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5 tips for DIY home improvement

Posted on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 1:54:55 PM

Chances are that when it comes to the big investments you'll make in your lifetime, your home is the biggest of the bunch. Keeping it in the best possible condition isn't just important - it's something many homeowners like to do themselves through cost-effective home improvement projects.

DIY home improvement can be incredibly satisfying, but if you're unsure how to get started, here are some tips, according to Home Loan Investment Bank's senior account manager Blane Morphis:

Prioritize
It isn't hard to take a quick look around your home and find multiple areas that could be improved. The key is determining which of those areas make sense for a DIY project - whether it's an easy and inexpensive task like painting a room or patching up small holes, or a more complicated one like replacing old carpet with new tile or wood.

"The key is to prioritize and stick to your list,"  explained Morphis. "Establish what you are willing to undertake, and what you are capable of - be honest about your skill level and what you can realistically manage - so you can determine what should be left to a professional."

Determine your budget
Without a clear budget, the risk of overspending on a home improvement project becomes very real.

"It may help to comparison shop the local hardware stores, and pay attention to upcoming sales at specialty retailers," said Morphis. "Keep in mind that materials may not be the only cost you need to budget."

Tools can be either purchased or rented, which will save on cost, but contractors can vary in price, so written estimates are essential for grasping the scope of a project.

Seek expert advice
Quality home improvement projects are the most likely to offer significant return on investment, so don't be afraid to consult a professional. Local hardware and home improvement stores typically offer both seminars and experienced staff who can provide step-by-step instructions that will save you time and money.

Get the right tools
Without the right tools to get the job done, a home improvement project will be little more than a lesson in frustration. After all, a broadsword may have a sharp edge, but that doesn't mean you would use it for eye surgery.

"Every homeowner should have supply of basic tools like hammers, pliers, wrenches, and screwdrivers on hand," said Morphis. "It's worthwhile to take the time and money to purchase a quality set of tools."

Get it right the first time around
Before rushing into a DIY project, remember this - you will see the results of it for as long as you own your home. If you rush the job or cut corners, it will likely become apparent in the long run. So take your time and do things right from the get-go. 

That way, when the job is done, you'll be able to look on added value to your home with the satisfaction of being a DIY homeowner.