Home Repairs Dos and Don’ts
by Lane Jordan
OK, step away from the hammer, nails and drill! I know you have a trillion repairs to do that needed to be done a few years ago, and so today, as the water drips from the ceiling, you begin to panic.
But rest assured, some home maintenance can be done without getting an expert, as long as you understand some basic rules.
One thing I know for sure, owning a home is often a rewarding yet exhausting experience. There are many things you must do as a homeowner in order to keep your home in beautiful condition, such as completing routine repairs and making upgrades as needed so your home stays relevant and in code. If you neglect to keep up with projects around your home, you risk having it fall into disrepair, which can severely affect its market value. Before you get started on your next home repair, here are a few dos and don’ts to consider.
DO HAVE A BUDGET
You should never go into a home improvement project or repair without first having a budget in mind. If you fail to map out general costs for your project, you may under budget and risk not completing it, which can be unsightly and dangerous. A good rule of thumb is to budget at least an extra 20% into your overall costs to account for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the process.
Example: If you see water coming through your ceiling or walls, get a ladder and investigate first. It could just be that your gutters are full of leaves, causing rainwater to seep in. Once you have a clear picture of the situation, you will then know if you are able to repair the leak or if you should hire a professional. You may want to budget gutter screens to keep them clear. Many times, the experts at Lowe’s or Home Depot can lead you in the right direction!
DON’T HANDLE DIFFICULT PROJECTS
You should never attempt to handle difficult projects on your own, or you may risk doing more harm than good during your home improvement project. Unless you’re a licensed professional, you should always call in the pros to handle most home repairs, especially those that are electrical or plumbing problems. Certain projects require extra attention, and there are people such as licensed electricians, certified plumbers, and expert air/heating services that you should consider before you begin anything on your own.
Example: Most people want to be able to do home repairs themselves to save money. But trust me! If you try a difficult one by yourself without fully researching the problem, you could end up hurt or spending much more than you would have if you had just called a professional.
DO HAVE A PLAN
Never go into any type of home improvement project or renovation without first having a plan mapped out. If you dive into a project headfirst without having a general idea of what you’d like to accomplish, you’ll likely end up spending more money on your project or doing it incorrectly. You should follow the age-old rule of measuring the same area multiple times to ensure you have the right dimensions before you attempt to add or remove anything from your home.
Example: If you are putting up wallpaper, make sure you measure and then measure again! You don’t want to run out of your favorite new paper only not to find anymore.
DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND
Well, it’s okay to change your mind a little bit during a home improvement project. Say, for example, you decide to use one material over another or decide to go with a different brand of something. What you shouldn’t change your mind on, however, are major items such as paint colors after you’ve already painted a room, the layout of a kitchen or bathroom mid-way through your project, or other things that could cause your project to change course. Not only is it expensive, but it can dramatically increase your overall timeline to complete your project.
Example: If you are unsure what color you want for that new bedroom, buy inexpensive, small sample cans from your paint store. Paint these colors in small blocks on different walls and you will see which color you like the best and works the best in that light.
DO PUT SAFETY FIRST
Job sites can be a dangerous place, especially if tools and materials aren’t handled properly. If you’re in the middle of a home improvement project, you should be sure to put away your tools each night and clean up your materials or store them out of the way when you’re not using them. This is especially important if you have small children or pets, who could have access to your job site. The last thing you need is a medical bill on top of your home improvement costs, so it’s best to consider safety and keep dangerous items out of reach.
Example: Do not attempt to fix the roof if you are afraid of heights or if you don’t have the proper size ladder. Do not attempt any repair that you are not sure of how to do it. Your safety comes before any repair job!
Even if this is your first home improvement project, you can be prepared with a little research and understanding of these simple dos and don’ts. Using these helpful tips, you should be ready for your next home improvement project in no time.
Lane P. Jordan is a best-selling author, international motivational and inspirational speaker, singer, artist, Bible teacher, and professional life coach. She lives in Frisco, Texas with her husband who partners with her in ministry and waits impatiently for daughters and granddaughter to visit! Lane’s desire is to encourage, support, and motivate women of all ages to be better wives, mothers, and women of God by organizing their lives and time. You can find her at: www.LaneJordanMinistries.com and her blog at www.PathwaysToOrganization.com.
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