Give Your Home a New Look in the New Year

Tips to help you get started on that home improvement project

Well, the New Year is here, which means it’s finally time to stop putting that home improvement project on hold and make a resolution to get it done. Whether you are looking just to make small upgrades to improve the look and feel of your home or completing practical necessities such as replacing a water heater, there is no better time than now to get started.

Below, we’ve shared a list of tips before you do, courtesy of home blogger Justina Blakeney. These tips originally appeared at Happy New Year!

Timing is Everything: Blakeney says that you should prioritize projects by needs instead of wants. Important projects such as making sure the air conditioning unit is functional should be done before tackling less crucial ones, such as “redoing a popcorn ceiling.” Blakeney says to be realistic with goals and always factor in 20 percent more money and time than projected.

DIY or Hire an Expert?: Sure you might be able to do some light landscaping or mount a television, but Blakeney says you may want to call in a professional to install a new water heater or solar panels. Things to consider, she says, are personal level of expertise, permit requirements and regulations, budget, timeline, and ultimate goals. Be sure to ask your friends and family for referrals and look for reviews online before accepting a bid if you decide to go with a pro.

Get Organized: Blackeney recommends compiling a list of professionals who will be working on a project and where materials will be purchased. The information should all be in one place, she says, for easy follow-ups and to share with friends looking for recommendations. You should also put together a breakdown of each element of the project (i.e. cost of each step, deadlines, etc.).

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