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The skills you need for that sweat equity fixer you plan to reno

Welcome to your new fixer-upper.  Whether it’s your first home or first investment property, you likely have your work cut out for you. Here are some of the skillsets that are best to have before diving in.

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Know how to vet your contractors:


Unless you are willing and able to renovate the entire house yourself, you’re going to be dealing with contractors. Shop around, ask for references, and make sure the contractors are experienced with the specific kind of work you want done. Don’t be afraid to work with a few- say one for large projects and one for the small things- but make sure you’ve done your homework before hiring them.


Know where the off switches are:


Always, always know how to turn off the electricity, water, and gas before starting any type of work on the house. It’s also a good idea to test each circuit on your fuse box so you don’t accidently overload one while trying to run the power saw.


Know how to measure twice:


You know this, of course, when cutting those 2x4s, but sometimes we forget the measuring aspect when we get to the tail end of things. For example, making sure the refrigerator handle doesn’t prevent the silverware drawer from opening can save you a major headache when all you want to do is finish the kitchen.


Know how to read blueprints:


Before tearing down walls and adding light switches, familiarize yourself when reading blueprints. Blueprints can tell you a great deal about how your house functions, so learn how to recognize blueprint symbols and layouts so you can make the best educated decisions for your project and discuss them with your contractor.


Know how to do a quality paint job:


People paint their houses all the time. It should be easy! And it is, to a certain extent, but there are a few tricks to the process. Take advantage of talking to the employees of at the paint store and watching tutorials online so by the time you get to the painting, you are prepared to do it efficiently and get to enjoy your finished house all the sooner.


Know how to google:


Google is a homeowners best friend. Leaky faucet? Showerhead needs replaced? Ceiling fan needs fixed? There’s a video for that! Google is also handy for finding lost mannels to existing appliances or explaining how to adjust the water heater that looks nothing like the one at your old house.


Know what your source materials are:


Knowledge is power when it comes to renovation. The more you know about the supplies needed to do the work, the better equipped you are to hunt for deals, find specialty items, and converse with your contractor.


Know how to ask for help:


Know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and know how to pick up that phone and call an expert. One of the worst things you can do as a homeowner is get in over your head with a project and end up causing more damage than there was to start.

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