Making home improvements? Look at the bigger picture

House Extension

House Extension

How do you prioritise your home improvement ideas? Often it comes down to the simple matter of finances so make a list of the home improvement projects you’d like to tackle, do your research into the associated costs and then you can look at your budget.

They are plenty of options for making your property look more aesthetically appealing without having to invest in major renovation work. Start by making a ‘snagging list’ of things that need repairing or improving around your home. If you are making home improvements with a view to selling your property, ensuring everything is in good working order and there is a fresh lick of paint, can help to attract potential buyers.

So once you’ve made your list, where do you start? This depends very much on whether you’re handy yourself or dread DIY and avoid it at all costs. Maybe you’re a dab hand with a paintbrush, but your joinery skills leave a lot to be desired. Preparation is key to getting home improvements right, so plan your project out and assign tasks. Recognise your skills and know your limitations. It can be far more cost effective to call on the services of a professional than it can to bodge a job that you weren’t properly prepared for and then have to go to the trouble and expense to put it right.

Work out your budget so you know how much you have for materials and what you can afford to pay tradespeople to come in to undertake the work you aren’t confident you can do. Get recommendations from friends and family as to reliable and competent tradespeople and remember to get several quotes to ensure you are getting value for money – it might be worth paying a bit more to ensure the work is carried out to a high standard than to be tempted by a cheaper quotation. Getting a few quotes should give you an accurate idea of what sort of price you should be paying.

When it comes to more major home improvements like conservatories, garden landscaping and extensions you need to do your research to ensure that the money you pay for the work is worth it in terms of the value it will add to your property. The best place to start is by looking at what other homeowners in your area have done to their houses. There will be a ceiling price for properties on your street so there is no point adding a huge extension to create a luxury house if the perceived value exceeds what people are willing to pay for properties in your area.

Your home improvement projects will also be influenced by the motivating factors for the work – if you are making improvements on your forever home then you won’t be as concerned with added value as you will if you are improving your property with a view to selling up and moving on.

So, before you embark on any DIY task or major home improvements make sure you look at the bigger picture of exactly what you are setting out to do and what you can afford to spend to achieve your vision. Ready to put your DIY skills to the test? Take our fun interactive quiz to see whether you’re up to the job or need to call a professional.

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