What you need to know before making home improvements

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home improvement

home improvementAfter a few years, your home can start to feel a little dated. Additionally, you might see things breaking down or wearing out. Or, perhaps, you have a growing family and you’d like to build an addition to your home. Whether you are remodeling your home, or adding on to it, home improvements can be a way to breathe fresh life into your living situation, and enhance your experience.

However, in many cases, you can’t just get started. Here’s what you need to know before making home improvements:

How Much Money Will You Need?

The first step is to estimate how much money you are likely to need to make your home improvements. Some projects, like re-carpeting or re-painting aren’t particularly expensive. Other projects, like completely re-doing the bathroom or building adding a bay window, can be costly.

Consider asking three or four contractors to provide you with estimates on the work you want done. You don’t have to hire a contractor if you are confident that you can handle the work yourself, but these estimates can give you a place to start when you figure out how much money you will need.

Next, you will need to know how you will get the money. If you have’t saved up enough to make it happen, you will need to apply for a home improvement loan from your bank, or for a home equity line of credit. Before you get started, make sure that you qualify for the loan, and that the bank is willing to lend.

Do You Have the Proper Permits?

If you have a small home improvement project, like changing out light fixtures or re-doing the flooring, you probably don’t need a permit. However, if you are building an addition to your home, or upgrading in a major way, you might need a special permit from your city. Be sure to find out what is required in order to obtain the correct permits, and apply for them as quickly as possible. Then, make sure they are properly displayed.

How Much Work Can You Do Yourself?

Finally, be realistic about the work you can do yourself. Installing a new toilet is one thing. Completely re-doing the plumbing is something else altogether. Before you do something yourself, consider that you might actually need a professional to take care of it. Some things, like plumbing and electrical, can be a bigger expense and mess if you don’t know what you’re doing and things go sideways.

Plan ahead, and make sure all of your ducks are in a row. This will ensure that your home improvement project goes as smoothly as possible.