Home remodeling projects are capable of transforming any house into a dream home. With so much money at stake in this type of project, careful planning is necessary to avoid potential, financial pitfalls.
Below are some tips guaranteed to safeguard your home investment.
- Analyze the return on investment for upgrade options.
Few would argue that a home is much more than financial investment to most of us. That’s why it can be far too easy to make emotional decisions about adding highly customized features with little thought about whether they make sense from an investment standpoint.
It is important to analyze upgrades factoring in the rate of return expectations. For example, minor kitchen and bathroom upgrades are typically a safe bet in most housing markets, while adding an outdoor swimming pool in a colder climate might not make much sense when it is time to sell your home.
- Hire a contractor with a good reputation and a business license.
Get recommendations from friends and family members. Once you have a list of recommended contractors, do your homework and research them online and with the Better Business Bureau. Before hiring a contractor, ask to see their license and insurance paperwork.
Some contractors try to satisfy these requests with a license number and the name of the insurance company. Insist on seeing the paperwork yourself to ensure that they have adequate insurance to cover any problems that might arise. You also need to verify that their license is in good standing.
Obtain references, then call on them. Verify that they are qualified for the project you have in mind. For example, if you’re having a foundation replaced, ask them for references related to foundation repair.
- Draw up a work contract.
Never rely on oral agreements. A written contract provides you with legal recourse if a problem arises related to the terms of the agreement.
The contract should outline details related to the work to be completed, the parties involved, a schedule of activities, and a deadline for completion. Be sure to read the entire contract before signing it or paying an upfront deposit. If you have any reservations, it makes sense to have a trusted attorney read the contract.
- Get a warranty.
The warranty can be part of the contract. Essentially, the warranty should state that the work completed must be free of defects and conform to the agreed-upon design. Beware of an extremely limited warranty that many contractors try to use as a way of avoiding legal ramifications. It is noteworthy that the warranty can be unlimited or for a long period of time.
5. Plan Ahead for Maintenance
When planning your remodeling project, it’s important to consider the maintenance that will go into the new materials and surfaces. Will you be installing new carpeting? Xtremecarpets.com recommends that you have your carpets professionally cleaned twice annually to prolong their life and beauty. Keep in mind the cost and time involved in maintaining countertops, fixtures, walls and, flooring. You might decide to go with low-maintenance materials to save time and money in the long term.