Home Improvement

We are in the prime of summer and home improvement stores couldn’t be happier. Many homeowners are packing the stores getting ready to tackle their own home improvement projects. But there are times when a project might be a little too much for your everyday Joe. Even if you are considering hiring someone for remodeling there can be a lot more than you can bargain for. If you decide to do your own home improvement it is important to budget for all possible expenses.

There are many things that you might not consider for a Do-It-Yourself project. One of the costs that can be easily forgotten is permit fees. Work permits are required for projects that will alter the structure of your home. You may also need to apply for permits when improving plumbing, electrical, or landscaping.

Along with the cost of the permit you may have to pay for application fees. Permit costs are generally based on the size of the project. It is important to get these permits because if you don’t have them then the penalties will cost you a lot more than a permit ever will.

When you do it yourself you may not have all the equipment or tools needed to complete your job. This may leave you having to rent a certain tool. You may also have a friend who will trust you with their equipment. There is always a risk with borrowed goods that they may get damaged though. Always be careful when using someone else’s tools so you can return them in the same condition as you received them.

Be prepared to find additional problems. Perhaps a simple lighting project leads to the discovery that you need to replace a significant amount of wiring. Maybe you need to replace a couple of shingles and find out that you have some problems with your roof that can lead to serious leaking. When you start a small project it can turn into a major renovation. This may also be beneficial because you can discover any small problems before they turn into serious ones.

Account for extra supplies. You may have bought just enough boards for that fence, but then you miss-cut a few or find that there are some problems with a couple. It is rare to not make a mistake on any project, but the fewer you do make the less you will have to spend on extra supplies.

If you hire someone to do your renovations make sure that you are on the same level and that any and all changes need to be approved by you. Changes in materials or the original blueprint can alter the price of the negotiated job and cause the price to rise.

You may be a motivated do-it-yourselfer but you shouldn’t experiment with ideas or projects with your own house. If you are looking to tackle a project, recruit a friend who has done it before or offer your assistance to someone who is going to do the same project as yourself.

Take advantage of free tutorial seminars. Many major hardware stores hold weekend demonstrations on do-it-yourself projects. These are free and very informative. You may also find that the store is full of helpful employees who will answer any questions you may have about a certain project.

Recruit some quality cheap labor. Friends and family who are handy with a hammer will cut the time it takes to get the project done. Don’t turn down help, even if the person is not the best around tools. They can always help clean up or run to the store for any forgotten items. Paying them with food and drink will generally work and you can always offer a helping hand when they are doing their own home project.

Even though one of the decisions to do it yourself is to save money, you do not want to use cheap materials that are not going to hold up over time. You want to use the right materials the first time. Consult with employees at the hardware store to steer you to quality materials. You are wasting money if you have to redo a project because you wanted to save a couple bucks.

A detailed list of supplies and materials will help you put some numbers to a project. You will want to add an extra 10% to your budget to account for any setbacks. When you account for all expenses you will protect savings and you will not have to abandon the project half way through it. When you thoroughly plan and budget for a do-it-yourself project you will take advantage of the money saving benefits.

Pioneer Credit Counseling is a bonded, non-profit credit counseling agency offering debt management programs, financial counseling, bankruptcy counseling and housing counseling nationwide. Call our friendly counselors today at 800-888-1596 or visit

Our accredited credit counselors will help you take control of your financial life and get out of debt faster than you can on your own. We offer a debt management program that will stop the collections calls, lower your monthly payment and provide you peace of mind. Our pre and post bankruptcy counselors provide an easy process for you so you can focus on rebuilding your financial being.

It is our policy at Pioneer Credit Counseling not only to help people get out of debt, but also educate in sound budgeting practices.

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