Winter is a good time to plan ahead for next year’s household repairs. With Spring approaching many homeowners start thinking about and planning for home improvement projects.
Spring and Winter are good times to budget and plan.
Summer and Fall are good times to get things done.
Home improvements are almost an annual event for many people. Every home needs repair at some point. While some projects can be postponed, exterior repairs should be done on a timely basis. Granted you could do nothing. However that tends to not work out so well over the long run. Easy repairs can become significant replacements. Being preemptive tends to save money.
Projects tend to fall into a few distinct categories:
• Periodic maintenance repairs
• Intermittent improvements
• And Capital improvements
• Periodic maintenance repairs tend to include caulking around windows, refinishing the outsides of exterior doors and cleaning gutters.
• Intermittent improvements tend to be a bit more involved. These would include finally replacing that broken window, replacing that rotted handrail or installing a nice new door.
• Capital improvements involve much bigger jobs such as a new roof or beautiful bathroom.
All of these projects take planning, some obviously more than others. Proper planning can help you actually get tasks done during a Saturday morning or make a bathroom remodel go more smoothly. When planning small projects think about the following:
• Swinging by the store during a week night on the way home from work can dramatically help increase productivity on Saturday morning. You can verify prices, sizes and pick up the odds and ends you’ll need. On a week night you are more apt to be quick about it rather than straggling around looking at all the other stuff. Come Saturday morning all you have to pick up is the door or window and get back home to install it.
• Organize your tools. Take a half hour or so during a week night evening to find tools and parts you think you’ll need on Saturday and have it all organized in one place.
• Budget realistically. It isn’t the 2 sheets of drywall that cost real money. What really costs are the box of screws, the paper tape, the drywall saw, the knife blades, the masks, the gloves, the bucket of compound. All of a sudden you are wondering how you spent a hundred dollars you hadn’t planned on.
• Allot sufficient time for your project. Not getting a project done can be very frustrating. Think realistically about your skill level. If your brother in law Bob the weekend warrior says it only takes 2 hours. You may want to factor more time for yourself if household projects are just an occasional event for you.
Larger projects obviously will take more time and may need to be spread out over several weekends. In such cases it can be helpful to make a list of goals to achieve for each weekend. This can help you stay on track and on budget.
In the final equation, the important factors are to get the job done well and with as little frustration as possible. Good planning will get you most of the way to your goal. Ambition and thinking through problems should cover the rest.