Where to Start
People want to do home improvement projects all the time to increase the value of their home. Many people, however, do not know which project to tackle first when they have multiple projects to be done. Picking which project to do first can be decided by a number of things. Money and urgency are the biggest factors in this. If you have a hole in your roof, obviously you need to get that fixed before putting a shed up in your yard. But if you need new windows because the old ones are older than you and your bathroom looks like it’s stuck in the 70’s, you have a choice. Some improvements will be more time consuming than others and that should be taken into consideration before starting anything.
Before you Start
Do your research before starting anything. Whether you plan to do the project yourself or hire someone to do it for you, make sure you know what you are getting into before buying anything or signing any contract. Any home improvement job can be done by yourself or a company. Depending on the job will depend on what you need to not only get it done, but also how much it will cost.
Check out different home improvement stores for varying prices as well as professionals. Ask your neighbors who did their project and how much it cost, if they are willing to tell you the price. If they did it themselves, ask how long it took and if they ran into any problems they didn’t believe they would encounter. If they did encounter problems, ask them how they fixed them. On the other hand if they used a professional ask what they thought of the work the professional did. Knowing what you might be getting into is the best knowledge of all. And if it is possible, ask more than one home owner about the same project so you can compare notes.
Do It Yourself versus Professional
You have decided what project you want to do. You have done your research and have an idea what it should cost and how long it should take. Now you must decide if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional crew to do it for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Doing it yourself can be much cheaper because you aren’t paying labor costs that are added to the professionals’ prices.
However, you have to know that you will have ample time to fix complete the project and that you can live in your home comfortably enough while you do finish. Also if you run into a complication, you have to know how to fix it quickly so as not to lose any more time on completing the project. This can get expensive if you don’t know how to fix it or are on limited time and money. Having a professional do it can cost thousands more, depending on the project, but you will have an estimate time of completion. And, the best part of all, if there are any mess ups, you are not responsible for fixing them. Well for the most part you won’t be responsible. You will need to read the fine print on any contract you sign with a professional. Another advantage of having a professional is that the work is warranted.
Using the Professional
Once you decide to go with a professional, you should get multiple quotes before making your choice of who to use. Even if the company that did your neighbors windows comes highly recommended, your house is different and they may have different pricing specials now than when your neighbors had their windows put in. Get at least four or five quotes to see exactly what the professionals cost and the differences in how they do business, their warranty works, estimate for when they can start your project, and completion time frame.
Don’t go for just the big ads in the phone book. The smaller companies can be just as good and cost less than a big name. Most places give free estimates nowadays. No matter what, don’t let any professional push you into using them before you have all the estimates you want. They may sound great as the first or second, but their job is to get you sign with them and convince you they are better than anyone else out there. Take everything they say with a grain of salt.