If you’re going to do a home improvement project yourself, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right the first time. To save a lot of trouble and expense, here are some potential problems to avoid:

Don’t ignore safety: This cannot be said often enough, in all kinds of ways. You’ll want gloves and safety goggles for many kinds of projects. Don’t overload electrical outlets. Be careful with power tools. You don’t want yourself or any family members getting hurt.

Don’t forget the permits: Before you start work, check to see what kinds of approvals or permits you’ll need, and get everything lined up beforehand so that you don’t have to stop work later in order to clear things up.

Don’t forget the primer: In any painting project, you’ll need to start with a layer of primer to help seal the surface, so that the previous colour doesn’t bleed through, and as important as anything else, to make sure the new paint adheres well to the wall. 

Don’t forget the subfloor: Laminate or hardwood floors need a subfloor to be laid down first, both to keep moisture from getting into the structure of the house and for soundproofing for the story underneath. Make sure this is even and level before you start laying the regular floor, especially for hardwood. Tile floors will need cement backer board.

 The beautiful finished product of a listing from Greg Hocking. View  here  
The beautiful finished product of a listing from Greg Hocking. View here  

Don’t make taste-specific design too permanent: Especially if you might be selling in the near (or somewhat near) future, be careful about more elaborate features like hot tubs or some kinds of wallpaper that buyers might not want to keep and won’t necessarily want to spend the time and expense changing. Keep your style focused on things like furniture that you’ll be taking with you and that are easily changed to stage the house. 

Don’t worry about making trendy cosmetic changes: When going to sell your house, though buyers might like stylish and flashy kitchens or bathrooms, make sure to focus on the less interesting but more functional features first. Make sure the cabinet doors work before you get granite countertops.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew: If you’re not going to hire somebody else to do part or all of the work, be realistic about your skills, your budget for materials, and the time you have available. You might want to put off larger projects until you have more time or can get more help. Regardless of who’s doing the work, think about the effect large projects might have on your life. Sometimes you’ll want to be able to stay somewhere else for a few days, which can also be disruptive.

Knowing what you’re getting into and being careful not to skip steps are important to make sure that your projects will be successful.

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