Deciding to undertake a home improvement project takes moxie, particularly if you’re going the do-it-yourself route, but that’s just the first step. Next you have to pick the right resources – and that can be almost as confusing as deciding what project to do in the first place.

Go to any bookstore and you’ll see row after row of home improvement magazines on the shelves. At around $6 a pop, buying an armful of home improvement magazines that you don’t need can put a dent in your overhaul budget. This article will help you decide which home improvement magazine will give you the most bang for your buck.

Make a Plan

First, decide exactly what type of home improvement project you want, and what types of projects match your skill level. Do you want a Grecian pool? How about a new herb garden, or a wood deck?

Be Honest About Your Skills

If you’ve never built so much as a bookcase, putting in a new teak deck complete with spa could easily turn into a money-draining nightmare. By flipping through a home improvement magazine you can get an idea of what you’re capable of and how much it’s likely to cost.

Browse before Buying

There are projects to fit any budget, and this is where picking the right home improvement magazine becomes important. If you have a million dollars to spend, and plan on doing a lot of construction, look at the high-end magazines that typically feature ornate pools and outdoor kitchens on the front cover.

But if you just want to add a border of flowers in coffee cans to the garden you can look at home improvement magazines geared towards beginners. Look for words like "simple" and "starter" on the cover.

You also want to pick a magazine that gives precise step-by-step directions. Sometimes the more "expert" level home improvement magazines only serve up inspiration in the form of photographs and broad descriptions of what the project entailed.

Other Resources

Don’t forget that the resources available to you extend beyond the pages of a home improvement magazine. Your local home improvement shop, community college workshops, and websites offer cheap, maybe even free advice.

Don’t overlook your neighbours, either – take a walk around the neighborhood and note which homes you particularly admire. Take a moment to talk to the owners about their design. A little bit of forethought and research will help turn your home improvement plan into a home improvement reality.