Home improvement do’s and don’ts

Home improvement do’s and don’ts

Home improvement can mean anything from swapping out cabinet hardware to adding a master suite to your home. But whether the project is big or small, home improvement projects have a tendency to hit unexpected roadblocks. There’s nothing you can do to completely prevent such things from happening to you but you can minimize the risk by paying attention to these home improvement do’s and don’ts.

Do plan in advance

Plan out every detail of the project before work begins. Get the plan on paper and have a schedule that you try to stick to. Your plans should be as specific and detailed as possible. Leave nothing to chance.

Don’t underestimate project costs

A lot of homeowners run out of money mid-project because they failed to create an accurate and realistic budget for the project. When estimating costs, always round up and assume the worst case scenario. Then place an extra 10-15% aside as a contingency for any unforeseen problems that might arise.

Do schedule everything

If you’ve got multiple contractors working on a project, know all of their schedules so they can be coordinated. Also track shipping estimates for appliances and other materials.

Don’t forget about building permits

If a project requires a building permit from the city, don’t just leave it to the contractor. Follow up and make sure any necessary permits are obtained before work begins so you know the work is being done according to code.

Do hire professionals when needed

Doing the work yourself is admirable but not always feasible. As a general rule, don’t try to do any work that requires a license on your own. If you need a plumber, hire a plumber. Same goes for electricians.

Don’t neglect to shop around

You might be surprised how much you can stretch your budget just by being patient as you shop around at home improvement stores. Look for things on sale and look for package deals when buying things like appliances. You can also ask haggle prices with the contractors. The worst they can do is say "no."

Do know the scope of the project

A mistake many homeowners make is underestimating the scope of a home improvement project. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before the project is underway. Make sure it’s really what you want.

Don’t create rooms that are too specific

A game room, music room, home theater room, or second kitchen might sound perfect for your family’s needs but it can severely limit the value of your home when it comes time to sell. If you plan to stay in your home for the long haul then by all means, do whatever you like.

Do splurge when necessary

There are times where you can stretch your budget by limiting expenses but don’t cut corners or settle for inferior materials where quality is needed. Better to pay a little more and have it done right the first time.

Source: Chase




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