(BPT) - If you prefer to take on your own home improvement projects instead of hiring professional craftsmen, you’re part of a growing trend.
Americans are increasingly aware of the money they can save by completing their own renovations rather than paying premium prices for the work of others. And that’s reflected in sales figures; not surprisingly, the value of the DIY market rose a full 45 percent between 2012 and 2018, from $30.2 billion to $43.7 billion.
With careful planning and budgeting, DIY projects can be fun, efficient and creatively satisfying while allowing you to customize your finished product to your own tastes.
Is there a new DIY project in your future? If so, consider these tips for forming a workable strategy that ensures you’re prepared for every step of the process.
* Create a wish list. If you’re like most people, you have a list a mile long of the updates or fixes you’d like to make to your home. That ever-evolving wish list is one of the joys (and one of the challenges) of homeownership. Create your own list, then determine which projects you can do on your own and which ones will require professional help. This will give you a starting point.
* Prioritize the projects. Once you have your list, you’ll need to prioritize and decide which projects come first. Take an objective look and assess “need” versus “want” to help you rank order. Improvements may be driven by plans to sell your home, host an upcoming social event or welcome a new family member. Consider all the variables. In a recent Coinstar survey, nearly 40 percent of homeowners’ DIY projects were initiated to increase the value of their home.
* Set budgets. Evaluate your top projects and estimate how much each one will cost. Some may be beyond your budget, some will be surprisingly affordable, and others may be achievable after you save a little money. One funding source you may not have considered is the spare change laying around your house or car. Round it up and you may be surprised how far it goes in financing your project. About half of U.S. homeowners surveyed already use spare change for DIY projects or like the idea of doing so, reports Coinstar.
* Plan time and resources. Before scheduling your DIY project, think about your free time and if your project has a deadline. To what extent are your nights and weekends open? Do you have the skills to get started on your own? Watching a YouTube video may give you that needed knowledge, or you may need the help of family or friends who can complement your skills or assist you in meeting a deadline.
*Get supplies, then jump in. Now that you’ve zeroed in on your project, identified financing and recruited helpers, you’re nearly ready to go. Next, create a supply list of the tools and materials you’ll need. To save money, check with those you know who may be willing to loan you tools or other supplies. Community groups like Nextdoor are also a great resource. When buying new, save receipts in case you purchase the wrong item, don't like something when you get it home or buy too much.
With a little planning, DIY projects can be cost-effective, fun and truly rewarding to complete. When it comes to financing, don’t forget to cash in spare change at your neighborhood Coinstar kiosk. It’s easy to use and you’ll have the option of getting cash or putting funds onto a no-fee e-gift card for retailers like Amazon.com or Home Depot.