Everyone loves a finished home improvement project but few enjoy the process. Whether using the DIY method or hiring out, the disruption to your household routine is maddening. Too often, a project gets stopped in the middle due to an unexpected problem, design issue or cost. Here are 9 lessons from industry experts to help keep home improvement projects from becoming home disaster areas.
LESSON 1 – FIRST, THINK IT THROUGH!
In the design and construction industry, results are achieved by careful planning. Phil from Atkar, believes that clearly laying out the design schematic prior to starting a project, is key to a successful completion. Will you run into issues from time to time? Certainly, but by thinking it through before starting, you’re much better prepared to deal with any surprises.
LESSON 2 – SEPARATE THE ZONES
When doing a home improvement project, make sure your work zone has proper barriers to differentiate or block it from the living space being used. Rick Clark of Electricians Today says, “As a safety measure, this will protect family members, guests and even pets.”
LESSON 3 – PROTECT THE SURROUNDING AREA
Similar to zone barriers but not exactly the same, your job may require protection of surrounding areas. For instance, drop cloths protect flooring and carpeting from paint splatters. Nothing ruins a home improvement job faster than destruction of property that could be avoided with site preparation.
LESSON 4 – THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get a job done without adequate tools. Fabric scissors aren’t meant for wire cutting and sledgehammers shouldn’t be used to put carpenter nails into drywall. It may be annoying to trek out to the garage or even the local building supply store, but using the right tools for the job is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, you increase your chance of injury and sprout new grey hairs.
LESSON 5 – THE REQUIRED MATERIALS
When following a design plan, don’t skimp on materials. It is one thing to imitate high end decor using paint and fabric, but another thing entirely build anything on the cheap. For instance, a plumbing design calling for a specific kind of pipe should never be replaced with weaker option to save money. Adam from Ezystrut reminds us that using a cheaper or smaller option than the plans called for means you run the risk of that pipe bursting and flooding the entire house, costing more money in the long run that buying the right pipe in the first place.
LESSON 6 – FURRY ONES
For those with pets, especially dogs and cats, any construction can be a nerve-wracking experience. Tamara Paulin of Love That Pet suggests kenneling for the duration of a particularly noisy part of the project. Make sure to spend quiet time with your pets daily during such things as add-ons or cabinet rebuilds. Provide a chewy bone or comfort toy of some type when Fido is crated.
LESSON 7 – CHECK PRE-FAB POSSIBILITIES
When looking for more room or building a backyard cabana, check out some of the prefabricated options. John Chesterfield of Melwood Industries says “Most prefabricated cabanas and sheds don’t require council approval, and that combined with the ease of installation, makes it less expensive than a full blown construction project.”
LESSON 8 – MAINTAIN YOUR CASTLE
Gary Dodd from Total Kooling points out proper maintenance saves money. All systems should be checked for issues regularly, keeping in mind that seasons and temperature variances have an effect on your home. Don’t make costly improvements just to neglect maintenance later on, unless you enjoy paying big bucks for repairs.
LESSON 9 – CHOOSE LONG LASTING QUALITY
Unispace Experts highly recommend to choose sustainable material when it comes to your home office design. Reasons include environmental benefits and eco-friendly recycling opportunities should you consider to start a new home improvement project in a couple of years. “You don’t only want to achieve great work results, you want your office to be inspiring and long lasting.”
It’s worth the weight of your sledgehammer in gold to follow the advice of experts when it comes to home improvement. After all, we want to enjoy the castle we call home.
Michala Maly works as a Digital Media Analyst at iiWorks. She’s passionate about working with clients from different industries and likes to share valuable insights with her home improvement readers.