Remodeling your home can be exciting — however, don’t forget that you’re undergoing a major construction project and there are risks associated with the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re planning your next home improvement project.
- Don’t Underestimate Costs: One important tip when planning a home improvement project is to keep a cushion in your budget for delays and unexpected expenses. 76% of home improvement projects in 2020 were paid for with cash. The last thing you want is to get halfway through a project and run out of money — so keep a cushion of cash reserves just in case something happens.
- Thoroughly vet your contractors and service people: There are so many problems that can arise throughout the construction process, you want to limit your risks as much as possible. One of the ways to do this is by hiring a reputable general contractor and other service people to ensure the work is handled by professionals. The FTC suggests asking friends and neighbors, reading their reviews online, finding how long they’ve been in business, and checking their qualifications such as licensing. Anyone who checks out on all or most of those metrics should be qualified to handle the job.
- The cheapest isn’t always the best option: It may be tempting to try to save money by using cheap materials. But don’t forget that you’re going to have to live in the home once it’s finished — or sell it to someone who will be. The best thing to do is to find the most value for your money, and often times the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
- Decide how long your planning on staying in the home: Before you embark on your home improvement project, it’s vital to decide what your end goal is. Are you renovating the home to live in for yourself or to sell it? This will impact your decision-making when it comes to choosing certain features and designs. No matter what your goal, you should always consider the fact that you’re eventually going to sell the home and should stay away from any design finishes that so niche it may impact the resale value. However, if you’re planning on staying in the home for the foreseeable future, you should certainly keep an eye on what is going to make you the most comfortable
- Older homes may contain asbestos: Sometimes a renovation can uncover unexpected facts about your home — such as the presence of asbestos. Although rarely used today, asbestos was a mineral found in a variety of popular construction materials and household products throughout the early 20th century. The EPA began putting restrictions on the use of asbestos in the early ’70s, but homes built before then may still contain dangerous material. If you do uncover asbestos during your remodel, you should contact your doctor immediately because there are serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Also know that you have certain legal rights and the ability to seek compensation from home builders or manufacturers that put you at risk. The Mesothelioma Cancer Network has more resources on legal actions you can take if you’ve been exposed to asbestos.