So, you’ve seen a few great home improvement projects around your neighborhood, and you’re thinking you’d like to start one of your own. After all, if your neighbors can do it, nothing could go wrong…right? Well, think again. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home before putting it on the market or you’re just getting around to putting your perfect renovation plan into motion, it’s always best to measure twice and cut once. Below are a few things to keep in mind when you’re setting out on your next home improvement plan.

Kitchen Remodeling

A new kitchen can add a breath of life to an old home. Kitchen islands and dining-area barstools are great ways to add convenient dining and counter space to your kitchen, but take time to make sure that you don’t go from having too much space to not having enough. Plan out your new kitchen before remodeling so that doors, chairs, and cabinets don’t intersect in awkward ways—you don’t want your oven door to bang into your kitchen island. Keep in mind that more counter space is convenient, but kitchens look bigger with fewer appliances and obstructions, so strike a balance between too little and too much space.

Bathroom Remodeling

All new flooring and even wallpaper can do a great job of making your bathroom look like new, but a few small improvements can definitely go a long way as well. You can spruce up your bathroom on a smaller budget by installing new light fixtures, handles, and faucets, but be careful that your new lights are safely in line with the local building code. If not, you could be in for a nasty shock.

Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood flooring is a great addition to any home; it’s visually striking, and it’s easier to clean than carpet. Before you replace your carpets, however, remember that carpet keeps a home warmer than hardwood flooring does. Also bear in mind that while hardwood floors are easier to keep clean than carpet, installing or refinishing a hardwood floor is physically demanding, and sanding incorrectly could ruin your new floor. It’s a good idea to hire a Best Pick contractor to help with your hardwood floor installation.

Attic Conversion

Converting your attic to a usable room is an innovative way to add a bedroom, a quiet place to relax, or even an office to your home. However, if you don’t remember to insulate your attic living space properly, your gas bills will rise as a result of your HVAC system making an extra effort to keep the room comfortable—remember, the attic will be your hottest room in the summer and your coldest room in the winter, so be sure to insulate well.

Deck Addition

Many homeowners find that a backdoor deck can be a versatile living, eating, and entertaining space that allows family members and guests alike to enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately, an awkwardly planned deck can look plain or even unsightly, so be careful to plan your outdoor furnishings in advance. Make sure your grill lines up relative to where the gas line is located, decide what your furniture will be and where it will go, and take into account whether your deck setup leaves you with adequate sunshine and shade. It’s also important to remember to take proper care of the deck—sand and stain regularly to make sure it doesn’t get too weathered.

You’re the one in charge of whether those sparkling new floors or that great little attic office turn out beautifully—or turn into a disaster. Ask the right questions, do the right research, and keep these tips in mind to make your home improvement experience the best it can be.

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Sources: Better Homes and Gardens; DIY Network; DoItYourself; HGTV; HouseLogic; Houzz; MarketWatch; Remodeling; US Census.

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