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Sometimes the “Do” in DIY Means “Don’t”

This month, we have a wonderful guest post from experienced blogger and DIY expert, Seth Murphy. Seth will share some great home design ideas that can be applied to everything from your vacation condo to your investment property to your own home! If you enjoyed his writing, check out his blog:

Every aspiring DIY-er should keep something in mind: Those who can, do, and those who can’t, probably shouldn’t!

While some projects — like refinishing an inexpensive chest you bought at a garage sale — are low-risk with little investment for a DIY newbie, if you’ve never handled a circular saw before and don’t know what a bevel adjustment is, you (and your family) may appreciate calling in some expert help.

Also, consider prioritizing your projects so that your home improvement budget goes towards those that will provide you with the most benefit. Obviously, structural details like replacing shingles, or those that pose a safety threat such as a missing staircase handrail should be completed first. But which makes more sense from a resale standpoint: adding an outdoor kitchen or upgrading your interior one? If you have questions like these on your mind, Oak Street Group has answers that can help you judiciously pick the home improvement project that will add the most value.

Saving on the value boosters

The kitchen is one living space in which upgrades can pay off. It can also be very expensive, so if an extensive remodel is out of your budget, or you just want to do one thing at a time, there are plenty of DIY upgrades that are easy on you and your wallet. For example, you can replace the backsplash tile or you can paint over it for an inexpensive yet fresh look. Putting up some rustic shelves can also add new flair.

Simply painting all of your interior walls can change your home’s appearance, and it’s fun to watch the transformation. If you are planning on selling before long, best to stick with neutral colors. But if you plan on staying for a while, don’t be afraid to go bold — the results can be stunning. Let the kids choose their own colors for their bedrooms — provided they help with the painting and cleaning up afterward, of course.

Outdoor enhancements

Outdoor improvements can be trickier. Things like replacing the garage door, adding a deck, or putting in new landscaping can all positively impact your home’s resale value. But unless you have experience at any of those, you may want to call in the professionals. Plant a few rose bushes? Sure. Put in a new lawn or xeriscape, and design a tranquil English garden? That takes a certain expertise.

Another popular and somewhat thorny outdoor project is your yard fencing. If you just need to replace parts of it, make sure that the new pieces match the existing fence. For a wood fence, this may mean following with a paint or refinish project. If you decide to install a new fence, you’ll need to determine what kind makes the most sense for your property and your neighborhood. If you live in the suburbs where homes are fairly close together, privacy fences will likely be appealing. If you are in a more secluded area or have more distance between neighbors, wrought iron or decorative fence may work.

Fence installation can also be complicated. If you live in an area with an HOA, for example, you’ll want to look up any fence standards and styles you agreed to adhere to, and it may not be DIY-friendly. Then there are the underground utilities — do you know where and how to look for them? Attractive and professionally installed fencing can be well worth the money and save you not just time but headaches. It will depend on the area size you need fenced and other specifications but expect to spend $4,500 for new fence installation by a professional. You can find local fence companies online, as well as read their customer reviews and get quotes.

There’s always next time

If you truly enjoy DIY projects, ask professionals if you can observe them while they’re working. You may not be ready to jump in on the next project and tackle it yourself, but watching and getting tips from folks who do these projects for a living can help you decide if it’s something you are equipped — complete with tools and safety knowledge — to do yourself in the future.

Until then, enjoy the improvements to your home by both you and your professional installers, and the reward you’ll get in your home’s added value. When you’re ready to sell and look for a new home and a blank slate to try out your DIY skills on, remember to give Oak Street Group a call: (615) 432-2919.

Photos by Taelynn Christopher and Matt Chen on Unsplash

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