Before You Renovate

Before You Renovate Part 1

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Kitchen Many of the folks who own real estate on Smith Mountain Lake will be renovating or adding features to their lovely homes sometime this year. It’s always good to have an idea of where to begin and what your specific objectives are before you start any such new project. Patricia Tomaskovic tells us a few of the most basic and important points to consider before getting started.

Homeowners embark on do-it-yourself projects every day. Sometimes, a problem presents itself that must be repaired immediately, such as a leak. Sometimes, the homeowner wishes to improve the salability of his home and undertakes larger projects, such as an addition to the home or remodeling the kitchen. Then there are those who wish to improve or update the look of their home. Whether it’s an immediate need or a major undertaking, there are many questions to ask yourself prior to initiating any project on your own. Yes, you can save yourself a lot of money by doing your own home improvements, but any project, large or small, requires some pre-planning. The bigger the project, the more planning is involved. After all, you don’t want your project to end up costing twice as much as necessary because you didn’t thoroughly plan for any potential complications.

Whether you’re installing cabinets, building a deck, or adding crown molding throughout your home, a comprehensive plan will benefit the homeowner prior to initiating the project. Below are some questions and considerations for the homeowner to ask before tearing down those walls or visiting the local home improvement center.

What is your plan?

What do you hope to accomplish? Are you remodeling or adding a room? Or is it a simple problem that needs to be attended to immediately? How much do you need or want to spend? Your plan should begin with setting some priorities. Break the project down and rate the importance of each aspect. Decide on expense and speed. Does your project require the best quality or can you cut some corners? For example, do you have to use plaster ornamentation or can you substitute polyurethane? Do you want it done yesterday or is it something with which you should take your time?

Try to determine what your costs will be. Do some homework ahead of time. Obtain bids from contractors and other professionals. This will give you a better idea of what the project entails, whether or not you plan on completing some or all of the work yourself. I like to obtain at least three random bids for any work that I have done. Also, visit the home improvement stores for an idea of the costs of materials and other necessities. After doing the research you may decide that the task is too large for you. In any case, you now know how much the job will set you back financially.

Look at setting yourself a timetable for the completion of your project. Most projects will end up requiring at least twice as much time as you anticipate. Make allowances for setbacks, delayed deliveries, for extra work you encounter along the way to completing your original project.

Is this a DIY project?

Be realistic about your do it your self-skills. If the undertaking is beyond your abilities, seek professional help. Maybe you need a plumber or an electrician. Are you qualified to handle any unforeseen problems that could develop? Do you know what those potential difficulties are? If you planned ahead, you should have an idea of where you might need to seek assistance for completing some part of your home improvement project. For example, if you are remodeling your kitchen and you are qualified to put in the cabinets, but you cannot rewire the electrical lines. Then you would plan for an electrician to come in and complete this aspect of the job. Also, some cities or counties require professionals to do some types of work. For example, in the Fort Lauderdale area, a homeowner may replace the roof, but only the pitched part. If you have any part of your roof that is flat, it must be repaired only by a licensed professional. This is another aspect where doing your homework can save you time and money in the long run.

About the Author:
Patricia Tomaskovic

Patricia Tomaskovic is the President of Copyright 2005. Visit us soon and register for the monthly drawing. We look forward to serving you. We are an online store offering home decorating products, specializing in ceiling medallions and crown molding, as well as numerous other decorative ceiling items, including tools and supplies for creating your own custom ceilings.

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