Common Home Improvement Mistakes

You hear about it after every major storm. Home improvement contractors move into an area and promise great work, only to leave behind a shoddy job if the job gets finished at all. What you may not realize is that this happens every day, not just after a major tragedy. If you are hiring someone for a job make sure you avoid these common home improvement mistakes.

All of the better contractors and business owners want each and every party involved in their business to do a good job. Unfortunately though home improvement and remodeling is one of the top industries for both fraud and consumer dissatisfaction. The question that a lot of people have is why? Yes much of the blame does in fact fall into the hands of the home improvement industry; there are also some more common mistakes that you as the homeowner commit that will contribute to your own dissatisfaction. If you learn to avoid these mistakes, it can make the difference between a great home improvement project and a nightmare.

1. Falling In Love With The Salesman. Since you are probably like many and not an expert in the field of home improvement, you will begin to rely heavily on the friendliness and the so called credibility of the salesperson in an effort to determine the type of people that will be doing the project. Your dissatisfaction is guaranteed when either the employees or the subcontractors do not live up to the total expectations set by the salesperson. When you are ready to invite someone into your home, you need to make sure they are skilled in home improvement and not just someone who has been commissioned by a salesman whose main interest is to sell you improvements that you do not actually need.

2. Neglecting The Family Safety. You might be appalled to learn of the criminal history of some of the employees of home improvement companies. You will find such things as felony records, drug convictions, sex offenses, and domestic violence among others. Yes it is true that every prior criminal has the right to work, but they have no business being in your family’s home where it can put your belongings and family safety into question. You have the right to demand to see any employee records of individuals that are going to be coming into your home. The record should also contain a background check on the employee as well. This will help ensure that your family’s safety is well secure.

3. Asking The Wrong Questions. There are basic questions that you need to ask every contractor that comes into your home. But sadly these are often neglected. Some of these questions include things like “How long have you been in business?” “Where are you located?” among others. These are some of the most important questions that you can ask. The more questions that you ask, the better your chances of having the job done right by qualified individuals. Always ask to see references, and make sure the references you get are from someone in your community. Then make sure you call them up to verify or even go by to look at the work that was completed.

Home improvement does not have to be a nightmare. Avoiding these mistakes will increase the odds that the job is done to your satisfaction.

Selling Your Home? Home Improvement Projects to Avoid

Many homeowners each year make the mistake of thinking that any home improvement project is a good one in terms of adding value to their home. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. There are some home improvement projects you can take on which will not improve the value of your home in terms of the money you spend on the project and there are even other home improvement projects which can detract from the value of your home. If you think you may sell your home at some point in the future, it is imperative to make sure you know which home improvement projects to tackle and which ones to avoid.

The first thing to keep in mind when considering any home improvement project is that you do not want to outdo the neighbors. While the old adage of keeping up with the Joneses is certainly true to a degree, you do not want to exceed them. A home that is largely out of the price range of its neighbors is usually going to be more difficult to sell than a home that is in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood.

Two of the biggest mistakes you can make on home improvement projects is spending money on highly individualized projects and technological advancements. Avoid spending money on items such as saunas and steam baths. Such improvements might add to the value of your property but if the buyers viewing your home are not interested in these items you may find it more difficult to sell the property.

The same is also true for swimming pools. Many homeowners make the grave mistake of believing that a pool with add to the value and desirability of their home. This is definitely not true. Many buyers, especially those with small children, avoid homes with pools. Even if a buyer does not have small children they may be concerned about the maintenance issues that go along with having a swimming pool. The simple fact is that homes with pools generally tend to take longer to sell than homes that do not have a pool. If you are considering adding a pool to your home make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, because you will enjoy it, and not because you want to improve the value of your home. Otherwise, the addition of a pool should be avoided.

In addition, it is imperative to avoid spending a lot of money on technological advancements which will usually quickly become outdated. This is a waste of money that will usually not net you a large return.

Ideally, it is usually the simplest things which will bring you the highest rate of return in terms of home improvement projects. Simple projects such as ensuring your home has a fresh coat of paint or improving your landscaping can add a lot of value to your home and make it more desirable. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal; particularly in homes that are considered to be luxury properties.

This has become increasingly popular today when more buyers are beginning their property search on the Internet. Statistics indicate that some 80% of buyers actually begin looking for properties online. A photograph is truly worth more than a thousand words in these circumstances. If your home lacks curb appeal this could mean that it will the house that languishes on the market for months while other homes with more curb appeal sell much faster.

There are certainly some areas in which it makes more financial sense to focus your money if you are considering selling your home. Staging is one of them. Studies indicate that homes which have been professionally staged are selling faster and for more money than homes that have not been professionally staged. Luxury homes may even be able to sell for up to 20% more with staging than homes that are not staged.

You should also keep in mind the features that are most popular in homes right now. Kitchens and master bedrooms continue to rank high in importance with most buyers. Buyers are looking for master bedrooms which can serve as sanctuaries and have features such as vaulted ceilings and fireplaces.

The main key is to make sure that regardless of what types of home improvement projects you take on, you do not go too far. There is definitely something to the old cliché ‘too much of a good thing’ and that is certainly true in the case of home improvement projects.

The $75,000 Home Improvement Bill – I Can’t Believe it Happened to Me

You’re not going to believe what you’re about to read, but this could happen to you. It didn’t happen to me and I really don’t know for sure that it ever happened, but you’ll get a kick out of reading it. $75,000 for a home improvement, come on you got to be kidding me. What was it made out a silver and gold?

A home improvement contractor over billed one of his clients, by mistake. It’s a simple mistake and it’s happened to me before. One time I sent one of my credit card payments, to the credit card company for $8,625 and they made a mistake and only entered in $86.25. Everyone makes mistakes every once in a while and when they fix them as soon as possible without creating a lot of problems, it’s even better.

This wasn’t exactly what happened with the $75,000 home improvement bill. The contractor made a mistake entering an extra zero into his credit card billing machine. Instead of entering $7,500, he put another zero into it. I can’t even imagine the look on the homeowners face, when they received their credit card bill which had a $100,000 limit on it and seen a charge for $75,000.

Could you imagine the look on the contractor’s face, when he seen his banking statement with a $75,000 deposit in it. The contractor didn’t leave town or was never heard from again. He’s the one who contacted his client and told them what happened.

They resolved the situation, even though that wasn’t the last time that this particular home improvement contractor made a mistake like that. Maybe he needs to go in for an eye examination or have someone else bill is clients. If you’re in the construction business, stuff like this happens all the time, hopefully it’s just not happening to you.