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Summertime home improvements don't have to be all work and no play

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Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:34 am, Wed Sep 3, 2014.

(BPT) - If this year’s summer vacation plans involve more hardware than beachwear, don’t fret. Just apply tried-and-true trip-planning principles to your “staycation” renovation plans and you can ensure both your time and money are well spent.

Set a budget

You would rarely take a vacation without setting a limit on the amount of money you can spend. That budget affects your destination and hotel choices, length of stay and more.

The same principle goes for your home improvement vacation. Set a budget for tools, supplies and new purchases as you decide whether you’re investing in big renovations, like installing new cabinets, or small touches, like a new area rug. Be sure to consider small, added perks as you’re building your budget. For instance, you likely won’t want to cook in the midst of a kitchen remodel, so don’t forget to include money in your budget for restaurant meals or take-out.

Splurge a little

Every vacation needs a guilt-free splurge item. If your time off will be spent working on your home, you'll thank yourself later for selecting a high quality paint. Choose a premium paint, like Accolade Interior Paint + Primer from Pratt & Lambert. Not only will your home look beautiful, but because higher quality paint goes on smoother and often in fewer coats, you’ll save yourself time and avoid frustration during the application process. Plus, a superior paint will last longer, look new for years and be easier to maintain, so you can sit back and relax when your next vacation rolls around.

Plan ahead

You would never begin preparing for a trip the day you leave. In order to make the best use of your time, the same level of planning should be considered when using time off for home improvement projects.

You’ll want to determine the projects you’d like to complete several weeks before your staycation begins. Start by creating a prioritized list so you focus time on the tasks that matter most to you, whether that is painting the kitchen, installing a new vanity in the bathroom or reorganizing the garage. Then, just as you wouldn’t shop for flip flops and bathing suits on your way to the beach, don’t shop for brushes, rollers, spackle and caulk on the day you want to start your projects.

Be sure to select paint colors ahead of time. Pick up color chips at your local hardware store or paint retailer or bring home tinted samples to try out and come to a color conclusion before your time off begins.

Eye your itinerary

You may not need to compile a minute-by-minute breakdown of your day’s activities, but it’s a good idea to develop an itinerary of to-dos and project milestones to accomplish each day.

Scheduling a “no work” day mid-week can help you maintain your sanity. Use this day to sit outside, go see a movie or do just about anything other than work on your home. It’s a nice break and prompts you to unwind and de-stress. Finally, end the week with a celebration to appreciate all you’ve accomplished.

Even though there is much to be done on a home improvement holiday, there are ways to be sure you enjoy that time. Approach the time off like any other vacation - with some planning, patience and prudent expectations - and you’re well on your way.

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