Common Home Improvement Mistakes

You hear about it after every major storm. Home improvement contractors move into an area and promise great work, only to leave behind a shoddy job if the job gets finished at all. What you may not realize is that this happens every day, not just after a major tragedy. If you are hiring someone for a job make sure you avoid these common home improvement mistakes.

All of the better contractors and business owners want each and every party involved in their business to do a good job. Unfortunately though home improvement and remodeling is one of the top industries for both fraud and consumer dissatisfaction. The question that a lot of people have is why? Yes much of the blame does in fact fall into the hands of the home improvement industry; there are also some more common mistakes that you as the homeowner commit that will contribute to your own dissatisfaction. If you learn to avoid these mistakes, it can make the difference between a great home improvement project and a nightmare.

1. Falling In Love With The Salesman. Since you are probably like many and not an expert in the field of home improvement, you will begin to rely heavily on the friendliness and the so called credibility of the salesperson in an effort to determine the type of people that will be doing the project. Your dissatisfaction is guaranteed when either the employees or the subcontractors do not live up to the total expectations set by the salesperson. When you are ready to invite someone into your home, you need to make sure they are skilled in home improvement and not just someone who has been commissioned by a salesman whose main interest is to sell you improvements that you do not actually need.

2. Neglecting The Family Safety. You might be appalled to learn of the criminal history of some of the employees of home improvement companies. You will find such things as felony records, drug convictions, sex offenses, and domestic violence among others. Yes it is true that every prior criminal has the right to work, but they have no business being in your family’s home where it can put your belongings and family safety into question. You have the right to demand to see any employee records of individuals that are going to be coming into your home. The record should also contain a background check on the employee as well. This will help ensure that your family’s safety is well secure.

3. Asking The Wrong Questions. There are basic questions that you need to ask every contractor that comes into your home. But sadly these are often neglected. Some of these questions include things like “How long have you been in business?” “Where are you located?” among others. These are some of the most important questions that you can ask. The more questions that you ask, the better your chances of having the job done right by qualified individuals. Always ask to see references, and make sure the references you get are from someone in your community. Then make sure you call them up to verify or even go by to look at the work that was completed.

Home improvement does not have to be a nightmare. Avoiding these mistakes will increase the odds that the job is done to your satisfaction.

Getting the Correct Home Improvement Contractor

When one decides to begin renovating your home or one of your rental properties, it is essential that you are able to choose the correct home improvement contractor for the job. Taking the time to actually select a qualified and reliable home improvement contractor could very well save you a load of time and frustration in the long run, let alone money.

You should be aware that this industry is very competitive and this leads to there being numerous substandard contractors out there who are simply in it for the money, however there definitely are very scrupulous and have a good work ethic. Here are a few pointers as to what you should look at to be sure that you are able to find a reliable home improvement contractor:

· Be sure of your goal and know what you want – Before you even consider entering into home improvements, be sure to know exactly what it is that you want to achieve by doing the improvements. Have detailed sketches or plans available to show to the contractor you are considering so that he has a definite picture of what it is which you would like done.

· Know what questions to ask – Having predetermined questions which you will ask the contractor regarding the job at hand as this will give you an indication as to their work ethic. Questions pertaining to cost implications, time period and suggestions as to how to reduce costs will greatly help you in choosing the correct contractor.

· Do not rush your selection – Many people make the mistake of simply choosing the first or cheapest contractor, avoid this mistake. Take your time to establish the reputation and reliability of the contractor which you choose, be sure that you both have a clear understanding of what it is you wish to achieve and have all the necessary agreements in place.

Many people overlook the importance of finding the correct home improvement contractor for the job you wish to get done, by simply shirking the responsibility of being completely thorough in your decision, you will be lining yourself up for a couple of nasty surprises.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Home Improvement

Spring and summer are the ideal seasons for home improvement, whether you’re just focusing on window replacement or you’re knocking down walls to turn your dining room into a bowling alley – the weather is ideal and it can create a bit of chaotic zeal in homeowners. Sometimes the excitement of the seasonal change as well as the potential change in the home leads to mistakes in the home improvement process. Here are some of the more common mistakes… hopefully with the proper forethought you can avoid them.

Water Cutoffs – Before you start any renovation project in your home, even if you’re using a general contractor, you need to locate the water cutoff in your home as well as at the street level. This is especially true if you’re doing any renovation or improvement on the wet work areas of your home (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) If you know where the cutoff is you can quickly address an issue if disaster strikes.

Minimize Dust and Debris – Homeowners often neglect to consider that renovation and remodeling is messy. If there’s demolition involved of any sort, it’s even more so. Take the time to prep the work area for containment to minimize dust and debris from traveling around your home. Use plastic sheets for floors and hang drapes or screens in the work area. At the end of every work session, go over your area with a shop vac.

Don’t Rush – It might be fun to start swinging a sledge hammer to take down a wall, but don’t rush into any home improvement gig, especially where there’s demolition involved. Informed and careful remodeling is safe remodeling. Shut down electricity, check for load-bearing wall placement, cut water to the demo area, locate studs, pipes and wires, cut investigative holes in walls – make sure you know what you’re getting into when you prep to rearrange the floor plan of your home.

Protect Surfaces – If you have finished surfaces in your home, then mask them off. This includes cabinets, walls, baseboards, flouring, trim, etc. If you have tile work and finished countertops, cover those as well. There’s always the potential for dropped tools, flying debris, sharp debris, spills and other incidents that could mar the surfaces in your home.

Plan Around Plumbing – You might think you’ve got this home improvement gig in the bag but plumbing has a way of being a pain for many homeowners that shoot for DIY projects. Jobs also have a way of expanding suddenly as they deviate from the plans. Make sure you have end-stop fitting caps to close off pipes if you can’t finish in a day. This way you can turn your water back on.

Protect Floors – If you’re remodeling in a space with appliances then you need to protect your floors. Put down carpet or Masonite so that you can roll appliances around easily. Make sure the floor is clean and swept so that debris, dust and dirt can’t scratch the surface while you’re moving items around.