Home improvement projects can add comfort to your daily living right away and add value to your home over the long term. But if you want your upgrades to have the results you desire, there are at least three common mistakes that you need to avoid. When hiring a contractor, if you don’t make the effort to verify their qualifications and check their references, you may end up being disappointed in their performance. Not making sure you get all of the necessary permits and inspections required by your local community could be a very costly mistake. Planning and executing a home improvement project without creating a reasonable budget ahead of time will lead to overspending or skimping on cheaper materials. Learning how to avoid these mistakes will save you the pain and frustration of a home improvement project gone wrong.
1. Didn’t check credentials or references of the contractor
Too many people don’t make the effort to check credentials and references. They may be intimidated by the contractor. Some people may be so excited about getting started they don’t want to “waste” time checking references. But simply assuming that the contractor is qualified could lead to a big disappointment when the job is done. Remember, you are ultimately in charge of the project and if you hire a contractor who is not qualified to do the work, you have only yourself to blame. Calling up some of the contractor’s prior customers can give you a wealth of information. Did the project start and end on time? Did the contractor respect the homeowner’s privacy? Would the customer hire the contractor again? Getting the answers to these questions will ensure you don’t encounter unpleasant surprises during your home improvement job.
2. Didn’t get necessary permits or inspection for the project
You may find this hard to believe, but many homeowners fail to get the necessary permits and inspections required for their home improvement project. It is true that dealing with your local government employees may be frustrating at times. Permits cost money. Waiting for inspections can throw off your schedule. But not having properly certified work could lead to more expensive fines later on. A future buyer may insist on having the work done over again. Depending on the type of project, not having the work properly inspected could even be dangerous to your life and property. The stakes are too big to make this mistake.
3. No budget was planned before project
Another important element of home improvement that some people ignore is creating a budget ahead of time. Granted, it’s not much fun to sit down and crunch numbers when you would rather be demolishing a wall with a sledgehammer. But if you don’t plan your spending up front, you might spend too much on phases that don’t matter and not have the money you need for more important parts of the job. Coming up with a budget for the total project will help you plan the entire job from start to finish.
Avoid these top three home improvement mistakes to get the maximum benefit from any project you undertake. Make sure you check the references of your contractor and verify that he is qualified to do the work. Don’t try to complete your job without getting the permits and inspections that your community requires. Finally, budget your project from beginning to end. When you follow these simple recommendations, you will be able to view your finished project with pride and a sense of accomplishment.