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Prioritizing House Projects

Posted on Monday, June 10, 2024
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson

What should be done first?

Most homeowners feel overwhelmed by the idea of house projects, let alone multiple ones that must be done. Unfortunately, not everyone has the money to hire out all the jobs at once. Nor do most people have the skillsets to do all the projects themselves. Thus, most homeowners must choose which projects are most important and prioritize what needs to be done.

The need to rank projects

Prioritizing house projects is something most people on fixed budgets or with limited time must do. This entails ranking them and addressing the most important ones first. But how do you decide what gets top priority?

Make a list.

Start with a list of household projects that you’d like to address. Here are five important points of reflection:

  1. Function – What function does it serve? Is repairing it a need (urgent) or want (non-urgent)? Is it a safety concern?
  2. Budget– How much does it cost? Can I afford it? Will fixing it save me money in the long run or help offset the cost of repair?
  3. Time – Can I fix it myself? Is it a simple job I can handle? Do I have the time? How long will it take for someone else to repair it?
  4. Benefit – How much will I benefit? Will fixing it improve my quality of life?  What are the long-term financial gains?
  5. Mental/physical stress – How will the repair influence my stress level? Is it less stressful to hire help or DIY?

Consider them all.

Each of these points must be considered when deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional. In addition, each of these factors influences what gets top priority, with safety as the main driver. SFLCN provides risk advice that fits across the board in business and in life. “Identifying risks is vital because prevention is safer, faster, and less costly than recovering losses with adverse events.”  

Jot it down.

Creating a chart can provide clarity on which projects are most important. For example, let’s compare fixing the air conditioning versus repainting the home’s exterior. For comparison’s sake, neither is a DIY project and both require the hiring of a professional.

JobFunctionBudget/time  Return on investment
Repairing broken central air conditionerFunctions to keep environment comfortable/viewed as a need due to summertime heatwave$500 -$1000 professional estimate/ One day repair for a professional to completeHaving working central air conditioning can increase a home home’s financial value by 10% on average.
Repainting home’s exteriorCosmetic change /defined as a want or non-urgent project  $6,000 professional estimate/ Weeklong project for a professional to completeA freshly painted exterior may increase a home’s financial value by 2 to 5% on average.

Making the comparison

In the above scenario, the homeowner should clearly have the broken air conditioner repaired before having the home’s exterior repainted. In review, the homeowner defined the function of a working air conditioner as a need vs. a want due to sweltering heat. Thus, having an operational air conditioner is important to the owner for physical comfort and wellbeing. Whereas repainting the home’s exterior is categorized by the homeowners as a want. Repainting is not due to a condition issue with the home, rather the homeowner simply seeks a cosmetic color change. In addition, repairing the a/c is a less expensive job than repainting the home. Should the homeowner suddenly decide to sell the home, fixing the a/c would also be a better investment.  

The importance of budgeting

Per Dream Style Remodeling, “Budget is a significant consideration for many homeowners when it comes to home improvement projects. After all, you don’t want to overspend and put yourself in financial jeopardy.” They recommend leaving wiggle room in the budget for unexpected expenses. When working with a contractor, be clear on the budget and prioritize projects not only based on safety, but considering what you can practically afford. Think about cost-saving measures such as asking friends to lend a hand on doable projects or scaling back on design if needed to meet the budget.

In summary

Home renovation projects can be stressful, but by carefully evaluating projects, considering function, budget/time, and investment potential, projects can be ranked to determine which ones get top billing. Making lists and putting things in writing are useful tools when it comes to comparing projects. Also, evaluating both the physical and mental benefits to include personal comfort, satisfaction, and stress management can help people prioritize what’s most important.

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David Millikan
David Millikan
5 days ago

Dictator Beijing biden is planning on Banning ALL Natural Gas Appliances when we have PLENTY of Natural Gas that is cheap and affordable. Another Fascist move against Americans.

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