A bit of careful planning can go a long way in improving your home. Given how most home improvement projects can take a significant chunk of your time and money, you’ll want them to be carried out as smoothly as possible. One excellent way to do this is by learning essential home improvement do’s and don’ts, which don’t just simplify decision-making for you but also helps you get the most of your investment.
Here are 10 essential do’s and don’ts you should consider before and during your home improvement project:
- DO get the necessary building permits. Before your home improvement project starts, make sure you have the applicable permits on hand. This ensures that the work about to be done will adhere with local building codes and regulations, guaranteeing that your project is not only carried out to meet industry standards but to keep you safe as well. Having the necessary permits also lets you avoid noncompliance that may lead to number of setbacks, including forced removal and considerable fines.
PRO TIP: You’ll be relying heavily on their expertise to ensure a worry-free experience so hire a remodeling contractor with the necessary credentials.
- DON’T hire an unlicensed and uninsured contractor. While it may be tempting to go the DIY route for your project, you can ensure a more worry-free experience by turning to a professional. This doesn’t mean, however, hiring just anyone. To make sure you choose the right person for the job, make sure you are provided the following:
- Business License. This means the contractor is eligible to perform remodeling work in the area, having met the requirements and necessary training involved. You can verify this by calling your local licensing office, but the licenses will vary depending on the home improvement service your contractor offers. Most states require one for at least a few trades.
- This should include workers’ compensation and liability coverage, which lets you avoid potential litigation and additional expenses if an accident occurs in your property during the job.
- Physical Address. You’ll want to know where their office is in case you have concerns about the work they’ve done. An actual business address also helps differentiate them from fly-by-night contractors. Additionally, make sure they have a working phone and email so you can contact them easily.
- Online Presence. Do you want to know how your prospective contractor does business? Their updated website and solid online presence will give you the information you need. You can check out if their scores and reviews are satisfactory, plus you can take a look at the previous projects they worked on.
- DO come up with a contingency plan. Unwelcome surprises aren’t exactly uncommon in home improvement projects so it’s best to be prepared, starting with setting up a budget for emergencies. This will help keep your project on schedule while letting you avoid overspending.
- DON’T change your mind too much. According to home improvement experts, changing your mind often is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make during their project. While it’s inevitable that you’ll want to change something about your project, doing it often can hamper the work’s timeline and lead to even more expenses.
Decisions are a large part of the home improvement process, especially if you’re investing in new windows and doors. After all, these components add greatly to your home’s good looks, comfort, and energy efficiency. Door and window replacement seems like a straightforward project, but they still require diligent planning. Keep the home improvement experience a more stress-free process by keeping these specific do’s and don’ts in mind.
QUALITY AND EXPERT INSTALLATION. By focusing on these two factors, you can ensure reliable and longer-lasting window performance.
Investing in newer, better windows is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your home. Just make sure you:
- DO match your replacement windows with your home’s style. You’ll want your new windows to stand out, but in a good way. You can do this by choosing the style that best suits your home’s architecture. Some window options work better with a particular home style. Double-hung windows, for example, look excellent in Colonial, Craftsman, Farmhouse, and other traditional homes. Casement windows are excellent additions to Spanish Mission or Mediterranean styles. Picture and gliding windows, on the other hand, blend seamlessly with Contemporary-Modern homes.
- DON’T take low bids. Be wary of window contractors who offer products and services at prices that are almost too good to be true. It’s most likely that they are and you know what they say about getting what you paid for. When investing in window replacement, it pays to keep quality and professional installation, which dictates overall value, in mind instead of prices.
- DO weigh the pros and cons of different materials. Your windows’ longevity and performance will depend on the materials you choose. There is an overwhelming array of options available today, from traditional wood and standard vinyl to sleek aluminum and versatile composite. No matter your choice, make sure that it can withstand extreme weather and keep an airtight seal to prevent significant energy loss in your home.
COMMUNICATE WELL. Make sure you and your contractor maintain clear and frequent communication. By being on the same page, you can avoid mistakes and get the results you desire.
- DON’T forget about your door’s glass. Aside from framing material, take into account the glass that comes with your replacement door. Wherever available, opt for low-emissivity (low-E) glass that comes with effective glazing and spacers to improve the unit’s energy performance. Because it reduces radiant heat transfer to your home, a replacement door fitted with low-E glass can offer you cooler, more comfortable living spaces, minus the high energy costs while helping protect your home’s interior from sun damage. To confirm that your door’s glass has met stringent energy performance requirements, look for the white-and-blue ENERGY STAR label.
- DO make sure your new door comes with solid warranties. Product warranties add an extra layer of protection to you and your investment. Your prospective door installer’s warranty should cover framing material, glass, hardware, and installation service.
- DON’T overlook home preparation. On installation day, make sure that the work area is already free of furniture and other items that can hamper the work process. Keep pets and small children away from the work area for safety purposes. In addition, make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page about unnecessary mess and damage, plus after-work cleanup.
What you do and don’t do can affect how your home improvement experience goes. By remembering these tips, however, you can make your project run safely and smoothly from start to finish.
As the marketing director for Dreamstyle Remodeling and Renewal by Andersen (New Mexico, San Diego, Tucson, and Boise), Dawn Dewey is responsible for promoting the company’s exceptional products and service far and wide. Outside of home improvement, Dawn is passionate about animal welfare, environmental protection, and civil rights. You can catch more of her updates through the company blog.