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Planning Your Home Improvement Projects

When you want to increase the value of your home though renovation projects, it is
wise to plan ahead. Choosing which projects will be the most beneficial is crucial
to reaching your goals. Read on for some considerations in successful planning.

Assessing the actual value of your home in the marketplace can be an important guide
to how much time and money you want to invest in certain projects. If you plan to
stay in your home for an extended period of time, this may not be a major
consideration for you. In that case, you may want to focus exclusively on projects
that create a higher standard of living for your own enjoyment. If, however, you
anticipate the sale of your home in the next few years, you will want to know which
things can add selling value. Get an informal market evaluation from a local
realtor. These can often be done at little or no cost due a realtor's desire to
foster a relationship with any future sellers in their area.

Creating a budget is important to the overall success of your goals. Make a list of
what is important to you, then determine how much available financial resources you
can realistically devote to each area that needs improvement. You may want to
concentrate on a lot of small projects, or devote your resources to one major
improvement at a time. Choose a few improvements that are on your "wish list" and
then create a budget for each one separately. This will allow you to see a realistic
assessment of what you can actually afford at this particular time, as well as give
you goals for projects that can be undertaken at a future date.

Do not forget that some larger improvements may require permits from your city or
county. Find out what permits may be needed and what standards must be adhered to.
This can help with financial planning, as well as give you an indicator of whether
the requirements exceed your desire to tackle that particular improvement.

When undertaking projects on your own, you may not be aware of which safety
precautions should be considered. Particularly if your project involves electrical
or plumbing renovations, there are safety issues that may be more than you planned
for. Know what potential precautions may be involved and whether you are equipped to
handle these things on your own without help from a professional.

It is often an area of disappointment and contention with other family members when
projects are started and delayed for months at a time. This can be avoided by
carefully planning a start date and a completion date. Make a commitment and stick
to it. Often the beginning of a project is exciting and fulfilling, but quickly
becomes tedious when the thrill wears off. Anticipate this and dedicate yourself to
completion by a specific date. This will often motivate you to get it done.

If there are portions of your project that will require the help of a contractor, do
your research ahead of time and check out references, licenses and time schedules.
Get commitments in writing, and include clauses that specify what will happen if the
work is not completed as agreed. The beginning of a project is when a contractor
will want to gain your trust and your business, so this is the time to work together
in good faith and put commitments in writing. This will protect both parties if
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things go wrong - and they often do.

Following these time-tested steps will ensure successful completion of the projects
that you have dreamed of doing in your home. Take the time to implement these ideas
into your planning phase, then jump right in and enjoy the process.

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