Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid

Home improvement can be a bit of a pain, a pain in the neck and a pain in the checkbook. It typically involves long hours, patience, and a good amount of money. If this wasn’t enough, home improving your house is also often wrought with mistakes, mistakes that can cause longer hours, more patience, and even more money. For this reason, it’s important to avoid as many mistakes as you can, and improve your chances at a pleasurable home improvement experience.

Don’t Buy Cheap Materials: Inexpensive materials may seem like a great idea – why buy limber for a hundred dollars when you can get it for fifty dollars – but home improvement is one area where the mantra “you get what you pay for” holds very true. It’s easy for others – neighbors, friends, and potential home buyers – to notice when someone has tried to beat the system by applying only one layer of paint, placing new linoleum over existing tile, or using duct tape instead of a decent adhesive. Instead of buying cheap materials, splurge on expensive ones: there is no point in engaging in home improvement if it’s not actually going to improve your home.

Don’t Forget to Make a Plan: You might have the urge to dive right in, thinking that home improvement is just a long name for home improv. But, engaging in any form of home improvement without a plan is like going on road trip without directions. Avoid frustration and potential mistakes by preparing a written plan ahead of time. Make sure your plan reflects that certain things will take longer than you think, certain things must be done in order – such as sanding a deck before you can seal it – and that certain things must be given adequate time to set and dry. It’s also a good idea to include some flexibility in your plan: remember that in home improvement some things can suddenly come up, such as the floor.

Don’t Interview Just one Contractor: Contractors are like mechanics: some are honest and some are greasy. For these reasons, it’s important that you audition several contractors for the job at hand. Make sure the contractor you hire has a good reputation, a license and proof of insurance – don’t be afraid to ask for actual documentation. And, if you are having a hard time finding a contractor you trust – if every one you’ve interviewed reminds you of a politician – ask for a referral from people you know. Your friends, your family, or the butcher at your local market may all know of a great contractor. Take your time in hiring help: it’s better to be safe than scammed.

Don’t Do Things Yourself that You Can’t Do Yourself: Home improvement, for some people, is a time when pride comes out: it gives self-proclaimed handyman a chance to prove their handiness. For this reason, people often tackle jobs for which they aren’t really qualified. If you know nothing about installing a sink, don’t install one yourself: hire a plumber. If you know nothing about pre-wiring a ceiling fan, consult an electrician. If your legs shake each time you climb a ladder, have someone else fix the roof. Don’t put yourself or the quality of your home improvement at risk by being too prideful to ask for help: hire a contractor, then just tell everyone that you did it yourself.

Home improvement can surely test your patience. Everything seems a little more expensive, turns out to be a little harder to do, and takes a little longer to fix than you thought. But, in the end, you might just find that it was well worth it: your home improvement may just lead to much more home enjoyment.

5 Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid

Just as a home improvement project can be very beneficial, it can also cause as much disaster when not done right. Year after year, the number of New York homeowners jumping into the home remodeling and improvement bandwagon is getting larger and larger.  A percentage of this population fails miserably in one way or another. To avoid becoming one among this number, here are the 5 most common home improvement mistakes to avoid ideal whether you are in Manhattan, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island.

Not Checking with the Community

Before even creating your home improvement plan, it is a must to check your property’s local zoning codes. Not doing so could lead to ugly legal bouts, and not knowing is never an excuse with the law. Contact the City Hall and inquire about the requirements to acquire permits for your project. Some homeowner associations might also have their set of imposed design specifications. And certain home improvements are restricted if your home is located within a historic neighborhood.

Failing to Plan… Properly

With the lot of warning homeowners are getting, those undertaking home improvement projects have already taken action. Many now prepare a game plan before actually tackling just any project. But the question is, have you drafted your plan well enough to ensure project success? A well-detailed plan is one of your keys to a beautiful as well as functional result. And any area overlooked in the plan could create the greatest of disturbance in the progress of the project or worse – failure and a waste of time, effort, and money.   

Not Accepting Your Limitations

When weighing the skill set that you posses, pushing your limits can not only lead to backbreaking tasks that results to wasted time and effort. What you think saved you some dollars by doing yourself might end you up with more bank-breaking bills. Yes picking up a paint brush can be a breeze but with projects that require larger tools and more intricate knowledge, better hand the home improvements to qualified contractors. With your experience in project management and time available, carefully consider whether you’ll need a part-time supervisor or a general contractor. Do your home and your pocket book a favor and don’t risk it.

Hiring the Wrong Contractors

As craftsmanship is what makes up high quality results that stand the tests of time, who you hire is among the most important decisions you have to get to in the life of your project. Hire a qualified contractor through considering: proper and valid license, BBB membership, unresolved complaints filed, applicable liability insurance coverage, professional background and references. To hire the home improvement contractor to give the best value for your money, get multiple bids before making the big decision.  

Not Doing Your Part

Being a homeowner means that you still shoulder the greatest accountability, and take note, this is the case even if you have hired a general contractor. Every so often, you still have to check on your hired home improvement contractors and subcontractors and the work that they are doing. Keep complete records of important project documents and have easy access to them for quick reference in case of confusions and arising issues. Leave the lines of communication open to resolve problems in its earliest stage enabling immediate resolution that is within budget. And provide a good and comfortable working environment for your workers.

Getting the Correct Home Improvement Contractor

When one decides to begin renovating your home or one of your rental properties, it is essential that you are able to choose the correct home improvement contractor for the job. Taking the time to actually select a qualified and reliable home improvement contractor could very well save you a load of time and frustration in the long run, let alone money.

You should be aware that this industry is very competitive and this leads to there being numerous substandard contractors out there who are simply in it for the money, however there definitely are very scrupulous and have a good work ethic. Here are a few pointers as to what you should look at to be sure that you are able to find a reliable home improvement contractor:

· Be sure of your goal and know what you want – Before you even consider entering into home improvements, be sure to know exactly what it is that you want to achieve by doing the improvements. Have detailed sketches or plans available to show to the contractor you are considering so that he has a definite picture of what it is which you would like done.

· Know what questions to ask – Having predetermined questions which you will ask the contractor regarding the job at hand as this will give you an indication as to their work ethic. Questions pertaining to cost implications, time period and suggestions as to how to reduce costs will greatly help you in choosing the correct contractor.

· Do not rush your selection – Many people make the mistake of simply choosing the first or cheapest contractor, avoid this mistake. Take your time to establish the reputation and reliability of the contractor which you choose, be sure that you both have a clear understanding of what it is you wish to achieve and have all the necessary agreements in place.

Many people overlook the importance of finding the correct home improvement contractor for the job you wish to get done, by simply shirking the responsibility of being completely thorough in your decision, you will be lining yourself up for a couple of nasty surprises.