Do-it-yourself can be a lot of fun, especially if you have been looking forward to switching up the appearance of your home. Whether you decide to gut a whole room and replace everything, or you just primp up with some new paint, wallpaper, pictures, light fixtures, and ceiling fans, there are plenty of small tips available to make your project run smoothly, and of course, end with some money in your pocket. Here are my eleven tips to help you with your DIY and home improvement projects.
1. When upgrading components of your décor, why not consider replacing any light bulbs, light fixtures, and appliances with energy efficient models. Of course, being able to replace everything at once is going to depend on your budget, but before starting your project, grab yourself a pen, paper and calculator and weigh the upfront costs against the added savings each month. Since you are already investing the time and money, and since the house will be in disarray, you may as well make good use of the circumstances.
2. Choose colors that complement the area to be redecorated. That may sound like an obvious suggestion, but often, when homeowners are doing their own projects, they just find colors that they think they like. Then, when they get them up on the wall or on the furniture, they realize they don’t match or they don’t seem quite right.
For small spaces, don’t use colors that make the room appear closed in. Likewise, in open areas, don’t use too many colors, making your walls look like a rainbow. If your area is open concept, but one space is defining the dining room, and the next section is the living room, use colors that complement one another if you are going to switch the color palette at one room’s boundary.
3. Decide whether or not you require qualified tradespeople to undertake any part of the project. By knowing your specifics upfront, you can shop around for the right person to do your electrical installations and upgrades. The same is true for installing gas for a new stove, or fixing plumbing in the bathroom. Understanding your limitations will save you money in the long run and keep you within municipal codes and bylaws.
4. If you want to jazz up the front of your house and make it look lived in, quickly paint the front door in two-tone colors. For example, paint the outside rim of the door in dark blue and then the inside area in lighter blue. This can work nicely, too, on a child’s bedroom door. It brightens the room and makes everything look fresh and new.
5. Again, because you are already working on the house, why not check all your electrical outlets to determine whether or not you need more spots in which to plug in appliances and gadgets. Work these into your projects at the same time, so there is no need to mess up your house more than once for the same renovation.
6. Look for government grants and rebates for installing new furnaces, energy efficient appliances, and general household repairs. This can end up saving you quite a bit of money upfront or at the very least on your yearly income tax return. Be thorough, so that you can purchase new ceiling fans, light fixtures, appliances, and anything else that might carry the ENERGY STAR logo. These are often the first items on which the government offers subsidies.
7. When choosing materials and supplies, look for quality items that have been discontinued. They will be much cheaper, but will last just as long as regular priced items. Also, choose items that are in-stock. If the store must order your supplies, you usually pay a premium for that service.
8. If you have taken out a mortgage to pay for the renovations, pay your own property taxes instead of having them paid as part of your mortgage. You save interest by paying them directly, and you keep your mortgage payments a little lower.
9. Many municipalities have yard-waste recycling centers. The city or region often allows its residents to take mulch and other soil for free. If you are working on the outside of your home, call City Hall to find out where you can obtain free gardening supplies. Sometimes, they will even allow you a tree for the boulevard.
10. Inquire at local stores whether there is a designer on staff. Sometimes, when you buy the supplies and materials, the store offers the designer’s services free of charge. In other cases, they may provide a reduced rate because the designer is not traveling to your home. You might come up with some great ideas from her.
11. Bonus tip! – Think about installing timers on the extractor fan, and light fixtures. If you can keep showers down to a minimum, you save on water costs, as well as gas or electricity, depending on how your hot water tank is heated. By running the fan for a few minutes after the bathroom is vacated, you can decrease the chance of mold and mildew. And by having the light fixtures on a timer, you are not needlessly using electricity when no-one is in the room.
Indeed, there are many little things that you can do to save money, and also, make your renovation project so much easier.