Everyone wants to save a buck (hopefully even more!). But when it comes to home improvement projects, you sometimes get what you pay for. While some projects can be safely and successfully completed by DIYers, others are definitely better left to the pros.
Flooring installation for example:
While most home improvement fails aren’t quite as dramatic as the ones above, the truth is, redoing poorly executed DIY projects is costly —and some projects if done incorrectly are downright dangerous. Here are some common home improvement fails you’ll want to avoid.
Not getting the correct permits
No one likes to add paperwork, extra costs and time to a home improvement project. However, failing to obtain the proper permits required by your town, county or HOA can cause serious and more expensive problems later on. Permits ensure that your project meets local building codes and safety and zoning laws.
If your municipality or a building inspector finds out you do not have a permit, you may be fined, your contractor may face penalties, and you may be forced to dismantle your project and start over again. Some of the most common renovations requiring permits are plumbing and electrical services, adding a fence, deck, room, dormer or garage, and major structural changes.
Being too trendy
When doing expensive renovations such as a kitchen remodel, try to choose cabinets, countertops and flooring that will stand the test of time. You don’t want your room to look outdated anytime soon. Save the trendy touches for paint, appliances, accessories and lighting. It’s easier and less expensive to update those things rather than the bigger ticket items.
Standing out from the neighbors too much
Of course you want the exterior of your home to reflect your distinct personality and style. But keep in mind the character of the other homes in your neighborhood. If your house looks drastically different from houses in the immediate vicinity, it can sometimes reduce your home’s resale value – not to mention the relationships with your neighbors.
Failing to consider cabinet and drawer clearance issues
A common novice mistake is to install cabinets and drawers without taking into account how they will fit into the overall space when they are opened and being used. Without taking precise measurements and considering clearance issues, it could be difficult to access certain areas.
Having a no-wiggle-room budget
When doing a major home renovation project, it’s kind of like that Forrest Gump quote – “You never know what you’re gonna get.” If you are tearing down walls or ceilings, you may uncover termite damage, mold, outdated plumbing and electrical, or unsafe materials such as asbestos. Before beginning your project, be sure you have some money in your budget allotted for these types of “surprises.” Experts recommend setting aside a 15%-20% contingency budget that can provide a financial cushion should problems arise.
Not hiring a licensed professional
Don’t trust your home to just anyone. While there are many home projects you may be able to tackle on your own, there are some that really should be handled by a licensed and insured professional. Electrical issues, for example. Electricity is dangerous to work with and electrical work done incorrectly can potentially cause an electrical shock or fire. Pros have – or should have – the skills, experience and equipment needed to effectively complete a job.
Interview several contractors. Confirm that they have the proper credentials from trade organizations and check out their references. Do your homework and look for someone who understands what you need and has done that type of work before.
Obtain various quotes and compare prices and keep in mind that your lowest option may not be the best choice depending on your needs. Once you decide on a contractor, request a formally written quote. This will help give you peace of mind as well as legal recourse in case something goes wrong.
Riverhead Building Supply provides residential construction services to make work easier and your projects a success. From estimating and design services to arranging installation, our team of pros will ensure that your home project goes as smoothly as you planned. Contact us before starting your next home improvement or renovation job!