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Keep mistakes to a minimum when taking on home design projects

April 22, 2014

Hardwood FlooringThe old expression, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," must have first been said when a new homeowner made an attempt at remodeling. Having a dream home design in mind is one thing, but acting on it can be costly without the right materials, budget and know-how. For instance, using high-quality products like the wood floors in Anderson's Lincoln Plank collection is one of the steps that experts recommend whenever the renovation bug bites.

According to HowStuffWorks, homeowners who are embarking on a remodeling project should be careful not to make mistakes that have been the downfall of many well-intentioned efforts. Avoiding mistakes from the outset will save time, money and sweat equity, not to mention eliminating the need to undo bad decisions and start over.

Trying to do too much is often a weakness of those intent on creating the ideal room design, whether it's a home library with floor to ceiling shelves or a back porch being turned into an all-season sunroom. Whittling the project down to steps and doing only one thing through to completion will prevent novice remodelers from becoming overwhelmed. Once they succeed at one aspect of the project, they'll be in a positive frame of mind as they go forward.

Stick with classics
Although budget may be the defining issue for many homeowners, HGTV advised them not to purchase cheaper materials that won't last for more than a few years. By having to replace them sooner rather than later, the project will end up costing more in the long run.

It doesn't pay to invest in a huge collection of tools that may be needed for a particular task, either. There are plenty of outlets that rent tools for specific jobs, like tile cutting, and that will trim the cost of the job.

The design channel also warned against choosing trendy styles that will look dated in a few years. Stick with classic design, finishes and neutral colors for major elements of a job. You can always fill in the space later with trendier, less expensive furnishings as accent pieces that you can remove when they begin to look out of style.

There's a reason why workmen say, "Measure twice, cut once."  Precise measurements are the heart of any remodeling job because it will only lead to waste and cost overruns if materials have to be thrown away and replaced. Keep the scale of projects in mind as well or you'll end up with room features that are out of sync with the rest of your home style.