Before making your 2023 home improvement to-do list, it’s important to understand what needs to be done right away, what can wait (and how long it can wait) to avoid breaking the bank – and your sanity.
It’s important to rank your home improvement projects in order of importance if you want to get on top of renovations and/or repairs.
The majority of homeowners experience the same problem: after fixing one issue, three additional repair projects appear out of nowhere.
Consider another scenario where you are midway through a repair and must abandon it because another area of the house needs immediate attention.
Before you know it, a patchwork of incomplete fixes surrounds you..
Read on for some tips on how to prioritize your home improvement projects, even if you’re a DIY novice.
Begin by making two lists, one marked “need to do”, and the other “want to do”.
Think about “function”
Next, take a walk around your house and note anything that doesn’t quite seem to function as it should, then add it to your “Need” column.
Pay close attention to the function of everything in your home and take note of it. Just list what doesn’t seem right to you; don’t try to get technical or list the likely underlying cause of the issue.
For instance, you might notice that the faucet handle in one bathroom sink is difficult to turn on. Just write something like “sticky faucet handle in master bath.”
Finding your home’s functional “deficits” is a great place to start. With an open mind, explore each space and visualize yourself going about your daily activities. What minor comforts could you include to make life simpler? Examine the specifics! Do you have a hallway closet in your entryway?
Do you need a hook for your keys? When you enter the room, where do your shoes go? There is a linen closet in your master bathroom, right?
Do you fold laundry anywhere? Do you require more room in your kitchen for food preparation?
Would adding a few hooks to the wall be a simple solution? This quick exercise clarifies the concept of “needs versus wants” and condenses a long list of tasks and potential money leaks.
Yes, we do care about how our houses look. But isn’t the whole point of home improvement to enhance our quality of life?
Next consider “first impressions”
Since most of us are unable to remodel our entire homes, start with manageable small projects that will make you (and your guests) happy.
For example, maybe you’d like a chic and useful entryway. It can make your home feel more inviting and be a relaxing end to a long day for everyone.
If you want to update your house, starting with the entryway is a great place to start.
Think about ROI
Always choose projects with the highest impact at the lowest cost. Opt for the least expensive approach that will have the greatest impact when working on a project.
Paint is a simple illustration. Each time you start a new DIY project, ask yourself the following questions.:
- ⬥ What is my current skill set?
- ⬥ What equipment do I have that I feel confident using?
- ⬥ What can be done with just one paint can and wood trim that costs $50 or less?
- ⬥ How can I use one stencil in multiple ways?
- ⬥ Is there anything I can repurpose to fit this renovation?
- ⬥ Would learning a skill (like sewing) help me with my home’s numerous decorating problems?
Your remodeling “want to do” list
This is where things can get fun – but easy to overspend.
It’s smart to keep the list practical, taking into account the available funds and time. Instead of writing “total kitchen makeover,” try to break it down into the specific things you want done.
Replace outdated laminate countertops with new ones might be one of your list’s items. You can use these specific points to help you communicate with the contractor you hire for the job.
Finally, when you use this method of prioritizing your home improvement projects, it can greatly help you prioritize your DIY to-do list while considering your time and your budget.
In addition, you can learn more DIY skills through each small project, and soon you’ll be ready to take on bigger and more significant projects!