Bet you didn't know that Friday, March 25, was International Waffle Day. Yeah, yeah, we know — as if we needed a designated day to enjoy waffles. These days, waffles have been front and center on the menu, not only at breakfast but for every meal, with everything from chocolate chips and peanut butter to crushed pineapple and bacon (!) being added to the mix. Not to mention, we're now topping them with not only whipped cream and syrup, blueberries and strawberries, but also chicken. Where will it end?
When you found your dream home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you may have bought it with a plan to launch some major home improvements. Maybe you're an old hand at home improvements, but if you're just starting out, you could probably use some advice from our real estate agents. Follow these suggestions, and we guarantee you will have fewer home improvement snafus, and what's more, you'll love how close your results are to the improvements of your imagination.
Project Manager — or Not?
Now, before you launch into your role as a project manager for your home, it might be wise to take a breath and do a fearless self-assessment. You may want to save money by doing it yourself, and you're excited about undertaking this thrilling project, but are you the type of person who can bring it off successfully? Are you calm under pressure? Do you think and act strategically and confidently? Do you have time to plan, coordinate, and oversee the work? If these questions make you a bit uneasy, you might consider hiring a project manager. There will be a fee, but a bungled (by you) project will cost time and money and you could be looking at major disappointment. A pro can bring off the results you want.
Apps and Plans
Still ready to tackle orchestrating your home improvements? Then let's get you started with apps and software programs. If you've got money to pay an architect, never mind. Otherwise, here goes. An app such as Fiverr can provide you with 3D renderings but they don't come cheap, and they only give 1-2 revisions before they start charging. Try Arcsite or Planner 5d to save money and make your own renderings, with an unlimited number of designs for free.
A Trick for Visualizing Space
Most of us are lacking in the ability to visualize how things will look. Painter's tape and flooring paper can help you figure out the scope of space. For instance, you may want to know how well your projected dimensions for cabinet width will look. Tape it out, and you'll have a good idea.
Buy Samples — Lots of Them! — and Try Them Out
It can be tough to know if you're going to love that tile or flooring once it's in place. It might cost a bit, but it's better to buy a significant sampling of those materials and actually put them in place before you buy a whole shipment of stuff and commission an entire floor or wall. Ditto with paint. Those measly two samples they give you at the store just don't cut it.
Sometimes you can find a dupe for a pricey item. Shop around at big box stores and see if there's something that approximates that expensive thing you just have to have. For instance, installing aluminum-clad windows with thicker grids instead of installing steel windows is one clever dupe. They look similar to steel. There are lots of dupes out there if you spend time looking.
Go Over Where You Want Electrical Outlets
Most contractors will install electrical outlets any old where. If you're particular (and you should be), then you'll be thinking this through thoroughly. You might want some outlets concealed under an overhang or under cabinets. Be sure your contractor knows what you want.
Factor in Contingency Dollars in Your Budget
Things will go wrong. It's wise to factor in at least 10 percent contingency in your budget for unexpected issues, especially if you're in an older home.
Our real estate staff has lots more advice about managing home improvements. Contact us today.