I have seen many things in my many years in the home improvement business. I got into home improvement naturally, as a child I always tried to fix things, so my fixit spirit was born at an early age. Before a series of strokes took my ability to work with my hands away, I had witnessed every thing from the sublime to the ridiculous.
- Doing anything on a home that has a bad foundation, before addressing the problem is a no-no. A cracked foundation is a major structural concern. Pump jacks, repairing concrete, braces, etc can all be used to fix the issue.
- Adding amenities that you cannot possibly get a return on! $5,000 -$10,000 for a spiral staircase in a $600 a month rental property is an unwise financial decision .A $2,000 car port addition that would allow your renters to get from their door to their car dryly, may be a better selling feature.
- Not choosing the correct paints. Rental property demands paint coverings that have staying power. Invest in a quality finish; make sure that the property exhibits both beauty in the color you have chosen and durability. This is one of the least expensive ways to improve your property. Wwhy not score big with your choices?
- Forgetting your community. I had a friend who made it big in a band in the seventies and he decided to improve his mom’s home. She now owns the most beautiful house in the “ghetto” but no dollar he spent raised the real estate value of the property. Her home is now a shiny pearl but it’s still in the ghetto
- Not knowing when you are in over your head. If your chosen project is getting out of control cost wise; learn when to cut your losses and call in an expert. No matter how much you have lost, a change of direction may save you in the end.
- Do not do unnecessary things. If you want to landscape, try to use the natural environment to it is full potential. Instead of removing a tree, consider reshaping it. Instead of moving a boulder, try to design a plan that includes it as part of the landscaping.
- Paying too much for labor. When ever possible pay your help by the job rather than by the hour.
- Being “out of the know”. Be present during all work that you do not personally perform. You do not know how often work stops or how much the quality falls off when you exit the premises.
- Using Low quality materials. Buy quality supplies, from reputable dealers, at good prices. Do not be afraid to tell the store manager or owner what you are trying to accomplish. Let him know that of his competitors you have chosen his establishment to renovate your home. Keep yours eyes open for deals at other reputable stores and give your chosen store the first chance to beat the competitors price.
- Having an inflexible budget. You should know what you could afford to spend before you begin your project. If possible, tackle the most important projects first and save the others until last.
Following these few tips can make your next project more satisfying spiritually and more do-able finacially.