3 Home Improvement Tips as Homeowners Look Ahead To Spring
Spring is all about new beginnings. If you’re a homeowner, that might mean rolling up your sleeves and doing some home improvement projects.
But it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you haven’t tackled these kinds of projects. After all, the goal may not be as simple as improving an area that’s calling out for some TLC — your home’s equity and skill set may be factors.
Here’s what you should know about tackling home improvement projects as the weather warms.
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No. 1: Focus on high-traffic or visible areas
“The types of projects that’ll usually give you the biggest bang for your buck are modifications to high-traffic and easily visible areas of your home,” says Jacob Channel, LendingTree senior economist. “For example, kitchen and bathroom renovations, as well as landscaping your yard, can help make your home seem more appealing to would-be buyers and increase its value.”
Importantly, he adds, updates that can increase the value of your home don’t have to be major. Instead, relatively straightforward changes, like a fresh coat of paint or new shrubbery in your yard, can make a big difference to buyers.
Of course, if your home has major issues —like leaky pipes or a bathroom with a rusting tub — you’ll probably need to undertake more time-consuming (and costly) projects to increase your home’s value. But assuming your home doesn’t have those types of issues, starting with projects that add charm can help give you a great return and something nice to look at every day.
No. 2: Do project research to control costs
In many areas of life, planning and research are the keys to success. That’s true for home improvement projects, too. In fact, taking the time upfront to research a project can save you money and keep costs from spiraling out of control.
“Before you start a project, you should do a quick Google search to see what the average cost for that project is,” Channel says. “Your actual cost will likely vary from any averages you find online, but those averages can give you a sense of how much you should expect to budget for and spend.”
Next, shop around for the required materials (or for contractors) to find the best options for your budget. Depending on your route, it may require a few phone calls to get cost and time estimates or see if specific items are in stock. This work should give a ballpark figure for the project that’s more realistic for where you live. Plus, it’ll help you figure out if you’d need to take out a home improvement loan to cover everything.
No. 3: Know when to bring in the professionals
Some projects can easily be DIY-ed, while others can be difficult — or even dangerous — to attempt without the proper training. The key is recognizing when it’s time to call a professional. That way, you won’t increase your costs by purchasing supplies yourself, only to have that professional fix your handiwork.
Luckily, those high-reward, aesthetic-based projects (like painting, planting or replacing items like a sink) typically fall into the DIY category.
After all, as Channel notes, the last thing you want to do is accidentally knock down a load-bearing wall or start an electrical fire in an attempt to save a buck. And paying a professional, when appropriate, will give you peace of mind that you and your family are safe.