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Get expert decorating ideas, watch H&H TV, see inside celebrity homes, find how-to tips, DIY projects, small spaces and kitchen makeovers. There are always extra costs. That’s because home renovation planning takes a little bit of guess work. How do you know if you have lead pipes or that your oven in a potential fire hazard? To avoid blowing your household budget, due to unexpected reno costs, add a contingency fund. Most contractors suggest adding 10% but larger projects may need a 20% contingency fund. Talk to your contractor for a better understanding of what this extra money could potentially cover.

There are two golden rules that you should remember when planning improvements. The first is not to spend more than you have to. Never improve a house to the point where its desired sale price would be more than, say, 20% higher than the most expensive of the other houses in the immediate neighborhood. This is because the value of your home will always be affected (except in rural areas) by the value of the surrounding properties. The second is to ensure that any work carried out is of a professional standard. This is not the time to try out your DIY skills for the first time. Also, don’t forget to keep all receipts and paperwork to show agents and prospective buyers.

In addition, specific high-end features such as media rooms with specialized audio, visual or gaming equipment may be appealing to a few prospective buyers, but many potential home buyers would not consider paying more for the home simply because of this additional feature. Chances are that the room would be re-tasked to a more generic living space.

I’ve worked alongside many skilled electricians, plumbers, and trades people and I use my experience and knowledge to help do-it-yourselfers like you with home improvement projects through my YouTube videos and website forum. Whether you want to build a shed, put vinyl siding on your house, replace a window, or any other DIY type project, I’m there to show you how to do it and answer your questions.

Make achieving thermal comfort with the lowest ongoing operating cost central to your decision making at every stage. Passive heating and cooling is free to operate but upgrading a home to achieve better thermal comfort (more stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)) does cost money but rewards with lower energy bills — particularly in climates with high auxiliary heating or cooling needs (see Design for climate).