6 Tips to Help You Start Your Home Improvement Projects Now
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your bathroom remodel! Although the spring season often comes to mind when you think of home improvements, early winter is the best time to get started.
Spring is typically the busiest time of year for most contractors because home owners wait for their tax returns and warmer weather to take the plunge. Starting mid-March through June, the costs of materials go up exponentially so even the fiercest DIY-er can be subject to the uptick in prices.
There are many items you can check off with the snow still falling outside your window (add installing a bay window to the list), so here’s how to get started!
Find your inspiration– Put your Pinterest boards to use! Pinterest, magazines, and design blogs can be a great resource for finding an idea of what you want your reimagined space to look like. After you have an overall idea, take a field trip to your local hardware store, Lowe’s, or Home Depot for paint, flooring, and carpet swatches. Bringing physical examples into your home can help you visualize the result before you purchase anything.
Get the intel– If you’re hiring out any sort of labor for your home improvements, you need to get on their schedule ASAP. And, chances are, you aren’t going to want just any contractor. Start by asking friends and family close by who’ve had recent projects who they’d recommend and get quotes. Make sure to include these quotes into your budget for a better idea of what this will cost you (and if you’d rather do the labor yourself).
Penny-pinching– Setting a budget for any home improvement project is necessary for it to go (somewhat) smoothly. If you’re planning on multiple projects, make sure to itemize everything you need to get a true idea of the cost. After totaling, if you’re budget is looking a little too much for you to handle, know where to cut back and still get your remodel on. Doing the project for yourself instead of hiring, using vinyl flooring instead of tile, or going for classic paint colors instead of trendy wallpaper can do wonders for your budget. Luckily if you gather your materials in the winter, you can avoid the price hikes in the spring and give your budget a little extra cushion!
Do I need a permit?- Now that you’re rearing to go, sledgehammer in one hand and paint can in the other, you need to see if your project requires a building permit. Any project that involves a structural change to your existing living space, electrical, plumbing, or window modification needs a permit. If your home improvements fall under these umbrellas, you’ll want to file for a building permit as soon as you can because nothing can advance until you do. Check out this handy list to see if your project requires a permit, but also communicate with your municipality as well to be sure.
Stick to a timeline– As with most planning processes, your home improvement needs to find space in your schedule. Make time for purchasing supplies, meeting with contractors, and even delays. Be realistic with your goals; sickness, extra work, and bad weather all happen. If you’re plan on doing the work yourself, having a flexible timeline of when you want to accomplish your project is crucial to it getting completed. After all, you only have yourself to rely on at that point.
Prep the space– Time to move spring cleaning up on your schedule. Focus on decluttering the space you’re trying to renovate, before that first stroke of primer hits the walls. This is a great time to do a cleaning overhaul and donate or recycle clothes or furniture you no longer need. Decluttering now can save you time when your project begins because it will need done eventually, so the time is now!
Making your home look exactly the way you want is a perk of being a homeowner, and if you are active in the preparation process, your home improvement will be a success. Early winter is the ideal time to start laying the figurative groundwork for what work you want to have accomplished so you can avoid the traditional “busy time”. That way, come April 1st, your neighbors will scrambling to meet with your contractor while you’re sipping coffee, watching out your new bay window.