Home Renovations: What You Need to Know

Summer is the perfect time of year for home renovations.  There’s no snow, no cold and plenty of daylight to get the job done.  Home renovations are a great way for home owners to add extra equity into their home before selling it or for a chance to improve the function of the home and fall in love with it again.  Whatever the reason, there are two options to choose from when undertaking a home renovation: make it a do-it-yourself project (DIY) or hire a contractor.renovations

DIY Projects

There are quite a few home renovation projects that a home owner can do on their own, depending on how good they are with their hands.  If you do plan to undertake a DIY project:

  1. Make sure you have all the required information regarding the project.  From how to complete the project to what tools are needed, you want to be fully prepared when entering a DIY project.  If it’s a new DIY project, make sure to ask a specialist questions before starting, from what materials to use to the best ways to complete the project.
  2. Safety first.  You don’t want any injuries on the job so make sure you wear the correct protective gear, from gloves to hard hats to safety glasses.
  3. Know the equipment before using it.  Read the instructions to all the equipment you will be using and make sure that you are capable of using those tools.  If you’re not quite sure, try practicing beforehand.  This way you can ask someone for assistance instead of doing the job by yourself.
  4. Take your time.  A DIY project should never be rushed in order for it to be completed.  Schedule your time in such a way that you have extra time left over at the end of the project just in case unexpected issues come up.  Rushing a DIY project can tire you out and make the completed project look poorly done.

Hire a Contractor

Many people are not “handy” when it comes to fixing up their homes so hiring a contractor is their best option.  Furthermore, there are some projects that require hiring a contractor as they are just too big for the average homeowner to do on their own, such as finishing a basement.  If you do hire a contractor:

  1. Be careful of scam artists.  We’ve seen on the news countless occasions where people have been scammed by their contractor.  Before signing a contract, research the contractor to see if they are credible.  Check to see if the business is listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and read reviews from past customers before making a decisions.  You don’t want to find yourself with a runaway contractor.
  2. Pay a deposit first and the full amount at the end.  Many home owners make the mistake of paying the contractor the full amount before the project is completed.  Paying the full amount upfront allows the contractor to leave at anytime, without completing the work, as they have received their payment.  To avoid this, pay a deposit at the beginning and either gradually pay the rest throughout the project or wait until its completed.  This way, the contractor won’t leave a job half done.
  3. Shop around for a contractor.  Just like most items we buy, shop around for the best contractor, comparing quotes, reviews and the work they offer.  Also, don’t always go for the contractor with the cheapest price.  The renovation may save you money in the short run but will cost you more in the long run.

General Tips

  1. If you’re renovating a room that has security cameras installed, ask your security company about moving or disconnecting them for the time being until the renovation is complete.  Most security companies will offer to help re-install the cameras after a major renovation.
  2. If you’ll be living through a home renovation, make sure that you’re aware of where the equipment is located and if you need to wear any protective gear.  Also, keep your belongings organized and stored away, keeping the most important items present.  You don’t want things getting lost.
  3. If it’s your first home renovation, start with a room or a smaller project first.  Renovations can cost thousands so you want to see the end result first before committing to a larger project.