If you want to join the DIY (do-it-yourself) home renovation craze, you’ll want to do some research first to see what the most inexpensive means are for you to effect your desired change. After all, the whole point of doing a project yourself is because you want to save yourself the labor cost, and perhaps some time as well.
Structural or cosmetic?
Cherie Barber is a professional renovator and she said, "You can’t really be a structural renovator unless you have a minimum of $500,000 equity behind you, whereas most people can afford to be a cosmetic renovator." Cosmetic renovations involve projects that should take a month or less to complete and cost no more than 10 percent of your property’s total current value.
Break up the project
Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking the project up into chunks or steps. If all you have is weekends to work on your renovation. Make a goal for what each weekend project should be. If you’re redoing your home’s carpet, make a goal to have two rooms done by one weekend, two or three more done the next weekend.
Increase your "wow" factor
Improving your curb appeal is the best way to get money back on your investment. Barber explained, "Cement rendering the outside and external painting will typically give you a $10 return for every $1 invested. So if you have a limited budget, you need to do those changes. It’ll transform your property and jack up its value." That "wow" factor is what will get people interested in your home should you choose to sell it in the future.
Do a thorough cleaning
Cleanliness might not seem like renovation, but you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes to your home, especially to potential buyers. For instance, dusty vents or ceiling fan blades are easy to clean, but can make a powerful impression on visitors to your home. Peter Bushby is president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia and he said, "[Small jobs and finishings] are critical. Cleanliness and presentation are paramount to people liking the property and seeing themselves living there."
Another key to making your home appear clean is by repainting or retouching chipped paint. "But don’t buy cheap paint," Bushby warned. "You’re saving about 30 percent by doing it yourself, so buy good quality."
Start with the laundry room
Another key to first time DIY renovators is to start with a room visitors don’t usually see, such as a pantry, storage room, or laundry room. That way if you make mistakes, people won’t notice them and you’ll be able to fix them at your leisure.
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