Upgrading your home can be an exciting time. New additions, new features, new functionality – all can be a part of a home improvement project. With such a project, you are able to breathe new life into a tired older home, making it into the home of your dreams.
Home improvements don’t always go smoothly, however. Here are some tips to get the most out of your project and to reduce the frustration and ugly surprises these projects sometimes impose.
Tip #1: Choosing the Right Contractor
When it is time to start off your home improvement project, choosing the right contractor is obviously an important step. Talk to as many as you can and get quotes from each. Ask for references, and follow up on them immediately – speak to former customers to see how their projects went. Look online for ratings, and check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. The goal here is to find a reputable contractor that shares your tastes, your timeline, and your need for adhering to a budget.
Tip #2: Contractor Relationship
Your home improvement contractor is the most important part of the project equation. In the best of circumstances, you and your contractor will get along beautifully. The reality is that you will sometimes not see eye to eye. Resist the urge to vent your frustration to them. They are probably just as stressed as you are, and unloading on them only makes the stress levels rise.
However, it is critical that you make your wishes and your concerns known to the contractor and his/her employees. Call the contractor and speak to them for regular updates throughout the project. Talk about deadlines and goals, but be rational about them. By staying proactive and addressing issues before they cause problems, you can maintain that critical relationship.
Tip #3: Track Expenses
When you are engaging in a home improvement project, you know that your budget is the make-or-break part of the process. Most homeowners have a limited amount of money they can put toward home upgrades, and sticking to the budget is of great importance.
The best way to ensure that you’re within your budget is to track EVERY expense. Keep receipts of all materials. Track the hours of the contractor and the employees working on your project. A spreadsheet program is a great tool to help you with this part of the process.
There are many more tips, but these three should get you started on the home of your dreams. When you find the right contractor, take care of your relationship with him or her. And keep an eye on your expenses. Before you know it, you’ll have a completed project that you won’t be able to wait to show off to friends and family.