The Big Home Improvement Projects Must Be First, Not Last

Priorities: they are always difficult to work out, and once you’ve got them all together it’s even more difficult to put them in some sort of chronological order. For home owners, figuring out priorities concerning home renovation or improvement can be a major headache, and this sometimes (or rather frequently in many cases) means that projects that need to be taken care of just keep getting pushed back and back. There is one easy way to think about how to prioritize your renovation and improvement projects at home: get the big stuff over and done with first! That’s right: you shouldn’t waste time on little morsels when there’s a main course waiting for you to tend to.

Why should home owners take care of the big projects first, and what exactly do we mean by big projects? To answer the second question first, by ‘big projects’ we’re talking about the projects that will require a greater budget, that will take a longer amount of time to complete, and which actually relate to a crucial and necessary improvement in the home-something functional, not something cosmetic! These projects are the kinds of home improvement projects that actually improve important systems, appliances, or structures within the home: examples would include eliminating humidity or mould problems in the attic or basement; replacing old and drafty window units throughout the home; or even just putting down a new coat of paint on the home’s exterior. As for the issue of tackling these projects first, there is a simple and valid reason for this-other tinier projects are going to have to work around these larger projects, and if you try to reverse this “natural order” to things you are going to find that the results are not much to your liking.

Another reason for getting these big home improvement projects out of the way first is budgeting. It would be terrible to have wasted so much money on trivial, cosmetic improvement projects around your property that by the time you get around to tackling a crucial project, you no longer have any funds left! This is a mistake that many home owners commit, and sooner or later the pretty little improvements are tarnished by the larger issues that are still unattended. Having a sense of seasonal priorities can also be important when determining what project to tackle next at home, as what may be very important during the summer may not be so urgent any longer by the time winter rolls around (though there are projects that are highly effective year-round). So the next time the idea of home renovation comes to mind, don’t make the mistake of fooling around with little, insignificant projects; be brave and start planning the big projects that you’ve been putting off for so long!

Common Home Improvement Mistakes

You hear about it after every major storm. Home improvement contractors move into an area and promise great work, only to leave behind a shoddy job if the job gets finished at all. What you may not realize is that this happens every day, not just after a major tragedy. If you are hiring someone for a job make sure you avoid these common home improvement mistakes.

All of the better contractors and business owners want each and every party involved in their business to do a good job. Unfortunately though home improvement and remodeling is one of the top industries for both fraud and consumer dissatisfaction. The question that a lot of people have is why? Yes much of the blame does in fact fall into the hands of the home improvement industry; there are also some more common mistakes that you as the homeowner commit that will contribute to your own dissatisfaction. If you learn to avoid these mistakes, it can make the difference between a great home improvement project and a nightmare.

1. Falling In Love With The Salesman. Since you are probably like many and not an expert in the field of home improvement, you will begin to rely heavily on the friendliness and the so called credibility of the salesperson in an effort to determine the type of people that will be doing the project. Your dissatisfaction is guaranteed when either the employees or the subcontractors do not live up to the total expectations set by the salesperson. When you are ready to invite someone into your home, you need to make sure they are skilled in home improvement and not just someone who has been commissioned by a salesman whose main interest is to sell you improvements that you do not actually need.

2. Neglecting The Family Safety. You might be appalled to learn of the criminal history of some of the employees of home improvement companies. You will find such things as felony records, drug convictions, sex offenses, and domestic violence among others. Yes it is true that every prior criminal has the right to work, but they have no business being in your family’s home where it can put your belongings and family safety into question. You have the right to demand to see any employee records of individuals that are going to be coming into your home. The record should also contain a background check on the employee as well. This will help ensure that your family’s safety is well secure.

3. Asking The Wrong Questions. There are basic questions that you need to ask every contractor that comes into your home. But sadly these are often neglected. Some of these questions include things like “How long have you been in business?” “Where are you located?” among others. These are some of the most important questions that you can ask. The more questions that you ask, the better your chances of having the job done right by qualified individuals. Always ask to see references, and make sure the references you get are from someone in your community. Then make sure you call them up to verify or even go by to look at the work that was completed.

Home improvement does not have to be a nightmare. Avoiding these mistakes will increase the odds that the job is done to your satisfaction.

DIY Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Tackling home improvement projects yourself can help you save money, but only if you avoid costly mistakes like these:

Trying to do it ALL yourself. Whether to tackle a project yourself or hire a professional depends largely on your skill set and experience with the type of project at hand. Plenty of projects look easier than they really are. With your home value in mind, carefully weigh the pros and cons of DIY versus bringing in the pros prior to taking on a home renovation.

Under budgeting. Home renovations cost more money than initially anticipated almost every time. Setting aside extra funds to account for budgeting discrepancies or unexpected expenses can prevent your renovation from coming to a halt mid-project. Regardless of how well you plan, unexpected expenses can and will most likely come up.

Jumping in without researching. Do you know where electrical wiring is located? Is that wall you are about to remove load bearing? Do you have all the right hand and power tools to complete the task at hand? Ensuring that you are fully prepared to see a job through from start to finish will help protect the value of your home and save you from unnecessary headaches.

Permit oversights. Depending on the scope of your project, one or more permits may be required for remodeling your home. Checking with local permitting offices prior to starting your project can prevent expensive problems and delays down the line. Obtaining the proper permits is important for safety reasons, insurance coverage as well as the resale of your home.

Sacrificing quality. For any home improvement project, the quality of work should be of utmost importance. Quality materials combined with quality workmanship will typically contribute to a higher home value, while cutting corners on either can lead to lost time and money. Renovations of questionable quality can hurt rather than help home value, and incur additional costs if they have to be professionally redone. Even if the cost is higher up front, doing a renovation right the first time is usually the best long term investment.