Top Home Improvement Mistakes You Want to Avoid
Home improvements can have a significant impact on the value of your home. That being said, there are some “improvements” that might not be such an improvement at all. In fact, some home improvements, if not approached wisely and conscientiously, can actually end up costing you far more in the long run than you stood to gain by doing the improvement in the first place. Here are 6 home improvement mistakes you want to avoid.
1. Using Low-Grade Materials
If you are getting ready to sell your home, there is nothing wrong with upgrading lighting and kitchen and bath fixtures with more modern but inexpensive (cheap)options. After all, they are mostly just for show and are the type of items that are easy for new homeowners to replace to fit their own style.
On the other hand, if you are retiling a bathroom, the last thing you want to do is use cheap materials. Cheap tiles can crack easily and can be expensive and time consuming to replace. Cracked tiles can also expose underlying structures to damage from mold and mildew. There are ways to save money on quality building materials, so investigate those rather than going cheap.
2. Making Inaccurate Measurements
When cutting anything to size, you generally only get one shot. Having said that, however, there are certainly times when it is difficult to truly get an accurate measurement. In that case, if you are cutting something yourself, your best option is to cut what you need just a fraction larger than your measurements say you will need and go from there.
If you are having something custom built, you should always have the builder come out and take their own measurements. If you are ordering something on the internet, however, you will want to take several measurements from every possible angle and even re-measure each a few times. Knowing how to measure certain things is important as well.
- Not Permitting Properly
Certain upgrades not only require building permits, but also have to be performed up to code. If projects are not properly permitted, then one of two things will generally happen. They will either need to actually be torn down, with the cost being paid by the seller, or the buyers may pay less for the home because of the additional liability they are assuming.In addition, if you don’t get the proper permits for making upgrades or additions to your home, your insurance company is not liable for them if they are damaged in a fire, flood or other disaster that they might ordinarily cover.
4.Not Budgeting Properly
Failure to budget properly for home upgrades can result in one of two outcomes. Either project sit unfinished due to the budget running out or corners end up getting cut to save costs. Both can end up being very costly in the long run. Many home improvement projects are to the cosmetic surfaces that cover the working mechanisms of a home that can be damaged over time if not covered properly.
For instance, if a bathroom remodel is not finished properly because a budget ran out, it can leave interior structures susceptible to mold and mildew damage. Budgeting properly means not just having enough money to finish the project, but creating a financial “cushion” for the project in the first place.
5. Not Hiring A Good Contractor
Simply hiring a contractor to make home upgrades does not actually ensure the work will be done properly, with the proper permits and up to code. Unfortunately, the home improvement industry is largely unregulated, which means there are few, if any, licensing requirements. All too often, homeowners simply jump at the lowest bid offered and generally end up highly dissatisfied with the results.
When hiring a contractor, you should always make sure and get recommendations from people you know and trust and also ask the contractor for references. There are online services you can use that will help you find professional, qualified contractors, but be wary of reviews on public sites like Yahoo or Yelp. In many cases, businesses will simply pay people to write reviews for them.
6. Not Taking Proper Safety Precautions
In addition to protecting your person (which is most important) taking the right safety precautions can actually protect your home as well. Here are some things to consider when preparing to tackle home improvement projects:
- Dress appropriately: Heavy fabrics, protective gloves and steel-toed boots can all go a long way towards preventing an unnecessary trip to the emergency room.
- Keep your work area neat and tidy: Spills can not only create a hazardous work environment, but they can also damage certain surfaces or create other issues.
- Use the right tools: While there may be a number of tools you can use to “make do” certain tools are specifically designed for certain tasks, taking certain considerations into mind that you might not. Always use tools that were specifically designed for the task at hand.
- Keep your tools sharp: Not only are sharp tools easier to use than dull tools, but they are also safer. Dull blades and bits require greater pressure to use, which puts you at greater risk for an accident.
When making home improvements, you always want to make sure that you are increasing the value of your home, not decreasing it. Getting the right people for the job, using the right tools and getting proper permits can all go a long way towards ensuring you get a good ROI on your improvements and not a negative one.