When you want to take on a big home improvement, you may have to be prepared to put some considerable time and money into it. Getting organized and making the right preparations could make your project less time-consuming, costly, and confusing. Here are some things that you should start thinking about to plan and execute a great home improvement project.
1. Identify Your Priorities
The best types of upgrades that you can make to your home offer more than mere aesthetics. Prioritize work that makes your home more functional and protects your investment in it. Before you make design modifications or integrate new features, you have to take care of any overdue capital needs improvements or structural repairs. Repairing a foundation or a roofing system, for example, has to come before projects like remodeling and repainting.
Put remedial work at the top of your to-do list and then get to work on your wishlist. Consider what upgrades will make your home life better and have the potential to raise your home’s value. Refinishing a basement to add more usable square footage or upgrading your kitchen are examples of projects with practical benefits.
You may need to limit or stagger your scope of work to fit within your budget. Financing options could help you make manageable structured payments for improvements. Before you sign off on an agreement, make sure that you understand the terms thoroughly and that you’re completely confident about your ability to keep up with payments.
2. Review Code Requirements
Working with an experienced general contractor is going to help ensure that the work you do will be compliant with the applicable building code. However, you need to do your own due diligence about local permitting processes. In some instances, getting inspections and signoffs can impact the timeline for project completion. You want to make sure that what contractors tell you is consistent with local building code.
Demo and cleanup issues can commonly result in code violations. Find options for an affordable dumpster rental in your area. Keeping the exterior of your home free of demo and building debris could help you avoid regulatory fines and make inspections go smoother. An orderly-looking jobsite is especially important if you have an HOA to answer to.
In addition to the possibility of fees, going about a project without the proper permitting could carry additional costs and plenty of inconvenience. In some instances, contractors who don’t get permits have to entirely redo all of the work that they’ve already done. This can mean substantial delays to project completion. Furthermore, you want to put safety first in your home improvement project, and that’s a big part of what building code regulations are all about. You also want some reassurance that the finished product won’t result in any potentially unsafe conditions in your home.
3. Choose Contractors Discerningly
When you’re planning a substantial home improvement and need to hire a professional contractor, it’s good practice to get a minimum of three estimates. To choose the best company to work with, consider more than just the price. Going with the lowest bid could backfire, and bear in mind that a bid that’s significantly lower than competitors’ should give you pause.
A contractor’s estimate for a project should describe the scope of work in detail. When an estimate clearly lays out what work includes, you can be sure that you’re on the same page about what a project entails. The more it is, the better. That tells you that a contractor knows exactly what needs to be done to complete a scope of work. Also, a clear itemization of costs enables you to gauge the overall reasonableness of an estimate and gives you a clear idea of exactly what you’re paying for.
When deciding who to work with, it’s wise to verify professional and business licenses. In addition, reviews from previous clients could give you insight about a contractor’s competency and reliability.
Ultimately, putting the research and planning into your project will help you get a great improvement. Adding value to your home and being able to enjoy your home more are just a couple of the lasting benefits of a well-planned home improvement project.