A few simple and basic strategies can help you complete your home improvement project on time and on budget. By adhering to a strategy and approaching your home improvement endeavor the same way a professional project manager might manage a major project, you’ll be setting yourself up for do-it-yourself (DIY) success.
First, what are the objectives of your home improvement project? Do they include making money, or rather improving your living environment for your family or both? By having clarity why you’re taking on this renovation, you’ll be less likely to go off course and find yourself building a new back deck when all you really wanted was to add a patio door and bring some extra light into the living room. So, your first strategy is to know your objective and remain focused.
If your overall goal is increasing the home value, focus on that. If it is to have an updated design or foundational structures and wiring, focus on those. By keeping your attention rivoted on your core renovation purpose, you significantly increase your likelihood of staying on track, on budget, and on time.
The next strategy includes research and planning. The more planning you do, the better prepared you’ll be to tackle your project. Remember the old carpenter’s adage that you should “measure twice and cut once.” This age-old advice will save you both time and money.
By planning out the phases and details your project, you’re less likely to overspend on unnecessary materials or find that you need to backtrack over already-completed work. Planning prevents mishaps such as needing to stop work and call a plumber because you forgot to verify whether there were pipes running where you wanted to put in that door. Planning also decreases overspending, such as buying three cans of paint when you only needed two.
Meanwhile, researching your project will help to avert the more costly mistakes. By reading books, watching relevant DVD’s or researching online information about the project you want to tackle, you’re less likely to botch a job and more likely to complete it with a professional finish.
Finally, the last strategy is to stay on target. Set a realistic timeline for yourself and push yourself to meet that deadline every day. Even if you can’t do everything on your list for a particular day, always try to do as much as possible. If you’re waylaid by a tardy electrician, for example, get started painting the next room while you wait. By tackling your DIY home improvement project the way you’d tackle any big project at work, you’ll see results fast.