How to Avoid the Most Common Home Improvement Mistakes

Eventually turning your house into the dream home you have envisioned all your life can be a thrilling endeavor. With all the excitement going on, homeowners could easily and unknowingly commit home improvement mistakes that not only leaves them frustrated in the end, but even broke as well.

Though one can never guarantee a hassle-free project, you can still save your New York home from the risks by avoiding common home improvement mistakes. As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. So whether you are in Long Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island; arm yourself with the right information. With this said, here are the things you can do to steer clear from pitfalls:

Set a Realistic and Flexible Budget

Probably the most common mistake when it comes to undertaking just any home improvement is busting the budget. When setting a budget, it is important that you already have an idea on what you want done and have already researched on the closest estimate you could get. Be as specific as possible when it comes to the type and quality of fixtures and materials you want to integrate into the project. Getting multiple estimates from qualified contractors would also be beneficial.

Make sure that you have a secure financial source from where the home improvement budget will be taken from. There are lots of options from withdrawing from your own savings to obtaining a loan. But however you decide to finance the project set allowances to cover unexpected expenses.

If You are Not Qualified, Leave It to the Pros

Underestimating what a home improvement project requires can be disastrous. Weigh your skills and experience carefully. Being honest to yourself would payoff big, while doing otherwise would lead to sloppy jobs that will eventually require you to hire a contractor to repair the damages that you have done.

If you really need to cutback on labor costs, there are plenty of tasks that you can have done yourself. This can be arranged with your hired contractor.

Never take Your Eyes Off of Your Goal

While the construction is ongoing, any homeowner can be taken off-track if he or she is not careful. Throughout home improvement project progress, there would always be ideas popping into your head. Changing plans while the project is at work will be costly and can lead to unsatisfactory results. Before any work begins, make sure to discuss and polish the remodeling specification plan with your contractor. If you have to change anything, this time would just be perfect. Sticking to the original plan would make the job completion faster, within budget and more efficient.

Leaving It All to Your Contractor

Even if you have availed of the services of a project manager or general contractor to foresee everything for you, this does not mean that when everything is all set you leave everything to them and get back at them by the time the project is finished. This is not how it works, especially if you decide to do the management yourself. It is crucial that you make yourself aware of the project’s progress as well as the issues arising throughout its completion. As it is your money that is being spent, ask questions and know how and why it is being spent.

The Big Home Improvement Projects Must Be First, Not Last

Priorities: they are always difficult to work out, and once you’ve got them all together it’s even more difficult to put them in some sort of chronological order. For home owners, figuring out priorities concerning home renovation or improvement can be a major headache, and this sometimes (or rather frequently in many cases) means that projects that need to be taken care of just keep getting pushed back and back. There is one easy way to think about how to prioritize your renovation and improvement projects at home: get the big stuff over and done with first! That’s right: you shouldn’t waste time on little morsels when there’s a main course waiting for you to tend to.

Why should home owners take care of the big projects first, and what exactly do we mean by big projects? To answer the second question first, by ‘big projects’ we’re talking about the projects that will require a greater budget, that will take a longer amount of time to complete, and which actually relate to a crucial and necessary improvement in the home-something functional, not something cosmetic! These projects are the kinds of home improvement projects that actually improve important systems, appliances, or structures within the home: examples would include eliminating humidity or mould problems in the attic or basement; replacing old and drafty window units throughout the home; or even just putting down a new coat of paint on the home’s exterior. As for the issue of tackling these projects first, there is a simple and valid reason for this-other tinier projects are going to have to work around these larger projects, and if you try to reverse this “natural order” to things you are going to find that the results are not much to your liking.

Another reason for getting these big home improvement projects out of the way first is budgeting. It would be terrible to have wasted so much money on trivial, cosmetic improvement projects around your property that by the time you get around to tackling a crucial project, you no longer have any funds left! This is a mistake that many home owners commit, and sooner or later the pretty little improvements are tarnished by the larger issues that are still unattended. Having a sense of seasonal priorities can also be important when determining what project to tackle next at home, as what may be very important during the summer may not be so urgent any longer by the time winter rolls around (though there are projects that are highly effective year-round). So the next time the idea of home renovation comes to mind, don’t make the mistake of fooling around with little, insignificant projects; be brave and start planning the big projects that you’ve been putting off for so long!

