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4. Don’t believe the hype of home improvement shows
It’s so easy to get carried away watching shows like This Old House, or anything on HGTV. They make everything look easy and cheap. It’s not. Trust me. Watch the shows for ideas and inspiration, but remember it’s television. They don’t even get dirty in those shows!

5. Take classes
At Home Depot and Lowe’s, and probably at your local home improvement stores, they have clinics or workshops for specific projects. Check their schedules and learn how to do the tasks you’d like to do. Even if you’re hiring someone to do the work for you, it’s a good idea to know how it’s done so you can supervise and make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

6. Do it right the first time
I had a neighbor who used to do everything on the cheap, from the material she bought to the people she hired to work for her. And almost every project had to be redone or fixed within a short period of time. This is where patience comes in. If you can’t afford to do it right, wait until you have the money. In the long run, doing it once (even if it’s expensive) is cheaper than doing it twice on the cheap.

Even if your Home Improvement Month turns into Home Improvement Year because you’re doing the work yourself and on a budget, you’ll take immense pride when you finish a project, knowing that you did it yourself, you did it right, and you did it on budget.

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