Home Improvement: How to Add Value and Knowing When to Call a Pro
When you rent an apartment or house, you have to be careful about what you do to it. Some landlords won’t let you paint the walls, never mind adding new faucets or knocking down a wall. So when you finally buy your first house, the urge to start remodeling can be hard to resist.
There’s no reason to resist it. Making home improvements can be more than just fun; they can help make your home more valuable. However, not all projects add value, and some should be done by a professional because they are too dangerous. Read on to learn what home improvement projects you should do.
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Selecting the Right Improvements
Your home is probably the largest financial investment you’ll ever make. That’s why you need to make sure your home appreciates in value over the years. You don’t want to end up selling the house for less than you paid for it.
That’s why Money Crashers lists some home improvement ideas that increase the value of your house. Kitchens and bathrooms offer a great return on investment, so look into adding some new appliances, backsplashes, flooring, and faucets. Even just adding new cabinet hardware can make a difference. And although it doesn’t sound too dramatic, adding a fresh coat of paint in a modern color can transform a room and help add value.
You also have to make sure your home improvements don’t cost you too much. The more you spend on a project, the more you need to make sure you get a return on that investment. Money magazine recommends focusing on projects that cost less than $1,000. Some of these include updating light fixtures, adding shelving, and replacing your front door.
What You Can Do by Yourself
Doing home improvement projects yourself (instead of calling on a contractor) can help save you money. However, that depends on your skill level and experience. For example, just about anyone can paint a wall. But if you have never installed an entire shower before, maybe you should wait on that.
It’s best that you start small and know your limits. Besides limits on your skills, keep an eye on your available time. If you work a lot each week, do you really want to spend your weekends working inside your home? You can always spend some time learning online or with books about home improvement to get your skills up to speed, but be careful you don’t overcommit and wind up with an out-of-order bathroom for weeks.
You also have to worry about having the right tools. Even a small project might require you to hit the home improvement store and buy lots of supplies, which drives the cost up. As This Old House explains, you can often rent tools instead of buying to help save money.
When to Call in the Pros
No matter your skills and gear, there are times when it’s best to hire a professional to do the work. Installing fences or major landscaping projects are hard to do without the right (and often expensive) tools, so look online for contractors and specialists in your area. Likewise, any home improvement project that changes your wiring or gas lines needs a professional.
Your roof is another improvement that needs professional help. Not only is the work hard, but you will be working up high, so any fall can be potentially devastating. Thankfully, there are qualified roofers in your area. This way, you can replace missing tiles and make your home more energy efficient without risking your health. The average cost to install a roof is $6,574.
For additional information on the remodeling process, check out Bankrate's tips here.
Start Planning Today
There are a lot of home improvement projects to consider, so focus on the ones that add value to your house. If you have the skills and equipment, do it yourself to save money. But if the project is dangerous, hire professionals instead. Either way, the key is to start planning today.