A well thought out plan is essential if we want to remain within our budget. Along the road to home improvement there are many ways we can be persuaded to spend too much. Our own tastes might demand the more expensive fabric or higher priced flooring. We might see an option we hadnít considered during the original planning of the project. Sometimes the detours can be very tempting.
Deciding what we want and sticking with it is important. If we discover we absolutely have to spend more than what we have in our budget it might be time to postpone the project or lower our expectations. Some projects can be done in stages. Get the new cabinets and then a few months down the road replace the lighting. If the changes will beautify our home and allow us to enjoy our space more it will be worth the wait.
Set the budget high. Having money left over at the end of the project would be a welcome relief to any home or business owner.
Home improvement supplies fluctuate in price. Shopping around allows us to compare prices among local retailers. Prices vary from one store to the next and from one week to the next. A big sale can mean big savings. If we have a place to store supplies we can find the things we need on sale and keep them until we are ready to begin our project.
We can consider doing some of the work ourselves when we plan our next home improvement project. However, we must be honest about our abilities. We can have the best intentions in mind when we take on a project, only to find it is going to cost a lot more to hire someone to fix what we messed up. If we really do know how to put in a wood laminate floor, by all means we should do it. Labor is one of the more expensive aspects to home improvement.
Consider the value we are adding to our home when we make improvements. This is especially important if we intend to sell our home. New kitchens and baths will add value to older homes in need of updates. Some updates wonít pay for themselves however, so be careful. Improvements in the mid price range are smarter than luxury updates in the high price range. Updating a $30,000 kitchen might not make as much sense in a $150,000 home as it does in a $500,000 home.
It may not be as important to recoup our costs if we intend to stay in our home. The point of a home is to enjoy it while we are there and some improvements will add to that experience. Practical improvements like new wiring or plumbing will never be seen by anyone but they will give us piece of mind.
Home improvement can be stressful. The peace and tranquility of our home is compromised, as is our privacy, in cases where strangers are inside hammering and sanding while we are trying to learn a new yoga position on the Wii. Be realistic and be patient. The guy hanging the new chandelier is just as anxious to finish the job and get back to his own home as we are to get him out of our house.
Over-extending ourselves financially will only add to this stress, especially when the reality of paying the bills sets in. Staying within our budget can afford us an improved space and no debt.
Published: April 24, 2012