Home Renovation Tips
As you prepare to make upgrades in your home, a few things to consider:
Do your homework. Before tackling any project, DIY or contractor-based, know everything that’s involved, from prices of labor and materials to the extent of any work being done to approximate duration. Too often homeowners initiate a project and then halfway through realize that it was more expensive, involved and intricatethan they expected, which often produces a less-than-ideal final result.
From hot to not. Be wary of “hot” home trends. What might look super stylish and cool today may appear incredibly dated or just plain silly in a year or two. (Granite counters, which were all the rage a few years ago, have been eclipsed by lower-cost, lesser-maintenance quartz and concrete.) After investing significant time and resources, you may not be in a position to correct a lapse in judgment as soon as you would like, and thus, be stuck with an impulse decision for a long time.
Permits, please. You may be tempted to cut corners and save costs by skipping the permit process, but to do so is to take a huge financial risk. In addition to potential fines that could be incurred, most insurance companies will not pay if something goes wrong with work that was improperly done or wasn’t up-to-code from the beginning.
Maintain consistency. If you bought an old farmhouse because you were captivated by its charm, then gutting it to put in a sleek, ultramodern kitchen with stainless steel appliances makes no sense. Be true to your home’s architectural style by incorporating elements that are consistent with it.
Power surge. Given our ever-growing dependency on electronic devices, it’s important to consider your home’s electrical system during renovations, particularly with older homes. This should include not only increasing the number of outlets to accommodate all your gadgets, but also making sure that you are getting enough power to the places where you will use it. It’s also critical to make sure that everything is code.
Right tool for the job. From replacing a faucet or removing wallpaper to breaking up a sidewalk or digging a hole for a new pool, there are dozens of tools specially designed to help you accomplish specific tasks. By using the proper equipment, you get the job done quicker and more efficiently, and often with less frustration. Who can put a price on that?
Don’t cheap out. It’s one of the oldest adages because it’s indisputable: You get what you pay for. Investing in certain quality items, such as windows or flooring, often pays for itself in savings on related costs and durability as well as adding to the overall value of your home.
Expect the unexpected. If you’ve done a home-improvement project that cost as much as you projected, was completed in the time allotted and went exactly as planned—congratulations! You are within a rare minority. For the rest of us, it’s always smart to figure in extra money to cover unanticipated developments and additional time for unforeseen delays, as there are always both—even in the simplest of tasks.