There are a couple of important things to think about when you decide to undertake any home improvement project, whether big or small, and one to start with is – what do you want and how are you going to do it?

Unless you’re a real estate agent who sees lots of house styles and designs constantly, you need to have some images in your mind of what the effect is that you’re trying to achieve and to get these ideas you need to look at lots and lots of pictures. By seeing a large range of colours, ideas, designs and styles, you’ll quickly work out what you don’t like, as well as what you do like. You’ll know what colours give you a buzz and what styles are off-limits! You’ll get an idea of what designs will suit your lifestyle and family makeup and whether certain fixtures and fittings will match your budget. To look at enough pictures to form a clear picture of your desired home improvement project goal, you’d need to look through scores of magazines. Home design books can also be good but they can date quickly, where magazines are published so regularly there’s a steady stream of inspirational ideas. To purchase the number of magazines you’d need would cost you a fortune (there goes some of the renovation money straight away) so the best tip is to borrow every home improvement magazine there is at the local library (not all at once, of course!). Any pictures you desperately want to keep for inspiration you can scan or copy, and then you also save yourself the storage space for hundreds of magazines that you may never look at again.

Another great source of home improvement gold is the local opportunity shop. Op shops are a treasure trove for many things but one of the real gems for home renovators is the DIY books you find, often in mint condition, stacked on the shelves for the cost of a cafe coffee. Sure, you can find ‘how to’ info online, but it’s far easier to flick from front to back in a classic Reader’s Digest DIY Manual to get a feel for what you’re in for, and to get an understanding of what you’re undertaking. You can always research further online. You can also carry a book around with you on the project, so you can follow the How To sections.

The added advantage of devouring all of this free and cheap renovating information, besides the large savings in buying it, is that you may come up with even better ideas than you originally had in mind, and may make more educated decisions and likely even create a result that adds more beauty and value to your house than you originally intended.

So you’ve saved money and created property value at the same time – you’re well ahead!

About The Author:

Sonya Matthews is a passionate renovator with two decades of experience renovating investment properties and family homes and knows how to make good money in the process. You can benefit from this experience and find out how to save money on your own renovations, home improvements and general home maintenance by visiting and subscribing for RenoSave’s regular e-newsletter.

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