Even though a major improvement to your home can really turn out to be a very rewarding project, if you aren’t prepared, it has the potential to turn your life completely upside down. I have heard a lot of the worst case scenarios that involve people that have lost all of their homes because the simply got into the home improvement so deep until they were in way over their heads andsome of the others that ended up with an incomplete project nightmare which ended up costing them a bunch of money in order to correct it.
Below, you will find a list of the 10 most common mistakes that homeowners make when they are undertaking projects based on home improvement as well as tips on how you can avoid them altogether.
1. References – When it comes to home improvement, you are going to have to do background checking and research until you are satisfied. In the event that the contractor isn’t willing to provide you with references from some of his former clients, walk away. Take the time to do research online based around the contractors personal name and business name. Contact the local courts to see if there are any judgments against them filed and then contact the BBB to see if there are any consumer complaints. Go out and look at some of the previous work the contractor has completed face to face. Check with the suppliers of materials because a good contractor is going to have what is known as a relationship that is long-standing with all of the suppliers.
2. Project Management – You is going to need one person that will help you to manage your home improvement project. Most of the issues are known to occur when the homeowners that are inexperienced try to manage their very own project. When you have a project manager, he will be the basic point of contact in-between the homeowner and the other contractors and will be responsible for workflow and schedule.
3. Contracts – Make absolutely sure that the contract is solid. Make sure that all of the details are in writing; you should never take someone’s word for anything.
4. Warranties – Make absolutely sure that you receive a warranty with all of the detailed conditions and terms. You can’t accept a contact that states simply that all of the work is guaranteed. Often, there is a lot of confusion as to who is held responsible for the warranty.
5. Changes – While the project is going on, you may have a change of heart on certain aspects of a design which may or may not require less or more work from the contractors. You need to make sure that you document each change and note the exact savings or cost. All parties should date and sign all changes.
6. Plans – Make sure that you have a clear description on what is going to be done, how it is going to be done, and the materials that are going to be used. Most of the time, for the smaller projects, the contractors will draw up some plans. For the more complicated and larger projects, you may need to located a qualified architect or designer.
7. Costs – Estimating the cost has a tendency of turning into a big problem because most people don’t make any realistic comparisons.
8. Payments and Financing – Before you sign a contract, you should figure out just how much you are going to pay for the home improvement project.
9. Inspections – Don’t wait around until the project is almost complete to perform the inspection.
10. Materials – Make sure that you stick with using the products are true and tried.