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Home Improvement Projects: How To Know When To Go Pro

There are many reasons a homeowner might decide to take on an improvement project -- maybe the kitchen needs a bit of an update, or perhaps they’re thinking of selling in the near future and want to boost the resale value. With all the television shows, websites, blogs and video tutorials directed at people who want to try a DIY project, it’s no wonder many homeowners are going for it themselves and tackling things that need an upgrade or an update.


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Before you begin such a project, however, there are some considerations to make. The first thing you should think about is a budget, as many home projects can run into the thousands of dollars pretty easily. Next, you’ll need to consider whether it will truly add something to your home, whether it’s resale value or for aesthetic purposes. For instance, adding a sunroom because you want the space for a specific purpose is fine, but that’s a big expense for something that a potential future buyer may not even want.

Many projects require a permit to complete, as well, and some of these are big jobs that might call for a professional’s touch. Read on for some tips on how to tell which projects are right for you and which ones you should leave to the pros.

Do some research

Some projects are obviously out of the DIY range, such as plumbing or electrical work, but it’s important to do some homework before beginning any changes around your home because they might also require a permit.

Fencing, new windows that are bigger than your current ones, structural changes such as room additions and installing hot tubs all require a permit in certain states, so you’ll want to be knowledgeable about the laws right away. Some projects also require upgrades to existing parts of the home, and if these aren’t done correctly, you may face hefty fines from the city. It’s better to do a bit of research first. Click here for a list of projects that require a permit.

Work out a budget

Once you’ve got the legalities out of the way, it’s time to start thinking about a budget. Depending on how big your project is, you may need to secure financing, so crunch the numbers before you begin.

One of the most popular home improvement projects is a kitchen or bathroom remodel, which usually cost upwards of $10,000-$20,000 depending on the materials you use and how big the area is.

The price also goes up the longer your project stretches out, especially if you are paying contractors, so it will be helpful to have a deadline for finishing. However, it is possible to remodel or update a room on a budget. Read on here for more info.

Start small

It might be a good idea to start with a small, manageable project before moving on to bigger things, such as repainting, hanging wallpaper, or updating cabinets. These are relatively inexpensive and don’t require a professional in most cases, and once you get these smaller jobs done you’ll have a taste of what a DIY project is like and can move on from there.

Know when to ask for help

Many homeowners start a project only to realize they aren’t prepared to finish it or can’t afford to buy more materials, so it’s important to know when to ask for help. Throwing in the towel doesn’t make you a failure; it only means you’re smart enough to realize you don’t have the right tools for the job. Calling in a pro at the right time will save you plenty of time, money and heartache when it comes to home improvement jobs.

Tackling a home improvement job can help you gain confidence as a homeowner, but it can also be a costly venture if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you start small, do some research, and ask for help when you need it, you can take on any project that tickles your fancy.

Article provided by Gene Williams at


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