A home improvement project increases value of your home. Whether it is a small or large project, you have to plan it properly. There are many important things to consider before you hire a contractor or buy any item for this project.
DIY or Contractor
DIY is always going to save you money but it comes with its own risks. It is not suitable for a large project. Do you have the time, skills, tools, equipment, helping hands, and other resources needed to complete the project? Can you complete the project till the end? Even a project that looks easy and small can take up longer than expected. If you do not have the skills and right tools, the result may not be to your satisfaction. In such cases, it is better to hire a professional home improvement contractor.
Plan the Project Carefully
Even when you have decided to hire a contractor, you have to plan some parts of the project yourself. Fix a budget from the start or it can spiral out and go over budget easily. Keep some extra money aside in addition to the estimated budget because it will always go slightly over budget. Everything cannot be planned accurately in advance. Some unexpected things can come up. You may have to buy something extra, increase the contractor’s work days, or spend more than estimated for some item.
Do You Have the Permit?
If it will lead to significant alterations to the home structure, you may have to get a permit before you can start any work related to your home improvement project. Will you get this permit yourself or the contractor has to obtain it for you? Start any large home alteration project only after getting the required permits.
Do Not Buy Any Project Related Item Unless You Have Consulted the Contractor
The new products, materials and items you buy for your home improvement project must be compatible with the existing systems. Only an experienced contractor can ensure everything purchased for the project is compatible and suitable. Consult the contractor before buying anything related to such a project.
Fix the Responsibility for the Related Works
A large home improvement project is not only about building something new and installing new products. It may also involve demolition of a large structure and removal of resulting rubbish from your property. Will the contractor demolish it? Is it the contractor’s responsibility to remove the rubbish generated after the demolition? Charges for removing demolished structural items cost extra. Make sure the contract signed between you and the contractor specifies this aspect of the project clearly.
Hire the Right Contractor
This is the most important part of the home improvement project planning. Poor quality execution of project can result in badly made structures that are not up to the standards. Research the contractors to find the right one. Check a contractor’s customer reviews and testimonials. The company must be registered, licensed and insured. All its personnel working at your site must be insured. Ask these questions beforehand. Hiring a large contractor for a small project can be expensive. On the other hand, hiring a small contractor for a large project can result in poor quality workmanship or delayed project due to lack of staff and other resources.
Always get everything in writing in the contract before the work starts at your site. The contract must specify what works are included in the project. Never pay full payment upfront. Pay a part of the payment in advance and then pay gradually as each stage of the project is completed. The contractor should provide you an itemized estimate for everything at the start of the project. It makes it easier to plan the project budget.
You may have to take leave from your work to monitor the work, or it can be left to the contractor without any supervision from your side. You will be inconvenienced once the home improvement project starts so plan early where you will keep all the household items during the ongoing work and how you will manage your stay at home.