New ways to improve your home in the new year
If you are ready to start the New Year off with home improvement in mind, you are not alone. The New Year is an excellent time to consider projects for 2012 as well as completing indoor projects during the summer holiday period – from upgrading existing fixtures and finishes to knocking down walls and adding on square metres. Whichever improvements you have in mind, use these ten tips to guide you throughout the planning process.
Assess your home: Determine the current state of your home and what ideas you want to implement. Walk through your home and determine what are your wish list items and what are the necessity items. A wish list item could be upgrading to granite countertops, while a necessity item could be leaky plumbing pipes that have to be replaced as soon as possible.
How long do you plan to be in your home: If you are planning on selling your home in 2012, take the time during January to look at your budget; what improvements you want to make and what is your goal for your home – do you plan to stay in the house short term or longer? If you want to get your return on investment, ensure you upgrade the parts of your home that home buyers are interested in.
Seek out inspiration now: From magazines to colour swatches from your favourite paint store, seek out inspirational ideas now. Don’t wait until the DIY bug strikes to then rush around trying to get ideas, pay for materials and complete the project. The more planning you do ahead of time, the less stressful the project will be. More tips can be found on myLJHooker.
Know your budget: After the holidays, money is often tight for many home owners. Instead of getting discouraged, use the Summer holidays to plan your project and budget without stress. Use the internet, to find out information and search for the best prices for materials, labour and the time it will take to complete the project. Don’t forget myLJHooker members also get exclusive member offers to help keep your costs down.
Ask for help early: Be realistic about family and friends who are able to help and what expertise your helpers can provide. You may need a backup plan of a local tradesperson if you don’t have the required expertise for your renovation project.
Seek out the proper permits/approvals: Safety first. If you are doing a home improvement project which requires electricity, plumbing, structural or other trades that may involve particular expertise and permits, seek these out in advance. Hire a professional general contractor or trades person if you are unclear of what permits are required. For further tips on getting DA approvals visit myLJHooker.
Be flexible: Even though you would like your kitchen remodelled in eight weeks, the reality is it may take 12 weeks. The same is true for budget and resources. Be flexible as you can with your planning and factor in extra buffer time and money for your own sanity.
Communication: Have a clear idea of what the project entails and roles of the people involved. A project plan may help clarify and communicate the entirety of the project so there isn’t any finger-pointing throughout the project. Communication is key.
Use safety precautions: Every home improvement project involves a level of safety to ensure your home and yourself do not get hurt. Follow instructions on power tools, and seek out tutorials or advice from stores such as Mitre 10 or Kennards Hire – myLJHooker members receive a $25 voucher that can for use hiring tools nationally and free Mitre 10 project plans.
Have a good time: Even though there is a serious side to home improvement, it should also be fun and rewarding. If you aren’t going to enjoy your hard work and effort, hire a professional and leave the hard work to them.
Sign up to myLJHooker via www.ljhooker.com.au. Also talk to your local LJ Hooker office about what buyers in your area are looking for in your local area.