Owning your own home is a life accomplishment for many adults, and keeping it looking sharp and adding your personal touches brings a sense of pride. It seems there are always things you want to improve, so don’t let a limited budget or lack of know-how hold you back from dreaming. There are plenty of ways to enhance a room or remake a space without breaking the bank, along with many resources out there to show you how.
With a little research and a weekend or two of elbow grease, your budget and your abilities are more than enough to take on many smaller jobs. When you’re done, the satisfaction you’ll experience from a successful DIY project will give you plenty of motivation to start the next improvement.
Before you launch your plans, here are a few tips for an affordable and stress-free DIY project.
Map it out.
Prioritize the projects you’d like to tackle first. Whether it’s painting the living room, replacing the kitchen countertops or retiling the bathroom, the project will be much less stressful when you have solid planning behind it. Set a realistic schedule, gather your supplies in advance and be sure and review instructions before starting. If you’re making an improvement for a special event or out-of-town guests, give yourself ample time to complete it so you’re not adding stress to the project.
Cover costs creatively.
Make a budget for your project that includes a list of expected expenses and add padding for the unexpected. Assess what funds you have available, and if you don’t have enough, consider a savings plan so you can avoid paying interest and fees on a credit card.
To speed up your progress, grab your change jar and bring it to a Coinstar kiosk where you can select cash or a no-fee eGift card from retailers including Amazon.com, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Sears. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a jar of coins can add up to purchase needed supplies on your list.
Do your research.
If you’re like most DIYers, you’ll find online videos and home improvement websites are great sources for how-to tips and information. And if you’re a novice, take advantage of the vast information that’s available at your fingertips and review several sources so that you completely understand the process and are confident before you dive in.
Don’t be afraid to tap friends, family members and neighbors who have completed similar projects, as they can be good advisers and may even offer to help. You can reward them by inviting them back to your newly improved home to just relax and enjoy.
Keep it light.
Doing DIY projects with a spouse or a family member can be fun if you take the right approach. When working alongside each other, it’s all too easy to take a frustration out on each other. Two-thirds of those surveyed in a recent Coinstar survey said they do projects with others in their household, and 65 percent said they got into a disagreement during a home DIY project.
Minimize tension by creating clear expectations and give everyone a defined role. Take needed breaks and acknowledge accomplishments along the way. Keeping things calm and positive ensures everyone feels good about their contribution.
Mistakes can happen.
Most homeowners are not professional contractors, and projects can and do go wrong. If you make a mistake, do your best to correct it and don’t beat yourself up.
Focus on the fact you’re making progress in getting your house just the way you want it and saving money by doing it yourself. Next time, you will be that much more proficient. According to the survey, 90 percent of homeowners said they feel a sense of pride after completing a DIY project. Pat yourself on the back, and plan your next DIY endeavor.