• Like

  • Follow
Bookmark and Share

How to Set Your Home Improvement Plan

Many families leave all the decision making in the hands of the parents, or even worse, just one of the parents. But when it comes to a home improvement plan, all members of the family should be involved in the discussion.

Remember that when spouses and children are uprooted and relocated, it's a great adventure. But it also disrupts the structure of daily life. All family members need to make the new home their own. Make it your new anchor.

So gather around the kitchen table and throw the ideas around. Brainstorm and assign someone to take notes. Sure, some ideas are trivial, but this will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Step 2 - Categorize Ideas by Functionality and Cost

There are several categories that home improvement projects fall in to. There will be some overlap but for the most part, assigning projects is straightforward. Try these (in order of importance):
* Structural – This includes foundation issues, siding repair and roofing. Think of things that protect family and possessions from the elements.
* Compliance with homeowners associations – Some associations will cut you some slack, but others are very keen on fining homeowners for violations. And this will just suck funds from your home improvement bucket of money.
* Convenience issues – Some things just make life easier. Do you need to repair the backyard fence so the dogs can romp without leashes? Does that garage door opener only work when it's not raining?
* Cosmetic touches – Ah, the part of the list where the non-pragmatic among us really shine! Window treatments might top this category if privacy from the outside world is an issue. (What neighborhood doesn't have at least one "curious" resident?) There are always bedrooms to decorate. Once again, from a psychological point of view, this is very important for youngsters to set down new roots. This should take priority over that new wallpaper in the master bathroom.

Assign a ballpark cost to each project. Are you going to do the work yourself? This can greatly increase how much bang you get for your buck. For example, laminate floors are very hot now, and they're simple to install. The money you save on labor will pay for painting the room's walls and a bit of crown molding.

Step 3 - Set Up and Administer a Home Improvement Fund

Don't approach your home improvement plan on a pay-as-you-go basis if you don't have to. If you own a home, the remodeling never stops, especially after you get past the projects in the structural category.

So what's a good plan?

Establish a fund. Put it in a money market account at your bank; any interest is good interest. Fund it when you can and use the money as the projects roll on. This system will give you oversight, aid in planning, and help you implement your plan.

Finally, keep in mind that most people are handier than they think. Don't just invest your money in your home, invest your time. And if you have to shell out a couple of hundred dollars for a benchtop table saw to install that laminate floor, so what? You'll still have it when you get ready to build the deck and you'll be money ahead!

Kelly Smith is a former software engineer at NASA and a professional handyman who is now a full-time writer.

Rate This Article From 1 (Lowest) to 5 (Highest)

In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

Relocation.com's survey was recently featured on the front page of USA Today. The headline entitled "Moving in Hard Times" highlighted our results that moving and relocating behaviors were only moderately influenced by the economy.


Our lifestyle survey found that Americans are seeking smaller homes and a suburban lifestyle. These riveting results were recently featured on USAToday.com in an article entitled "American dream shrinks as smaller homes gain favor."

"This user-friendly site includes a blog and a subscription-only newsletter, too"

The Washington Post

"Relocation.com provides you with all the tools you need to get quotes quickly from movers in your area."


The Business Week