How to Make Home Renovation Less Painful Than Advertised

Home improvements are tried and true ways to increase the value of a home. This can come through dollar figures by enhancing the actual financial value of a property. It can also come through greater satisfaction in one’s living space.

Of course, actually getting through home improvement projects themselves is another story. They tend to drain bank accounts and happiness alike. At least, that’s the age-old narrative.

If you’re planning a home improvement project soon, you don’t have to give in to the fact that it’ll be an exhausting, overwhelming, stressful experience. Instead, follow these suggestions to set the stage, streamline the experience, and ease the pressure as you go along.

1. Gauge When To Hire a Contractor

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners can make is failing to decipher between a DIY and a professional home improvement project.

It’s tempting to try to do everything yourself, and in many cases that is a perfectly acceptable solution. Nevertheless, there are going to be moments when choosing to pass off a project is the right choice.

Typically, this has to do with experience. An electrician knows how to manage tricky wiring. A plumber won’t have leaks on the first try. A framer will know how to handle rotten wood under your roof.

But there’s more than just experience in question here. For instance, there are many jobs where you may be able to do the work, but it isn’t worth the effort. You might be able to install a carpet, but it will take you a dozen hours whereas it might take a professional two. Often the financial savings of doing something yourself isn’t worth the time.

Every time you go to tackle a home renovation, start by considering if it’s worth doing on your own. If the answer is no, then use a site like Angi to look for a professional that you can trust to do the job for you. If the answer is still a yes, then move on to the next section.

2. Loosely Plan Everything Out in Advance

This next part is challenging, as it requires the ability to strike a sense of balance between being a control freak and being lazy.

If you want your home improvement efforts to go smoothly, it’s important to start by planning things out. This starts with research. Take the time to look up everything you can about a particular project.

Fill in your knowledge gaps. Talk to friends who have more experience than you. As you gather information, do your best to create a competent budget and a plan for the project. Map out each step, what you’ll need, and how long it will take. Be generous, too, so that you have room for mistakes and miscalculations.

The reason “loosely” is included in the title of this section is because as you plan ahead, you also want to avoid becoming too rigid about your project. It’s easy to create a step-by-step plan that is perfect in theory. The only problem is, reality never lines up.

Instead, gather all of the knowledge you can, and then use it to create a flexible plan. Consider contingency options at each step, and ensure that you give yourself plenty of wiggle room for when things don’t go as planned.

3. Be Strategic About Asking for Help

Often home improvement projects can feel overwhelming at every step. Say, for instance, you’re trying to redo your kitchen. There are plenty of points along the way where you can ask for help. Painting, putting down floors, and hanging a backsplash are all easily two-person jobs. But they can also be done by one person — albeit at a slower pace.

However, there are also many jobs that can come with a kitchen renovation that are more complicated. Installing a dishwasher takes some know-how. Hanging cabinets requires skill. Running plumbing to the sink can be fraught with peril.

It’s much better to have help for these harder projects than it is to have an extra hand while you slap on some paint or lay down vinyl flooring.

Now, there will be times when you have a helping hand with limited knowledge. When that happens, you can funnel that volunteer labor toward the simple grunt work. But if you happen to have a friend who is, say, a skilled construction worker, make sure to cash in their help in the best way possible.

This requires both strategizing and research. First off, you need to understand the project that you’re tackling ahead of time (for more on that, refer to the previous section.) As you break down timelines and step-by-step plans, consider what you personally need to do in each phase of the project.

Then, when you’re offered help or you need to reach out for it, you can do so with a purpose and strategy in mind. Look for ways to address the areas where you might struggle the most first. Then allocate extra help to the other tasks when the important areas are dealt with.

Home renovations can be a blessing — at least, once they’re complete. Getting through the renovation itself, though, can be a hassle in the best of times.

It’s important to use the suggestions above to pave the way toward a smooth, streamlined project.

Pass off bigger projects when the DIY route just isn’t enough. Plan everything out ahead of time — with the understanding that you’re creating guidelines, not a rigid path. Be thoughtful about when and how you cash in any available help so that you aren’t left tackling intimidating areas of the renovation on your own.

Adopting these tactics before you even break ground on your next project is the best way to set the stage for a renovation that is, at the least, less painful than advertised.


Tags: home, improvement, project, renovation, strategy

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