AP NEWS

Money Talk: July 31, 2018

August 1, 2018

Gateway news services

Home improvement projects are popular this time of year, and you’ve certainly tackled your share of DIY to-dos in the past. But not this year. This year you realize it’s time to go big, to go bold, to set aside those traditional home improvement projects for another year and do something even bigger.

Yes, this year, it’s time to renovate.

Whether your plans include renovating one room, a floor or your entire home, there’s no denying that a renovation project greatly increases the scope of the work to be done — and the expense. And because of that, it’s incredibly important to have your entire plan laid out before you begin. After all, the last thing you want to do is renovate your latest renovation.

• Finalize your goals. The largest projects are more successful when they are planned down to the finest details and that includes getting very specific about your goals. Don’t settle for a goal of simply improving your home. Decide if you’re trying to up the resale value, add more space, create a hobby area or finally build the bathroom you deserve. Any or all of these could qualify as improving your home, but when you get specific about your goal, you’ll better recognize what needs to be done to attain it.

• Determine if you need to update, replace core systems. Your air conditioning unit, water softener and furnace are all vital components in your home and it’s easy to take the work they do every day for granted. However, these systems eventually need replacement as well, and your home renovation could be the perfect time to tackle this task.

• Set your budget. Many homeowners have no idea what a renovation project will cost and even if they do, unexpected expenses can appear very quickly. If you are working with a contractor, they should be able to give you a fairly accurate estimation of how much your project will cost. However, it’s still a good idea to determine what your absolute spending ceiling is for the project and not go above it. This means making sure you budget in some extra space below this mark to allot for unexpected expenses.

• Organize your calendar. Delays during a renovation project will cost you time and money, so it pays to eliminate them when possible. Do you plan to remain in your home during the project? Are there any seasonal plans — such as a family vacation — that could interfere with the progress? Understand these potential hazards early and you can plan for ways to minimize them.

Know what you can do and, more importantly, what you can’t. When you move from a home improvement project to a renovation, you’re also probably moving from DIY to hiring an expert. Tackle what you can yourself — including buying materials for the project, which will save you the contractor’s mark-up — but leave the things you don’t know how to do in the hands of the professionals.

Doing so will make sure you’re happier with the result and you don’t have to pay someone to fix your mistakes.

THE LIST

According to Forbes, the world’s highest-paid entertainers are:

1. Floyd Mayweather

2. George Clooney

3. Kylie Jenner

4. Judy Sheindlin

5. Dwayne Johnson

6. U2

7. Coldplay

8. Lionel Messi

9. Ed Sheehan

10. Cristiano Ronaldo

NUMBER TO KNOW

33 million: According to research firm eMarketer, the number of TV viewers who will cancel pay TV is expected to grow to 33 million in 2019.

TECH TALK

Chrome now alerts users visiting insecure HTTP sites: Google’s Chrome will now alert users visiting an insecure HTTP site with a warning display. While on a secure site, the Chrome address bar displays a green padlock and the word “secure,” while an insecure site will read “not secure.” The display will warn users against entering any sensitive information on the site.

According to officials, the alert will serve as an indication the website needs to update its credentials.

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