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The Average Joe's Starting Guide to Home Improvement

Many   people that get into home-improvement projects have no prior experience. They
just   jumped in, and so can you. Read on for some tips that can help you get a better
idea   of how to prepare for, get started on and successfully complete your very own
home   improvement project.

1. Understand and be realistic about the types of work you can do. For example, if
you do not understand anything about electrical wiring, and do not have an interest
in learning about it, this is better left to a professional or someone who has
experience and a good knowledge of it. Walk through your project mentally, and think
of the worst case scenario if the project does not work out. If the worst case is
something you can live with, go for it. If the worst case is something like
flooding, starting a fire, or having the ceiling cave in, plan on bringing in some
expertise to help you out.

2. Always assess your project from start to finish. There are a lot of forks in the
road, and you can certainly over-analyze. However, mapping out your project and some
back-up options in case something goes wrong is the best way to guarantee success.
This also helps make sure that you have a grasp of the total project costs and
resources required before you get started.

3. Buy all of your supplies before starting your project. Go back to your mapped-out
plan, and list all of the materials and tools you will need. Buy materials in bulk
to cut costs, and see if you can rent or borrow equipment rather than buying it.
New, shiny tools and machines are fun, but they are not a wise use of your money if
they are expensive, you never use them again after the project, and you could have
easily borrowed or rented.

Take the project slowly, and avoid trying to race to the finish. This will only
cause you frustration, especially if something does not go according to plan. Expect
some things to work out differently than you had planned, and prepare yourself to
remain flexible and open to other options that can still get you to your desired end

5. Know when it is time to quit and call in a professional. Perhaps a certain
project seemed easy at first, but has grown into a complete mess. Avoid the
frustration of spending more money on different materials, re-doing work or
abandoning the project altogether. Have a list of affordable contractors or other
service providers that can help you keep your project on track if it starts to

6. If any of your friends or family has experience with the type of project you want
to do, ask for their help, or pick their brains for advice. Experience is a great
teacher, and they may have valuable insights that help you save money and avoid
common home improvement project pitfalls.

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A home improvement project can be exciting and fun, until you find out that you
could have planned a little better, or taken more time on each step. Start with the
tips mentioned above, and you will increase your odds of planning and carrying out a
tremendously successful home improvement project while already dreaming of your next

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