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!

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.

DIY Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Tackling home improvement projects yourself can help you save money, but only if you avoid costly mistakes like these:

Trying to do it ALL yourself. Whether to tackle a project yourself or hire a professional depends largely on your skill set and experience with the type of project at hand. Plenty of projects look easier than they really are. With your home value in mind, carefully weigh the pros and cons of DIY versus bringing in the pros prior to taking on a home renovation.

Under budgeting. Home renovations cost more money than initially anticipated almost every time. Setting aside extra funds to account for budgeting discrepancies or unexpected expenses can prevent your renovation from coming to a halt mid-project. Regardless of how well you plan, unexpected expenses can and will most likely come up.

Jumping in without researching. Do you know where electrical wiring is located? Is that wall you are about to remove load bearing? Do you have all the right hand and power tools to complete the task at hand? Ensuring that you are fully prepared to see a job through from start to finish will help protect the value of your home and save you from unnecessary headaches.

Permit oversights. Depending on the scope of your project, one or more permits may be required for remodeling your home. Checking with local permitting offices prior to starting your project can prevent expensive problems and delays down the line. Obtaining the proper permits is important for safety reasons, insurance coverage as well as the resale of your home.

Sacrificing quality. For any home improvement project, the quality of work should be of utmost importance. Quality materials combined with quality workmanship will typically contribute to a higher home value, while cutting corners on either can lead to lost time and money. Renovations of questionable quality can hurt rather than help home value, and incur additional costs if they have to be professionally redone. Even if the cost is higher up front, doing a renovation right the first time is usually the best long term investment.