How to Prepare for a Home Improvement Project

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With a variety of instructional videos online for home improvement projects, you may be itching to start redesigning your living space. From replacing windows and doors with more energy-efficient versions to finishing the basement, home renovations can be a great way to increase the value of your home. Before you undertake a home makeover project, check out these steps for ensuring a successful renovation.

home improvement project

Get the Facts

Every good project begins with adequate research. What do you hope to accomplish with this renovation? Do you want to increase your home’s value so that you can list it for sale, or are you finishing a basement so that your kids have extra space? Write a list of the reasons and goals of your project so you can refer back to it when things get difficult.

Once you understand your intentions, do your homework. Ask friends who have completed similar projects where they started and who they hired. Browse online for information specific to your renovation project. Watch videos on the projects you hope to complete, and gather enough information so that you feel comfortable with what will take place.

Obtain the Right Permits

No matter where you live, you’ll most likely need to check with your local building office to obtain permits. These might include electrical, structural and plumbing permits depending on your project. Speak with a representative about the codes specific to your county and city; where you live may determine the exact legal requirements for obtaining permits. You may not think you need permits for minor projects, but acquiring the right documentation ensures that you meet local codes and adhere to proper safety regulations.

Set a Budget

Almost everyone underestimates a home renovation project. Unexpected expenses, delays and hidden problems can cause a sudden change in the cost. Be prepared for the worst. Set an ideal budget, but make sure you plan for an increase just in case. Consider the following costs:

  • Fees for professional contractors
  • Building permit fees
  • Materials like paint, carpeting and wood
  • Equipment rentals and tools
  • Emergency costs like faulty wiring repairs

Be upfront with your laborers and contractors. Discuss your budget constraints with the people who will be working on your home, and make sure everyone understands your concerns. Professionals will work hard to stay under budget, but no one can predict everything.

Choose Professionals

You may be able to complete many home improvement projects on your own, but for electrical work, plumbing repair and roofing, you will most likely need a professional. Contractors have the right experience and insurance coverage to ensure a safer construction project. Do your research online and ask your friends about their past experiences. Also, check their websites and reviews of past customer. Visit this website to see how a professional website looks like.

professional contractor

When speaking with potential contractors, ask to see their licenses and proof of insurance. Honest workers will not hesitate to offer you documentation of their experience. When you do hire a company or contractor, sign a contract for an agreed price and keep a copy for yourself.

Expect the Unexpected

As mentioned above, you can’t plan for everything. Equipment may malfunction, weather may delay certain projects and your contractors may fall ill. Go into your home renovation projects expecting the unexpected, and you won’t be surprised when things happen beyond your control. Have a backup plan for weather delays, and consider keeping a contractor on standby in case one of your laborers can’t complete the job.

Stay the Course

When your house is covered in sawdust and you’ve just received word that your electrician can’t make it today, you might be tempted to throw in the towel. Things will go wrong, and there will be delays. There’s no such thing as a perfect renovation project so keep that in mind and stay positive. It’s okay to get upset when things fall apart, but be reasonable in your expectations and you’ll have a much easier time.

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