One Home Improvement Leads to Another

Planning on doing some home improvements in the New Year? Then the one-home-improvement-leads-to another phenomenon probably isn’t news to you. But when remodeling projects create a ripple effect, it can easily get out of control. Use these suggestions to help keep a DIY project budget on target.

Here are some examples of how the ripple effect can impact a remodeling project:

  • You’ve replaced the windows on the main floor. But the new ones aren’t exactly the same size as the old ones. Now you will need new trim (both interior and exterior); to paint the trim; and repaint the outside, interior walls.
  • Adding new outdoor lights and replacing the front door means that the door surrounds and trim should be replaced too.
  • You’re pleased with the how the new siding looks, but it’s making the gutters appear shabby and old.
  • You swapped out the old roof for a new one; now you’re thinking you should do the same with the soffit and fascia.

Ways to complete your DIY project without giving in to the ripple effect are:

  • Consider how the remodel will affect the rest of the house, especially if you live in an open-plan home. When there are fewer interior walls, it typically translates into a complex structural system. Before committing to a project, investigate what might get “broken” when fixing something else.
  • Be honest with yourself. You’re great at making various repairs, but does your skill set include rerouting the pipes in the bathroom because the new vanity is in a different location? Or hauling sections of gutters up a ladder? It’s better for your budget if you know you will need a contractor at the beginning of a home improvement project.
  • Set realistic timelines so that you can budget accordingly. Particularly if you are a fan of home improvement shows, keep in mind that these types of shows often have shortened timelines and tend to make it look easier than it actually is.
  • Plan ahead. Have a total project dollar figure in mind. While you might have to amend it a little, knowing at the beginning how much the project is worth to you will help keep you on track. Make a list of the materials you need. Shop around for deals. Buying items for your remodel as you go along will cost you more in the end.