Mistakes in any task can be costly; they can be especially destructive when it comes to home improvement. Not only can you end up spending more money, you could damage your home or even put yourself in danger. Here are some of the most common home improvements mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Going with the Lowest Bid: While this idea may seem like best, it may cost you in the long run. A low bid can mean you are working with an inexperienced contractor who may cut corners. Carefully evaluate the quotes and make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. Are both contractors using the same type of materials? What type of warranty do they offer on their work? Are they insured? It’s important to know that if your contractor is not adequately insured and one of their employees gets hurt while working on your property, you can be held liable for their injuries. Beware of a contractor that will not freely offer up a copy of their insurance policy upon request.
Taking on a Project Beyond Your Scope of Expertise: In an attempt to save money, DIYers believe that watching a YouTube video on how to complete a home improvement makes them an expert. Certain repairs such as roofing, plumbing or electrical repairs can result in serious injury or death. Unless you have adequate professional training, allow professionals to handle these repairs.
Allowing Inexperienced Family Members to Handle Repairs: While family members may have good intentions by offering to help you out with repairs, unless they have formal training in the project they are helping you with, it may be best to leave the work to the professionals. Contractors have access to better materials and will warranty their work. It can be difficult to go back to a well-intentioned family member a year after a window seal fails and ask them to warranty it.
Buying Cheap Materials: While cheap materials may seem like a good way to save money, they will likely cost you more in the long run. Purchasing a kitchen sink made by a manufacturer you’ve never heard from likely won’t last as long as one installed by a plumber who will stand behind their product and warranty it if something goes wrong after installation.
Trend Following: Know how funny avocado green toilets and shag carpeting seem now? While they were trendy at the time, they are both expensive things to fix that date a home. Beware of similar trends today and stick with traditional looks that will have a longer shelf life.
Neglecting to Get a Permit-While home owners can view permits as a pointless expense, not getting one for a project that requires it and something serious happens, your home owner’s insurance will not cover the accident.