House and Home

First-Time Homeowner Looking Toward a Major Project? Five Things to Do First

If you’re a first-time homeowner, the concept of home improvement can naturally freak you out a bit. This is especially true if you purchased a new home or seemingly immaculate property and the idea of anything goes wrong seems like a nightmare

Don’t freak out. Wear and tear in any given home is inevitable; meanwhile, home improvement projects don’t have to be massive headaches. That said, there are plenty of questions to ask and precautions to take before undertaking any sort of project.

So, what how can you ensure that your first big home improvement goes smoothly and you don’t hit any snags? Keep the following five tips in the back of your mind.

Figure Out Your Budget

Home improvement projects can come with hefty price tags and set you back financially, but they don’t necessarily have to if you plan your budget well in advance. Rather than be held back by your finances or needlessly dip into your savings account, consider some ways to make your project a reality as such as home improvement loans, payment plans from contractors or only taking on projects you can do yourself.

You can also take advantage of a home improvement loan calculator to assess your payment timeline for a major project if you decide to go the loan route. This provides you with realistic expectations price-wise and lets you know what projects can be tackled now versus later.

Decide Between DIY or Hiring Help

Simply put, you’re going to choose whether your projects are something you can handle yourself or if you’ll need some hired help to make a reality.

The DIY approach is ideal for those who consider themselves handy and want to keep more money in their pockets. That being said, there are some projects you should never DIY including installing dishwashers and tearing down entire walls. In other words, anything involving excessive plumbing or electrical legwork.

If you’re unsure whether you can realistically handle a particular project or worry that you might be putting yourself in potential peril, sometimes it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Do Some Serious Homework

This may seem like a no brainer, but doing proper research can save you a ton of cash. Whether it’s shopping around for building materials or vetting potential contractors, do not immediately snatch up the first “deal” you see. Take the time to assess your options and give yourself some breathing room when it comes to time and budget instead of making a rash decision.

Think About the Long Game

Look toward projects that will increase the long-term value of your home as not all improvement projects are created equal. The most important rooms in your house from a seller’s perspective are your kitchen, bathrooms and living room. The exterior of your home is obviously also important for grabbing the attention of interested buyers.

Start with Smaller Projects

If you find the entire process of home improvement to be daunting, start with a small project first such as replacing easy-to-reach lighting fixtures or a few windows instead of diving in and doing something drastic. This will ease you into the process and give you some peace of mind as you work toward something more time and budget-intensive.

There are many moving pieces to any given home improvement project, but that doesn’t mean you should give up before you even get started. Sticking to these tips can make your home improvement dreams a reality without breaking the bank.

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