Why Do It Yourself?
Over the last decade, America has become increasingly captivated by the Do It Yourself Home Improvement trend. We often hear about home renovation on TV, in books and in magazines. Every day more people are becoming motivated to pick up their hammers and paint brushes and put the money they save by not hiring a contractor back into their pockets.
Becoming a do-it-yourselfer has many advantages. Saving money is a big one. Not only do you not have to pay a home improvement expert, but you are also upgrading your property. Any improvements to your home will increase its value and thereby your home equity. Money aside, having the opportunity to design and stylize your home to your own personal specifications is very rewarding. Envisioning a renovation and seeing it evolve through your own efforts induces a sense of pride and self-satisfaction.
What is entailed in a Home Improvement Project?
For some, home improvement merely means keeping up with daily home repair. If this is your level of experience and you would like to progress in your capability, take it a step at a time and try a few smaller remodeling projects, like adding decorative construction to your home or replacing tile or fixtures. After a few smaller jobs, when you have become an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you may consider a major remodel like a bathroom or kitchen that requires many small projects to complete the large one. You can find guides to nearly any type of renovation or remodel project in your local library or home improvement store that will detail each smaller project that needs to be done within a full room remodel.
Where to Begin your Project
The key to a successful project is in the planning. Before you begin, make a plan that details your vision and requirements for your finished project. Make a drawing of what you want the finished product to look like. Plan out your colors, textures, lighting, and major features. Design your space. You can get home improvement tips and ideas from your local home improvement center. And, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most DIY store employees have the knowledge necessary to be able to guide you, or can tell you where to get the information you need for nearly any project.
Next, itemize your materials and estimate cost, adjusting quality for your budget. Purchase the highest quality materials that your resources will afford, as it will always pay off in the long run. Poorly made or low quality goods may look okay for a short time, but will not last. You may want to check salvage yards or thrift stores for materials. High quality surplus or even used goods will far outlast new, lower quality.
Be sure to contact your city/county permit office to see if you need a permit for your remodel. Permits are typically required for any addition or renovation that changes structure or home systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc).
Finally, prepare your space, gather your plan and your tools and take the leap. If you have a solid plan and you take your time to do a good job, your project should go smoothly and you will reach your goal. And the bonus is, you get the added satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself!