While there are many small-scale and cosmetic do-it-yourself projects that can improve the look and feel of your home, when it comes to large-scale renovations, it's important to hire a professional to do the work on your behalf. Hiring a pro ensures that everything is done correctly, is up to code, and that you're keeping yourself out of harm’s way – an especially important factor when using specialized tools or machinery. You’ll also want to keep in mind how projects can potentially increase the price of your home, and plan accordingly. Let’s take a look into projects you can tackle yourself.
What Can You DIY?
If you’re handy and comfortable with basic home repair, you can easily tackle projects like making a paver stone pathway, hanging new light fixtures in bathrooms, or adding a fresh coat of paint. In fact, several projects like these are worth considering if you plan to sell your home anytime soon.
Exploring online tutorials and demos in home improvement centers can give you some practical tips and knowledge. You can even rent some types of equipment to make the process easier. Keep in mind, improvements should add to your appraised value, not detract. For example installing a shoddy patio cover or privacy fence that later has to be removed to pass a home inspection is a waste of your time, money, and energy.
Why Hire A Professional?
Many professionals make home-improvement projects look easy, but that's often because they've become so good at their craft that it seems to be second nature. Keep in mind that contracting professionals typically have years of experience, including apprenticeships. They’re familiar with the latest tools, technology, and materials, and are licensed, bonded, and insured in the event something goes awry during the course of your project. They’re the ones to call for things like window replacement, room additions, and flooring installation. Before hiring anybody, ask for references and get written quotes from several different companies.
Upgrades That Add Curb Appeal
If you’re making improvements in an effort to sell your home for top dollar, simple changes can be cost-efficient, as well as effective. As Moving.com notes, an outside makeover can make your home a standout. Power wash your home’s exterior, plant new flowers, add a splash of color to your door, and install landscape lighting to showcase it all. Not only does this add a touch of flair to your listing, you’re also more likely to attract drive-by interest if you set your home apart from others in the neighborhood. Some homeowner associations place limits on outdoor modifications, so check yours in advance.
When you’re ready to upgrade your outdoor property and beautify your lawn, count on the team at All Outdoors for expert lawn care and landscaping services and patio and outdoor kitchen installation.
Improvements That Add Value
While you naturally want your home improvement projects to make your house more enjoyable for you and your family, it's also wise to keep in mind which projects will add substantial value to your home, versus those that will not. For example, kitchen and bathroom renovations typically add to your home’s appraised value, whereas projects like swimming pools don't always provide the same return on investment.
Paying for Upgrades and Tracking Your Expenses
Whether you make your own improvements or hire a professional, home improvements can get pricey. If you need some extra funds to pay for upgrades, consider refinancing your home and using the cash sum you receive for home improvement projects. If you have an existing FHA mortgage, an FHA streamline refinance has more forgiving income and appraisal requirements than traditional refinancing.
Keep records and receipts, as well as take before-and-after photographs. This can help you demonstrate the work and investment you've made on the property when it comes time to appraise or sell. It can also help you offset capital gains taxes if you're selling a property after only having lived in it for a short period of time. If you’re fixing up a property to use as a rental, track expenses there as well, as they’re likely to be tax deductible.
Per HGTV, many DIY projects are enjoyable and are easy to do on a weekend, without a great deal of time or expense. Hiring a professional for bigger projects may cost more than doing it on your own, but keep in mind, contractors with crews can work quickly and efficiently, reducing the amount of time your home is in disarray. Determine what your priorities are, and then get busy!
By: Clara Beaufort
Clara is a retired business owner, who currently works in community gardening. She operates GardenerGigs, which aims to connect local gardeners with those who need them.
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