

Don't forget the environmental factor when choosing materials. Many construction supplies are imbued with toxic chemicals, such as those in pressure-treated wood. You do not want to place these materials where they will out-gas into the air you breathe. Formaldehyde is also in some building materials. Be sure to check out what is in materials before you use them. Sometimes it is better to spend a little more and avoid health problems in the future.

Do some research, talk to friends and neighbors about work they have had done, and talk to people at your local home improvement store. There are innovative materials becoming available all the time. You may find there are materials you never imagined that can now make your project more efficient, easier to do, and offer more durability. Home improvement is big business. Take advantage of the new materials offered in this highly competitive business.

There are few things more satisfying than completing a home improvement project and then being able to enjoy its benefits. "Your home is your castle," the saying goes. Making that "castle" less drafty, safer, and more enjoyable is the ultimate benefit of the "sweat equity" you have invested.

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