DIY home improvements

The Block, House Rules, Reno Rumble… You don’t have to search far to find a home improvement show. It’s all the rage right now.

DIY home improvements can definitely be very rewarding – both in terms of saving money and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel as you transform your living home into your dream home. Choose wrong, however, and you’ll end up paying more to have the work redone correctly.

So before you pick up that drill, here are a few tips from expert DIY’ers.

1. Write down your wish list

While your wish list may be extravagant, your budget is not.

What is it that you want to accomplish with your renovation? Are you looking for more storage space? Are you considering updating to energy efficient appliances? What about the countertops – have you researched the pros and cons of the different materials that are available to you? Do you know which walls in your home are load-bearing?

Work within your budget and your timetable so you can meet your expectations with the finished project. While home improvement shows have an entire room renovated within an hour, there are several days from start to finish, depending on the task(s) at hand. Don’t get yourself in over your head when it comes to the renovation timetable.

2. Start small

Life Hacker suggests when you’re just starting out, build confidence with small projects and grow from there. Choose your projects carefully by knowing your risks and capabilities.

For example, change an electrical outlet before you tackle rewiring a room. Build a raised garden bed before you build a deck. Small fixes, such as replacing cabinet hardware or installing new light fixtures, can also often be big upgrades in terms of look and functionality.

3. Never underestimate the power of paint

Do it Yourself, you don’t have to compromise on the look, just to save money.

Applying a fresh coat of paint can bring a whole new look to any space. The best thing is that it’s inexpensive and easy to apply. Even if you can only do one thing for your bathroom, renovations experts will tell you to choose paint! A new coat of paint will not only lighten everything up, but seal out old odours too. Often you can find decent paint at home maintenance stores for next to nothing. Be sure to use a semi-gloss finish and two coats.

4. Choose your tradesmen wisely

For the tradesmen you do need, remember, the right person for the job is not just about the best price. You need someone who is willing to work with you to get you what you want – not what they want.

Ask around and get recommendations. A good carpenter/builder will know good plumbers, electricians, tilers, and plasters – anyone else you’ll need for the job. So one recommendation will usually result in a whole team. It goes the opposite way – if you’ve ever used a plumber or electrician for another job, they may know a good builder for the job too. These types of tradies are usually contracted by various builders so they get to know them well – who pays them well, treats them well, is organised, who produces good work. They’re one of the best sources of recommendations.

5. Renovate where it matters

“Make sure you put your hard earned cash where it shows,” according to Property Observer.

Quality kitchens and bathrooms will always add value to your home and a smart façade will make your house the envy of your neighbours.

6. Do the basic things well

Vendor Advocacy recommends going around your house and completing all of the small jobs that you normally wouldn’t get around to if half the job done.

“If you de-clutter thoroughly and present your home nearly, then repairing cracks where they are apparent and adding a coat of paint, polishing wood floors and replacing appliances will enhance your home’s appeal. This will add a large amount of value for a very smalloutlay.”

7. Give small spaces a big impact

Complete Home believes there are plenty of imaginative ways to turn even the smallest space into something that’s both functional and looks great. One of their tips is to choose furniture wisely.

“Whether it’s a place to enjoy your morning cup of tea or entertain friends, you’re main limitation will be the space you have to work with. If it’s really cramped, think about collapsible furniture like deck chairs and a foldaway table. Just spend a weekend browsing furniture shops and pick a style and size that suits the room you’re updating.”

While renovations can increase the value of your home, it’s more about improving your lifestyle by customising your home to suit you.