There are many different ways of looking at home improvement projects – for many it’s a weekend hobby, whereas for others it can become something of an obsession! In the UK in particular, home improvement has become a national obsession, as evidenced by the number of DIY and ‘property’ related programs on the daily TV schedule! Of course if you are new to DIY its really important to take things one step at a time, and not to overstretch yourself. In this short article I’m going to share a few tips to help you along the way.
It’s important to try and be flexible when it comes to achieving your DIY goals. You may have your heart set on the project taking only 2 months, however you may have to build some ‘fat’ into your plans, especially if you are on a tight budget. And whilst we are on the subject of budgets, its always a very good idea to set aside a contingency fund, just in case your cost estimates are a little on the low side.
As with any project or undertaking, you should always have a clear idea in mind at the outset of what you are looking to achieve. In the world of project management this is known as the project ‘scope’ and it details all of the things that will (and won’t) be delivered by the end of the project. It’s better to err on the side of being conservative, and not to bite off more than you can metaphorically chew.
If you are looking for a functional home improvement project, that is still relatively easy to achieve, then try “building up.” Its a well known fact that walls create a lot of wasted space, and opening up rooms can provide much needed additional space in your family home.
One of the most effective ways of refreshing the look of your home is to remove and replace outdated wallpaper. If money isn’t an issue, the best way to remove wallpaper is to buy (or rent) a commercial wallpaper stripper. If, however, fund are limited, you can achieve the same goal by filling a bottle with a mixture of fabric softener and hot water. Then simply saturate the wallpaper with the mixture. Leave the wallpaper for a short period of time and then peel off with a knife.
A lot of home owners are looking to install elaborate lighting features to hallways and living rooms now, and these can form a really interesting centrepiece to your home. These features don’t have to cost the earth, however, as more and more lighting companies now offer mid-range products that are based on more elaborate pieces. Sometimes all it takes is a mini chandelier in your bedroom to create a real accent piece for your property.
Hopefully these tips have opened your eyes to the fact that DIY and home improvement projects don’t have to be that complicated or time consuming. If you are still concerned about taking on this type of work, then its sensible to take on a very small project first. This will give you the confidence you need to take on those bigger projects in the future!