Home Improvement: Begin with a Plan

Every project, of any size and scope, should begin with a plan. This is especially important when you are preparing to improve you home with new paint, new window treatments, new flooring and so on. The first step should be to think about what you want to accomplish. It’s best to have a general vision of what you are working toward.

If you can’t afford to hire or work with an interior-design professional, you should definitely sketch, as best you can, the ideas that come to mind. If you decide to have an architect take on the planning and design, these notes and sketches will be quite valuable, in a time-saving sense. If the project involves one room, and the upgrades you’d like to make there, your drawings can be your guide as you discuss the work with commercial painters, flooring specialists, and carpenters.

Professional Help

As you plan, you may find it’s difficult to envision how the changes will alter and enhance the entire home. This is where professional help can be essential. Some of the key factors to think about include how the space will be used and how the foot traffic will be changed. It’s important to make sure you don’t add a space that is so large it seems out of place with the rest of the house. If you don’t work with a designer, you should probably try a basic software program for home design.

You can also learn a lot about how you want to complete your home improvement by learning from what others have done with their homes. This is a good way to find inspiration, and it’s a way to avoid some of the problems others have encountered during renovation. You should be able to find good information online and you should also talk to neighbors, friends, and colleagues about their experiences.

You’ve read about the importance of having a plan in place before you start a home-improvement project. But you should always think ahead, even as the project is underway. The other benefit of thinking ahead has to do with deciding whether you should start the renovation and which rooms you should renovate. If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, you might want to focus on the kitchen and the bathroom. Upgrades to these two rooms will add a lot of value to your property.


As you look forward, be sure you include plans for additional storage. You’ll know if that’s been a problem in the past. You should also give thought to how the renovation can benefit from energy-saving details. This line of thinking will also help you stay within your budget. You’d be surprised how many renovation projects exceed the budget limit set at the start. You should probably add at least 10% to the figure you come up with as you plan. You may be able to find additional financial help for the project in a line of credit based on your home equity.