The Reality of Home Improvement Projects

If only you could totally remodel your house in the time it took you to watch the latest episode of Fixer Upper!

Think of it: what if from the first joy of smashing those ugly kitchen cabinets with a sledgehammer, to that “Ahhhhhhh” moment of walking through each finished room was as easy as flipping the buttons on your TV remote?

Yet, the reality of do-it-yourself home remodeling is filled with sweat equity and, if you’re not careful, some pitfalls.  This article is designed to give you a heads-up about two things to avoid and help you on your journey through the reality of home remodeling that those reality shows won’t tell you.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Regardless if it’s your outdated kitchen or that new addition that you’ve always wanted, make sure that your time and money are well spent.  Errors and missteps are something that can tax your patience and your wallet.

Be sure to always, always, always double check your measurements before you cut or install.  There’s nothing more frustrating than installing a new shower head only to find that the piping needed to be 12” more to the right.  That kind of mistake not only means a new hole in the wall, but also an additional expenditure if you have to rip out part of the plumbing to start again.

Do yourself a favor Do-It-Yourselfer: Do it right the first time.

Count The Cost

One of the worst things that can happen with any job is starting it, but not having the money to finish the project.

As an example, my neighbor, John, down the street built a huge carport next to his beautiful log cabin home.  Their two-car garage is full of stuff, so he needs someplace to put his cars! 

The project initially started off small, but John decided that he’d like a bigger carport.  Then he decided that he’d like the sides closed in rather than having the carport open.  Changes on the fly can happen with any building or remodeling project, but here’s what I mean by counting the cost. 

John figured that he would have the cement poured in when the walls were up.  That way his posts would be securely anchored to the foundation.  The problem is that the cement pad that he now needs has to be significantly bigger and thicker. 

Because of increasing the size of the original project and sinking the posts in the cement, cost of the concrete is now in the thousands of dollars.  Thousands of dollars he doesn’t have!  So, John’s behemoth of a carport/garage sits unfinished next to his lovely log cabin home.  However, on the bright side, he did manage to paint the outside a lovely barn red.

Nonetheless, a smaller finished garage would have been better than an unusable, unfinished, red barn.  Count the cost!  These two tips alone can save you frustration and money if you’ll only take the time to do the job right. 

If you do, you too can have your own “Ahhhhhh” moment as you take a victory lap in your new front room.

Happy Do-it-yourselfing!