5 Things You Need to Know About Home Improvement

We bought our house 9 years ago. Over the course of that time, we have spent a lot of time and money making improvements to our investment. Looking back, we have learned a lot! Today, I thought it would fun to compile some of our most popular home improvement projects into one post and share what we have learned along the way. Whether you are a current homeowner, or looking to make a purchase in the future- keep reading for tips to prepare for your next home improvement project.

1. Make a list of all the projects you want to do. Just because the items are on the list doesn't mean they will get done right away. But it's good to have it all down on paper. It will give you direction and purpose. After you write down all the projects, number them in order of importance. We started our home improvement journey with the bathroom upstairs. That bathroom is shared by both our daughters and it originally only had a stand-up shower. Since our girls were so young, we knew that that we needed a tub. And that's how the whole thing got started!

Guest bath BEFORE- read more here
Guest Bath AFTER- read more here & here
2. Add an estimated budget for each project. Key word is 'estimated'-- because that could all change once you get started. But do a little research and jot down an estimated amount that you want to spend for each project. This budget will depend on what you can afford. But also keep in mind that the improvements you make are an investment in your home.

This door used to be red, but we transformed our 'curb appeal' by painting it black. See it HERE. 

One of my favorite projects-- when we had our entire house painted!
Including this brick fireplace. Click HERE for my paint colors and tips. 
3. Include a timeline for when you expect to tackle each project. How quickly do you want to get everything done? Can you space them out so something gets done each year. Or does your budget allow you to take on several things at one time. How long are you planning in living in your home? Keep in mind that some projects like replacing a/c units might need to be done sooner than replacing the carpet on the stairs with wood. Flexibility is key :)
Stair renovation BEFORE and AFTER- see it here
4. Focus on what will give you the most 'bang for your buck'. When you invest in your home, you do so because it makes your home more enjoyable. But also because you hope that it will increase the value of your home. If somewhere down the road, you decide to sell your home, the goal is for those home improvements to help you get a return on that investment.

This was our biggest project- remodeling the master bath. See it HERE

According to Remodeling Magazine, home improvements that lead to the highest resale 'bang' are in the order that follows.
1. Kitchens and Baths- the most expensive parts to remodel, but where people spend the most time.
2. Home Maintenance- keep the structure sound, then work on the luxuries.
3. Curb Appeal- it's not always what is on the inside that counts!
4. Space-every 1000 feet boosts the sale price by more than 30 percent.
5. Bells and Whistles- a dedicated space for hobbies/entertainment is a trend that is here to stay.

My craft room- see more here
5. Spend time choosing a design that you absolutely love. Don't rush into a project just to get it done. It's worth the time and effort to make it feel just right. Consider working with a designer or do your research via magazines, blogs, Pinterest etc. There a lot that are actually a lot of affordable designers out there who are willing work within a budget. Put the same effort into choosing a reliable contractor. Ask friends for referrals, interview possible contractors and be honest about your expectations. Time spent making informed decisions equals money saved in the long run.

Want more tips for creating a home you love? See here. 
So now that you know what to do, what 's next?  Whether you’re looking to get that new gourmet kitchen, upgrade your backyard patio or add an addition, with a home equity line of credit, you can start your “someday” project today. Capital One Home Equity can help with simply smarter tools that help you choose the right option for your situation. Although I have not used their home equity products yet, after looking through their online tools, it is definitely something I would consider using for future projects. Visit capitalone.com/home-equity to get your customized rate offer and estimated loan amount (with no impact to your credit score). It’s simple and there are no fees.  And then you will be ready to tackle any home improvement project on your list! 

Adding design details to your backyard- see it HERE

Tin accent wall for our backyard- see it HERE. 
What home improvement projects have you tackled? What is on your list for 'someday' soon? Want to see MORE of my home improvement projects? Click HERE. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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