Handyman Magazine polished up a nice article on how to succeed at any home improvement project, whether it’s re-plumbing the bathroom, installing new kitchen cabinets, or building a deck, even if you’re not a professional. With thorough planning and taking time to truly understand the process, results can closer match expectations. Remember that each home improvement project is different and in order to have a successful project, you should conduct your research before starting it.
Step One: Internet, Library and Bookstore Research
How-to magazines and manufacturers’ web sites are good places to look for advice for your home improvement project. Old articles can provide critical help, and sites may include installation and repair manuals you can download (Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Succeed-at-Any-Home-Improvement-Project). Take due note at any photos and illustrations that may make text instructions clearer. This will help you as you start the project and you can get a visual of what to do as you get closer to starting your project.
Step Two: Check with the Local Building Department
Inspectors at your local building department can direct you to literature on the code requirements for most projects. Depending on the size of the project you may need to have a permit issued, in which case your work will also need to be inspected. The initial investment is well worth it if for nothing else than the peace of mind of not having to worry about correcting shoddy work later. Homeowners have, as a rule, free rein to do what they wish, as long as they submit a clear plan and have the work inspected. If you’re planning to dig holes, check with the local utility company so they can scan for buried utility lines. This will help you avoid fees and a major headache if you don’t check with your local building department from the start of the project.
Step Three: Keep the Construction Details Simple
To avoid unnecessary mistakes and problems, organize the project on existing building code requirements. This will help guide the design and function of the project. How-to magazines and books will generally provide illustrations of code-approved, standard, construction practices which can be adapted to fit most projects (Source: http://www.mandlconstruction.com/index.html).
Step Four: Rent Or Buy Any Tools You’ll Need
Working with second-rate tools and equipment can set your project back. By investing in quality tools upfront, you avoid wasting time redoing work or returning substandard equipment. If you’re planning on continuing to work on other home improvement projects, it’s probably best that you buy your tools instead of renting them as it will save you time and money.
Step Five: Get What You Need, Before You Start
Going back and forth picking up supplies is a waste of time. Better yet, get everything you need and arrange for it to be delivered, if possible. Although this might be tough, it will help a tremendous amount as you begin your project. How-to articles will generally provide a detailed list of what you’ll need for the project. Windows and doors can take a long time to come, so order them as much in advance as possible.