A well-planned, well-executed upgrade can add comfort, convenience, beauty and value to your home. Unfortunately, not all improvement projects turn out well. We’ve all heard horror stories of contractors who damage property, delay completion, add unexpected charges and cause other problems that can leave homeowners loaded with regrets—and big bills.
Take these six simple precautions before and during the project to ensure that everything will go smoothly:
Do your homework
Before you start looking for contractors, research the project you’re considering, suggests home improvement expert Philip Schmidt, author of Don’t Sweat It … Hire It! An A to Z Guide to Finding, Hiring & Managing Home Improvement Pros. You can find information in home-improvement magazines and books and via Internet resources such as YouTube and other layman-friendly sites.
The goal here is not to become an expert, he says. Rather, you need to gather information about best practices, products and materials that are being used for this type of job. Then, you can ask informed questions of your potential contractors and ensure that all necessary details are covered in the contract.