There might be several reasons why you would want to start a home improvement project. The most common reason why people do so is increasing the resale value of their property. Especially if they plan to sell it any time soon.
However, you should do this with utmost caution. One wrong move and you will not only lose out on money but also compromise the value of your house. It is important that you get it done right the first time. That way you can cash in on it big time.
Let’s take a look at what all you need to look at before starting a home improvement project:
Prepare for Inconveniences
Let’s face it. If there is home improvement going on, chances are, you might have to vacate some room or the other. And, you will have to be prepared for that. Ask yourself if you will be able to work without those amenities for a given amount of time. And then, if you do have to, figure out ways to work around. It could be your kitchen, washroom, front porch, etc. You have to be ready to be uncomfortable in your own house for almost a year or even more.
Consider the Costs and Value Added
Before you start with the project, you have to seek answers to some very important questions. First and foremost, the total cost that would be involved. This, you will find through a contractor. The second question being how much value would these improvements add to your property.
For this one, you have to consult a realtor. Make a thorough list of all the things that you want to get done. From getting outdoor ceiling lights to upgrading the floor, everything should be added.
If you find out that your project would bump up the value significantly then you should dive right in.
As if finding a contractor wasn’t a task enough, finding the right one would require some patience on your behalf. The best way is to ask for recommendations from friends and family. That way you have a reference from a trusted source. If you still do not find one, you can use online resources, but keep that as the last resort. Once you have found your contractor, make sure to ask for previous projects that he was involved in. A good one will never hesitate to show off his work.
Seek for a Contract
If you’re getting yourself associated with someone which involves costs, you should make sure that you have it mentioned in a contract. If your contractor fails to provide you with one, consider it a red flag. In the contract, along with the company’s name, address, and contact, the dates of start and completion should also be mentioned. It should also have the estimated cost written on it.
There Might Be Permits Involved
Bigger improvements would require permits. Your contractor should provide you with an estimate of the cost of these permits. It is the duty of the contractor to seek all these permits from the local authorities unless agreed to otherwise. Your city council office can provide you with information about which kind of home improvements and projects require a permit.
Refrain from Paying in Full
After every minor cost involved has been estimated, make sure to approach at least three bids from potential contractors. Never pay in full right away. And if a contractor asks you to do so, it’s usually a scam. Make a proposal to pay one-third to start off with if it requires you to pay an amount at all. Pay the next one-third while the project is ongoing and the balance after the completion of the project. Do so only after you’re satisfied with the results. Also, never pay in cash.
Cut Your Coat According to Your Cloth
In case you want to DIY your home improvement project, more power to you. However, make sure you have estimated the costs properly. Try to be realistic with the requirements of the project and draw a rough estimate of your capabilities. Make sure you can end what you have started. Otherwise, it would leave you with more liabilities and inconveniences than you can deal with. If you believe you can handle all that’s required for the project, gather up your leather tool pouch and get going. You would need it to keep all your tools handy at one place (not scattered all over the floor).
These are just the most basic things you need to consider before you start with your home improvement project. If done right, you will be well on your way to your dream house or a great profitable property for resale. The most level of cautiousness is required at the beginning. This is where contractors dupe you. So, make sure to remain vigilant and ask for documents wherever necessary.