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A Beginner’s Guide to Home Improvement

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Do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements are a great way to make your home more livable and increase its value. In addition, because many home improvement projects will require you to gain a basic working knowledge of the plumbing and electrical system in your home, the skills that you develop by completing these projects may come in handy the next time you have to deal with an emergency repair.

But how do you jump on the DIY bandwagon? It’s easier than you think.

Make a Plan

Becoming a seasoned do-it-yourselfer is just like having a banner year in the sales department. Goal-setting is critical. You work up to bigger and bigger projects, using the lure of the major accomplishments you envision for the future as the motivation to get you through the challenging, smaller projects you have to start out with. Selecting those big projects first will also help you to determine what smaller projects to take on in order to develop the skills you will need.

For example, if you want to create a 10,000 square foot raised bed garden with a recycled-material greenhouse on one end and a potting shed on the other end, it doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense to start out learning to lay tile.

Start Small

Home improvement projects are less about the steps you have to do to complete a job and more about the problem solving required to overcome unexpected obstacles. That’s why it’s so important to start with small projects: when you don’t have a lot of established knowledge about how your home works, it’s best to limit the scope of the problems you’re likely to run into.

Use “Best-In-Class” Materials

Once you’ve developed both knowledge and skill, you’ll be equipped to shop more conservatively, use less expensive, harder-to-build-with materials, and come up with creative solutions to problems. In the beginning, however, it’s a good idea to check reviews, talk to the expert employees at your local DIY store, and pick the products that are going to be easiest to work with.

For example, you’d be surprised how much simpler the installation of the best reviewed blinds and shades can be compared to less expensive products.

Use How-To Resources

The Internet is literally full of instructional content, much of which is very good, that can give you a good understanding of how to complete nearly any home improvement project you want to take on. Feel like putting tile on your bathroom floor? Just do a Youtube search, and you’ll find an abundance of content that will guide you through the process step by step.

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