It’s springtime now, and that means that lots of folks are thinking about projects in our homes and yards that were all but a dream during the cold winter months. Looking outdoors, it’s time to clean the debris out of the yard, service your lawnmower and garden tools, and get some planting started. It’s also a great time to start on sprucing up the interior of your home, and making some of those remodeling ideas a reality.
Remodeling projects can bring a breath of fresh air into your home. There’s nothing quite like a new color scheme, or even just a fresh coat of paint to liven things up and create a new improved ambience. But these projects are not without their potential pitfalls. Here are a few tips to keep in mind so that your remodeling work is as rewarding as you’re hoping it will be:
Don’t underestimate the cost.
Ask anyone who has ever done a remodeling project. Or, for that matter, ask anyone who has done project management as part of their job. There are always unforeseen expenses, mistakes you didn’t plan for, and a host of other issues that could cause cost overruns. It can really take the wind out of your sails if you get deeply into your project and realize that you’ve used up the funds you budgeted when there’s still work left to do. The old adage which advises to “measure twice and cut once” is very applicable here.
Don’t underestimate the time either.
Apart from cost, the next biggest concern in any sort of project management is getting the job done on time. Of course, when we’re talking about your home, it’s not just a business consequence that you may have to face. If you start a project on your three-day weekend and it ends up taking much longer than planned, you may leave your home in a state of nerve-wracking disarray when you return to work, and that could upset the lives of everyone in your family.
Clean before you paint.
There’s some question about whether it’s best to paint before or after you do the other work, as we’ve discussed. But it’s almost certain that there’s some part of the project that you’ll start before you paint. Be sure to do a thorough cleanup job before you open those cans of paint. Dust and debris flying around can ruin a paint job and force you to repaint. And, while we’re on the subject, don’t forget to clean the surfaces you’re about to paint before you start applying a new coat of paint. It might seem a quick and easy solution to paint over whatever dirt is on your walls, but I assure you that you won’t be pleased with the result if you do so.
Be aware of toxins.
Nowadays, there are all sorts of laws in place to protect homeowners and tenants from toxic materials in our homes. But that wasn’t always the case, and here in the Bay Area, there are plenty of older homes. Lead-based paint and asbestos were commonly used in homes well into the second half of the twentieth century, and may be present in any homes built earlier than the 1990s. If you’re remodeling an older home, use extreme caution, and, if in doubt, call in professionals who are experienced with safely removing those materials.