How To Prioritize Home Improvement Projects
House and Home

How To Prioritize Home Improvement Projects

How To Prioritize Home Improvement Projects

Well, y’all know I’m kind of the take-life-as-it-comes type. I try not to get too bent out of shape by stuff. But if you’ve been living in your house for a while as I have, there’ll be days when it seems like everything starts falling apart all at once. The roof starts leaking, the windows start to stick, the lights flicker, and the plumbing backs up regularly. It’s enough to make a person wonder, “What on earth should I fix first?” Well, I’ve got some practical tips on how to prioritize home improvement projects.

Make a Matrix

There’s nothing like getting organized to get prioritized! One of the best ways I’ve found to tackle the priority problem is to make a matrix. My go-to is the Eisenhower matrix, named after an idea Dwight Eisenhower relayed from a university president: “I have two types of tasks: the urgent and the important.”

This matrix method helps you chart tasks based on their urgency and importance. Tasks fall into four categories: urgent and important, urgent but not important, important but not urgent, and neither urgent nor important.

For example, if that leaky roof is causing water damage, it’s both urgent and important. But if you’re just tired of the color of the living room walls, that might be important to you, but it’s not urgent.

You could also make a matrix based on how much time, effort, or money a project will consume vs. its ultimate impact on your home and your life. Tackle the ones that take the least effort, time, or money but have the most impact first.

Structure, Safety, and Functionality

If it’s raining inside your house or a wall is fixing to fall on your head, I think you’ve got an easy decision regarding what to fix first. Always put structure, safety, and functionality at the top of your list. If something in your home is a safety hazard or interferes with the basic functionality of your home, it needs immediate attention. Nobody wants to live in a house where the toilet overflows every time you flush, the electricity is so unpredictable that it’s scary, or the outdoor breeze is indoors too.

Budget and Return on Investment

Of course, we can’t forget about the budget. As much as I’d love to snap my fingers and have all my home projects done at once, my wallet has a say in the matter. It’s important to look at the return on investment for each project. Some improvements, such as window replacements, can save energy and, in turn, money when you approach them correctly.

Knowing how to prioritize home improvement projects is about assessing urgency, importance, safety, and budget. It’s overwhelming when everything needs your attention at once, but when you make a list that focuses on urgency and importance, you’ll have your home shipshape in no time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta put another bucket under that leak in the roof. Maybe I should call someone about that…

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