You’re excited for your next home improvement project – remodeling the bathroom, laying a new hardwood floor, or installing a new ceiling fan. Unfortunately, it might not be all smooth sailing. Most home improvement projects hit some sort of bump in the road and require you to adjust.
Here at vipHomeLink, we’re all about preventing the preventable – including disappointment in your next project. That’s why we put together these six quick tips to save your next home improvement project and make it a success.
1. Know your DIY skill level
Most of us can add a fresh coat of paint to our kitchen or living room or even complete simple remodel projects. But many homeowners cannot upgrade a front door with the proper safety features or complete an entire kitchen remodel.
It’s best to know which DIY home improvement projects are for you and which ones you absolutely will need to hire a professional to complete. This can save you time and money if your first try is unsuccessful. It will also prevent you from being injured working on a project that may be above your skill level.
2. Expect the unexpected
While this may sound like a cliché, it’s pretty accurate. Almost all home improvement projects come with surprises. Some can be welcome, such as your choice of tile cost less than you thought, but many won’t be.
Perhaps a snake is hiding in your outside brick porch, and you need to evict it before you can make repairs. Maybe your contractor finds mold in your bathroom, which needs to be remediated before remodeling can begin. Or you’re building an addition, but you find a colony of bats that are wildlife protected.
Whatever it may be – it’s best to mentally prepare yourself. Things may not go as planned on your next home improvement, and you’ll need to roll with the metaphorical punches.
3. Leave a little wiggle room in your budget
While it’s great to have a budget for all home improvement projects, it’s best to leave some room for those surprises. You should hire a pest control professional to take care of that snake, and you’ll need a toxicity specialist for any mold issues. Both of these will up the project’s cost and could potentially throw you over budget.
For one of our writers’ projects, a contractor needed to upgrade her home’s breaker box to handle GFCI outlets during a bathroom remodel. This unexpected project cost an extra $2,000 that thankfully was in the budget.
By not packing your budget to the top, you’ll allow not just for those unforeseen surprises but also for some added features you may want. One of the best ways to tackle this is by making a list of all your home improvement projects and prioritizing them by need and want.
4. Be flexible with timelines
It’s best to assume that your timeline is flexible. If you expect a project to take a month, realize that it might take two. Even when working with a contractor or home service professionals, many of your project’s timelines are not within their control.
For that earlier bathroom remodel, a local municipal inspector took a week to come out after demolition. (Thankfully, when the contractor finished the project, the inspector came the next day.)
On top of inspection delays, supply chain issues have created low inventory for some essential products. This means most remodel timelines may be extended as you wait for tile, kitchen cabinets, or even windows to arrive.
5. Know the code – or get someone who does
This is one of the most important tips to consider when remodeling since local safety codes and standards change frequently. They are also in place to keep you safe. That’s why it’s important to know the safety codes or to hire a contractor or home service professional who does.
Today’s kitchen models require GFCI outlets if they aren’t already installed. Every bedroom room needs an “egress” window, and all bathroom exhaust fans must vent through the roof.
While there are definitely DIY projects every homeowner can complete, large home remodels should have a licensed contractor who knows these codes. They can also save you a lot of hassle if you ever go to sell the property. If your home is not “up to code,” you may be required to update your home before the keys can be handed to the new owners.
(Contractors can also streamline the entire project by getting building permits and other necessary work requirements.)
6. Understand why you’re completing this project
Are you in your forever home and finally creating that gourmet kitchen? Are you looking to resell and want to upgrade your bathroom before your home hits the market? Or perhaps you need to fix a leak in your basement and repair any water damage?
If you’ll be reselling soon – within the next five years – keep your potential buyers in mind when researching home improvement ideas. You may want to consult with a real estate agent or interior designer on what styles are timeless, so your home won’t be dated.
If you plan to be in your home for the foreseeable future, then make yourself and your family happy with your next home improvement project. Paint your kitchen orange or add beanbag furniture to your living room if that’s your style.
Expert tips at your fingertips
Here at vipHomeLink, we know how difficult it is to know what to do and when to do it around the home. That’s why we help to simplify homeownership through our home management app. It provides homeowners with personalized reminders for home tasks and tailored recommendations for your next home improvement project. From replacing your appliances to vacuuming your dryer vent, we’ve got you covered with expert tips at your fingertips.
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