For many homeowners, the decision to make some updates or improvements is a major one. Not only is it a huge commitment, but it also requires quite a bit of money, time, and energy as well. Depending on what the project is, there may be special knowledge of carpentry, electrical work, or plumbing required, which will necessitate a professional, and it could potentially add quite a bit of value to a home. However, it’s important to know when you can tackle something on your own and when you should call in some help.

While it’s commendable to take on a DIY project over the course of a weekend, some changes take much longer and will need some planning to execute. It all comes down to preparation. Do you have a budget? A way to get the materials you’ll need? Home projects are often miscalculated, leaving the owners with a lot more expense and commitment than anticipated. Starting with a good plan is essential.

Here are a few tips on how to get those home improvement projects done right.

The Roof

You might be able to climb up on the roof to check for weather damage or wear yourself, but leave the actual roofing to a pro. Replacing broken or missing shingles or tiles and repairing insulation or structural issues can be costly and dangerous, so give it a once-over and then call a roofing company for an estimate. In many cases, your insurance company can help you pay for the cost of repairs, but claims vary; be sure you understand your insurance policy completely before making any decisions. It’s also important to be aware of roofing scams. Many homeowners have found themselves the victim of a ruse implemented by scammers going door-to-door claiming to be from a roofing company. Always do your research before hiring anyone.

Hire an Inspector

This is an especially important step for homes that are older than 15 or 20 years. Hiring an inspector will help you find issues you may not be aware of, and it could save you quite a bit of money if you catch a problem in time (such as termites). If there’s an area you’re particularly concerned about in relation to your project — such as electrical wiring or plumbing — have the inspector take a look at those first.

Look for Inexpensive Alternatives

It’s imperative to do some research before you get started on any project so you can set a budget. Often, there are simple and more inexpensive alternatives to an idea that will provide a similar effect. For example, instead of knocking down a wall to make an area look bigger, paint the ceiling a light color and add some mirrors to the room.

Stay Away from the Wiring

Electrical wiring is one of the most expensive changes you can give to a home — and one of the most dangerous — so always call a pro. Stay away from any project that requires you to handle electrical issues; even if it’s just installing a ceiling fan, you could get hurt or cause problems behind the scenes. It’s also important to know who to call if you need to dig in your yard, as many wires and cables are buried nowadays and cities require all homeowners to check before digging. Look online to find the number you should call and keep it handy.

Managing home improvement projects can be a big job, and they can turn into something even bigger if you aren’t prepared with a good plan. Calling in a pro isn’t a sign of defeat; if you’re a homeowner, it’s a way to be responsible and keep everyone safe.

Call today for a list of preferred vendors at JHG.  865-237-7328, 865-986-4464, 

Article provided by Ray Flynn from