Five Things You Need Before Do It Yourself Home Improvement

Do it Yourself, or DIY, is an increasingly popular trend in home improvement: it allows you to think outside the tool box. As many people question why they should hire someone else for things they can do themselves, projects are taken on by home owners instead of contractors. While DIY does have its advantages, it also has disadvantages. On the negative side, DIY projects require much more preparation than simply hiring help. The following is a list of five things you need to keep your DIY from being DOA.

A friend with a truck: There is a reason people with trucks sometimes have bumper stickers reading, “No, I will not help you move.” When engaging in any activity that involves carrying loads, a friend with a truck automatically becomes your BFF. Some home improvement jobs might not require hauling large items, but when you begin a project that does, knowing someone with a truck will save you time, money, and any potential damage you might accrue shoving a pile of lumber into your Pinto.

A hardware store with a knowledgeable staff: When it comes to DIY projects, a good hardware store is your Mecca, and a place that will become your second home. Luckily, hardware stores, particularly the bigger chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot, are geared to helping the nonprofessional. Not only are these places staffed with the handiest men and women, but they also hold seminars and have several books and educational materials dedicated to the art of DIY.

A good tool collection: Home improvement projects aren’t ones in which you should skimp: the point is to improve your home, not the opposite. While buying top of the line materials is important, using top of the line tools is as well. It’s hard to do a good job if you are working with tools that don’t. If your tool box is missing essential pieces, filled with very old and dull tools, or is the color pink, upgrade your tool collection before you begin your DIY project.

Patience: Ah, patience: if it could be put in a bottle and sold on store shelves the world would be a much better place. But, alas, patience is something we just have to teach ourselves. DIY home improvement projects have the potential to test patience in anyone. These projects can be frustrating, annoying, and go completely wrong. For this reason, it’s important to remind yourself to take a deep breath, relax and read the instructional manual before you begin. Reading it afterwards just doesn’t seem to have the same affect.

A Permit: Some home improvement projects can begin without a permit. Others, however, require one. Making certain changes to your home that could affect your house’s structure, or affect your neighbor’s happiness (such as putting up a hot pink fence) may require a permit. These requirements can vary by state so before your begin your DIY project check with your local government and make sure your bases (and something else) is covered.

How to Avoid Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Even the most experienced homeowners might make a mistake during his or her renovation project. Sometimes, the mistakes are harmless and easily avoidable. At other times, they could be costly and even lethal. Without understanding the common pitfalls of home renovation, you might find yourself in a bit of a pinch. Listed below are some friendly reminders of what to watch out for in your home renovation projects.

– Falling from ladders
A startling statistic is that over 150,000 Americans end up in the emergency room every year due to some variation of accidents involving ladders. Therefore, it is always important to use a ladder of the correct length, thus ensuring maximum stability and security. Also make sure there are no hazardous objects in the environment. In the case that you do fall from the ladder, at least you will not land on anything potentially dangerous.

– Incorrect measurements
Accuracy is a key component to home improvement. That is why you should always make sure the measurement unit is the correct one, as well as counting every last inch.

– Damaging water pipes and electrical wiring
The pipes are wiring are among the most fundamental aspects of your household.Before you start implementing nails and screw into your walls or floors, make sure your water pipes are completely protected. Otherwise, you may see yourself calling an emergency plumber just for hanging a new bathroom mirror in the wrong place.

To identify where your wiring and piping components are, you can use a wire and pipe detector that is available at most plumbing hardware stores. The detector is not completely foolproof though, so you should also use insulated handles and power tools with a circuit breaker. When in doubt, contracting a plumber for professional and high-quality services is your best bet.

– Permits
Most renovation and remodeling projects require a government permit. Always do research first before partaking any project, because you might be breaking the law! These permits are convenient and easily accessible. Their purpose is to inform the government of your activities so that the proper safety measures can take place.

– Falling fixtures
You must be extremely cautious when installing wall-mounted items, such as shelves, mirrors, and cabinets. They could fall down and injure someone, or break other valuable ornaments in the household. To prevent these accidents from happening, you should always use the correct length of screw, bolts, and fittings. Minimize the possibility of accidents for as much as possible.

– Uneven shelves
When planning a do-it-yourself project that requires a level surface, do not solely trust your eye judgment, which may give you some unsatisfactory results. Use a level if you want to hang shelves or pictures on the wall. This will ensure that your wall-mounted items are even and levelled.

While these home renovation tips are useful, the best way to avoid common home improvement mistakes is simply plan ahead and do lots of preparations beforehand. If you are cautious, your renovation project will most likely go without many errors. Just remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry.