Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Avoid Home Improvement Mistakes

Remodeling your home can be fun and exciting. It can also become a headache if you are unprepared. We’d like to help you avoid some of the common mistakes homeowners can experience when remodeling. These suggestions are for both self-remodeling or if you are hiring a general contractor. Ultimately, you as the homeowner will be living with the finished product.

Before getting started you need to have a concrete idea of what you want. Do your research on products, plans and budget. If you are hiring a general contractor it is important to have this information to share with the contractor so he/she can give you a more accurate estimate. If you are unsure of some details, a good contractor can give you some ideas and help you decide what is economically more practical with your budget. A good contractor should also foresee possible problems that may come up during the remodeling project. If you are doing the project yourself, remember to take your time and prep the area before starting the project. It can save you time and possibly money as the project progresses.

You do not want to under estimate the time it will take to complete the project. While the project is under construction, this will affect your home. If you are remodeling your bathroom, choose a time that you are not expecting to have an out of town guest. Check a general contractors reference, you will want to inquire if he/she met the approximate completion dates of previous projects. Any home improvement project can have unexpected delays (i.e. weather, materials unavailability, delivery of materials). A contractor should be able to complete a project with in a reasonable time frame. If you are doing the project yourself, you can expect some of these same delays.

Depending on the home improvement project, it is unusual for a general contractor to expect full payment at the start of a job. If a contractor wants you to pay in full for a kitchen remodel, you might want to reconsider this contractor. You should expect to pay a percentage up front; this is called a start up fee. If the project is a large project, the contractor will set up a payment schedule for the homeowner.

Set aside a reserve account, for unforeseen problems. If you are having a bathroom remodeled and remove the bathtub to find dry rot and mold you will have an added expense you did not expect. This reserve account will help with those situations.

While choosing the design and style of your new project remember you will want the remodel project to last 10 – 20 years. Keeping this in mind when selecting materials for your project. Selecting materials that meet your needs is also advantageous. Choosing a gourmet double oven when you usually eat frozen pizzas isn’t practical. You can always upgrade appliances, vanities and hardware in the future.

You will want to invest in quality products that will last. If your cabinets are not made of sturdy material, everyday wear and tear on them will have them breaking down in no time. Remember what’s underneath the surface will make it last. You may pay more up front, but ultimately you will save money down the line for a possible replacement and installation.

Finally, if you are paying for a contractor you want him to use his time wisely. When the homeowners change their mind, it can cause delays and more money for you - time is money! The construction company is there to meet your needs, if you distract them with unnecessary conversation they are unable to work efficiently for you. They want to meet your deadlines and fulfill your agreement. Your home improvement project is their top priority, as it is yours.

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