Home improvements are a great way to change the value, feel and look of your dwelling
Home improvements are a great way to change the value, feel and look of your dwelling. If you are considering sprucing up your home and taking its appearance to a new level, ask yourself these questions before investing in any projects.
What are your motivations?
Define your “end game” before you start to strategically define your budget and priorities. Before investing in any project, make a list of the elements of the issue that drive you nuts and what you hope to improve and achieve.
Are you ready to throw in the towel in your kitchen? Why? Think about what changes will address your issue.
A kitchen can seem “dated” because of the furniture, lighting, appliances, paint color, overall layout or cabinetry. Before you plan on overhauling it all, narrow down exactly what makes the space feel dated and use that as a guide to decide what has to go and what can simply be refreshed. For example, instead of installing brand new cabinets, you can save by changing the hardware or slapping a new coat of paint on what you already have. This process can save you thousands of bucks in labor and materials.
How long will you stay?
If you plan on selling your home  in five years or less, carefully weigh the cost of your home improvements and how much energy and time you will invest in them. Choose improvements that will be appreciated by mass market buyers and be easy to fix quickly if damage occurs.
If you want to hang onto your home in the long-run but rent it out, remember that most tenants will not care for high-maintenance finishes and floors like a home owner.
Am I prepared for unexpected costs?
The final cost of your project will depend on several factors, including the existing condition of your home, the complexity of the work, the materials and contractor you choose  and the potential risk of surprises.
As anyone who has ever done home improvements before knows, a “minor” bathroom fix can reveal major issues that turn into major projects. Give your budget a cushion of at least ten percent of your total budget to prepare for the worst.
Are you considering making home improvements? What motivates you to change the appearance of your home? How are you planning a budget for the projects? Share your experience with our readers in the comments below.