Home Improvement Tips - Avoiding the Pitfalls
Plan, plan, plan
Sometimes a few home improvement tips can help to set you on the right path with your project. The phrase "home improvement" can all too often seem like a joke - the so-called improvements make the place worse, and the disruption makes your house seem less like a home and more like a building site. However, a little advice at the right time will make the whole experience much less stressful.
Home improvement tip 1: plan, plan, plan
A general wouldn't march into battle without a strategy. An explorer wouldn't head off to discover new lands without a map and a route planned. You're fighting a battle to reshape your home, wandering into the uncharted territory of the home improvement store. Nobody needs a plan more than you, so make one. Our page on planning a home makeover gives some more tips on the vital planning stage.
Home improvement tip 2: resist mission-creep
Tasks have a tendency to spill over into other areas if you're not careful. While you're at the DIY store buying paint for the living room, you see a great deal on tiles that would be perfect for the kitchen. Or you replace the bedroom carpet and it makes the curtains look shabby, so you think it's time to make some new ones. The best advice is to resist these tendencies. There's nothing wrong with large-scale home makeovers, but every aspect has to be part of your plan from the start. Spontaneous mini-projects add to the chaos in your home and put a strain on your budget.
Home improvement tip 3: take a break
You're not super-human, and you shouldn't try to be. Set regular breaks when you're doing home improvements. These should be both short-term and long-term breaks. If you're spending a whole day working, take a decent amount of time out for meals, and pause for coffee if it's all getting too much. You should also make sure that the period of working on your home doesn't go on for too long. The mess can really take its toll, and if you have contractors in your home you will be longing for some privacy. So make sure there is a gap of at least a few weeks between ending one project and starting the next. Allow some "emergency relaxation money" in your home improvement budget. That way, you'll have the cash if you want to go out for a meal or have a weekend away to clear your head.