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6 Steps in Navigating Your Family Home Improvement Journey

Embarking on a home improvement project can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor, especially when you’re doing it as a family. The process involves more than just picking out paint colors or choosing between hardwood and carpet. It’s about transforming a house into a more comfortable, functional, and love-filled home. Follow these six practical steps to navigate your family’s home improvement journey, ensuring a smoother experience and a result that everyone will love.

6 Practical Steps in Navigating Your Family Home Improvement Journey. Photo of tools sitting on hardwood floor near woman's legs and feet by Bernie Almanzar on Unsplash

1. Hire Professionals When Necessary

While it can be tempting to DIY everything, some tasks require professional expertise. The expertise and skills of architects, contractors, and interior designers can be invaluable, ensuring the job is done right and up to code. Professionals can also help avoid costly mistakes, saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.

For example, when we moved into our home this summer, we wanted to paint ALL the walls. My kids were eager to get started and so I bought them paint and supplies and they tackled the walls in their rooms. I considered painting the main areas of our home myself and realized I had entirely too much on my plate, and called in a painter for an estimate. He was not only able to do the job within my timeline, he also provided advice about our color choices and did a much better job than I could have done on my own. I’ve gotten so many compliments on how nice the walls look since then.

It’s important to research and hire reputable professionals who are licensed, insured, and have a proven track record with clients. Remember, the goal is to improve your living environment without unnecessary complications. You can find out how to hire professionals by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or even your local home improvement store. This step, while it may seem costly upfront, can lead to significant savings and peace of mind with the final results.

2. Establish Your Goals

Embarking on a home improvement journey without clear objectives is like setting sail without a compass. Before you start, establish clear, concise, and measurable goals that reflect what you and your family want to achieve. Whether you aim to increase your home’s value for a future sale, enhance energy efficiency, or simply create a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing space for your family, these goals will serve as your guide throughout the project.

Your goals will inform your budget planning, your selection of professionals, the time frame for completion, and every other decision along the way. Having these goals in place will help ensure your project stays on track and meets your expectations. Remember, a well-defined plan is the foundation of any successful home improvement project.

3. Budget Wisely

Creating a realistic and comprehensive budget is an essential step in any home improvement project. Start by understanding the cost of materials, labor, and any additional costs that might arise unexpectedly, including toilet costs or unexpected repairs.. Consider getting quotes from different contractors for a more accurate estimation.

Don’t forget to reserve a buffer—about 20% of the total budget—for unforeseen expenses, as home improvement projects often end up costing more than initially projected. A well-planned budget will prevent overspending and keep your project on track. Lastly, prioritize your spending; allocate funds to essential improvements before considering aesthetic upgrades.

4. Create a Timeline

Planning a timeline is a crucial step in your home improvement journey. Having a clear schedule not only helps manage expectations but also ensures that every task is executed in an orderly and timely manner. Start by outlining all the tasks that need to be accomplished, then determine and allocate the exact time each task will take.

Try to prioritize urgent tasks (for example, I’ve had to fix old plumbing and faulty wiring) vs. less urgent tasks (maybe someday we’ll install a gas fireplace). It’s also a good idea to take a look at how long each task takes. Don’t try to tackle all the huge tasks at once or you may feel exhausted and overwhelmed.

Remember to factor in potential delays such as shipping times for materials or possible weather constraints. A well-structured timeline will help to avoid stress and confusion, keeping your project flowing smoothly. Finally, share this timeline with everyone involved in the project to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

5. Involve the Whole Family

A home improvement project can be an exciting opportunity for the whole family to bond and work towards a common goal. Everyone, regardless of age, can contribute something valuable to the process. For younger children, tasks could range from helping to choose color schemes (we had numerous discussions about paint colors!) to cleaning up after workdays.

Older teenagers might assist with more substantial tasks, such as assembly or organization. This collective effort not only expedites the project but also encourages teamwork and creates unforgettable family memories. Remember, the heart of your home is the family within it, and their inputs can add a personal touch that transforms your house into a true home.

6. Plan for Disruptions

Any home improvement project, big or small, is likely to cause some disruption to your daily routine. There may be noise, dust, and limited access to certain areas of your home for the duration of the project. It’s essential to plan for these disruptions in advance to minimize the impact on your daily life. For example, on one of the days when the painters were working in my home, the kids were all at school and I went out hiking with friends.

For bigger projects, consider setting up temporary living or working spaces, adjusting your schedules, or even arranging for short-term accommodation if necessary. By anticipating and planning for these disruptions, you can ensure a more comfortable and stress-free experience for the entire family during the renovation process.

6 Practical Steps in Navigating Your Family Home Improvement Journey. Photo of woman sitting on floor painting while man stands on stool painting by Roselyn Tirado on Unsplash

Embarking on a home improvement project with your family can be an enriching experience that brings everyone closer together. By following these seven practical steps – hiring professionals when necessary, establishing clear goals and budgets, creating a timeline, involving the whole family, and planning for disruptions – you can navigate your journey towards a better and more beautiful home.

Remember to communicate openly, stay organized, and enjoy the process as you work towards creating a space that is truly your own.

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